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Discussion Starter #1
I rescued Roo from a trainer south of us....he was in horrible shape, skinny had no muscle on him. You could see every rib, and he was severly depressed. I picked him up in may, and he has been living with me every since.

Here is a picture of him a month after I picked him up:


2 months ago


And a couple pictures of him today






how does he look to you guys?
 

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What A Pretty Guy He'll Be. To Me, And This Is Just My Opinion, He Should Be Considerably More Close To The Proper Weight By Now (7?) Months Later. He Looks To Have Gained A Little, Lost Some Tail, Grew Some Coat But Not Much Action. I Don't Think It Should Take So Long To Get Him Back To Weight,,, Are You Feeding The Round Bales I See In The Picture?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We bought that round bale, but saw how disgusting it looked so its just sitting there now until the new load of hay comes. Normally our hay guy brings us good looking bales, but that one was pretty gross.

He gets good quality hay and feed, plus he has been wormed, all his shots, coggins, strangles, etc. done. No health issues, our vet just told us he has a higher metabolism, so he burns more calories than he actually takes in since he runs around the pasture so much.

He gets, on a daily basis, almost 12lbs of feed. So I have no idea why its taking this long for him to gain weight, and he gets exercised and ridden 3 times a week
 

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Do you guys ride him?
 

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I will second that.. I too would think he'd be fat and sassy by now. We've had several OTTB's here and they are the hardest to get weight on but generally fatten up with in two/three months. I DO NOT ride a horse I'm trying to put weight on however, its much like putting gas in a car that has a hole in the gas tank lol!
He does look nicer now thats for sure but to help him finish gaining sometime this year... Better quality hay! That hay doesn't look to hot. I'd throw him a flake of pure alfalfa AM and PM also if you can find a few bales of it. Not sure what feed you are using, and I feel like a broken record I've typed this so many times, but Purina Equine Senior or Triple Crown Senior do the best job. Your average sweet/oat/corn mix does nothing. Feed a 50 pound sack, does nothing. A good senior feed is best. Beet pulp as well, one 3qt scoop AM and PM.
His side shots hes looking better in but its the rear shot that gives it away he still has a ways to go.

Here are two in similar weight who I've used the feed schedule above just suggested for:
Late November-

January-


April-

June 1st-


Take it from someone with experience in the feeding - if anything - department of horse ownership, its much easier on your wallet to get the weight on quickly, continue until they are a little chubby (A bit "over"/Can barely find ribs) and then wind down to where you can maintain and start riding.

Hes cute! Good luck!
 

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New_Image: Thats what I Was going to say. I would defiantly not be riding him if your trying to put weight back on him.
He's looking really good too!

At the rescue barn I work, we use the same feeding schedule that New_Image explained. Except we don't give him alpha because he's diabetic.
This Smokey Joe back in September.

This was him about two weeks ago.



He is still underweight but they found him laying out in his paddock and he has really bad feet problems. And he's also in his 20's so it takes more time. But he has come a long way.
 

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You feed that horse 12lbs of feed a day!! I would think he would have colic or founder? As everyone said I also agree. I really can't see a difference in him. He still looks skinny. Also why would you ride a horse your trying to put weight on? I dont get that at all????

You should call and see if a vet can come out and see if anything is wrong with him if you really feeding him so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes I feed 12 lbs a day, and no he has not once coliced and there are no other health issues with him. I've taken him to several vets, including K-state and they have run tests on him...showing no health issues with him. When I ride its lightly. Trotting and walking lately. I really don't have time to ride anymore due to work, so he just sits out in the pasture and eats hay. He is really only exercised 3 times a week, and MAYBE ridden. But I'm normally too stressed out, or tired from work to ride.

My vet told me he is in great health, I've got paperwork to prove it. He gets fed beet pulp, dehydrated alfalfa pellets, as well as his MSM. I give 2 1/2 pounds of dry beet pulp, that I then soak for 2 hours.....which soaks quite a bit of water. So once really weighed out.....he maybe gets morning and night, about 6 pounds when everything is dry.

And I do feed alfalfa, he just really isn't a fan of it
 

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I For One Have A Pretty Hard Time Believing He Eats All That And Is Still Under Weight? Why ''Excersize'' Him, BTW, Let Him Sit?
 

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Guys, try not to be so hard on her. I mean honestly, some horses take longer to gain weight than others. It also depends on how long they have been in that condition. Some horses have a harder time adjusting, physically to being fed as much as they should normally. My riding instructor rescued a 32 year old Tennessee Walking Horse a few years ago, and Toby had a horrid time gaining weight back. She had been starved for about 10 months, and was total skin and bones when Abby got a hold of her. It took her a year to gain back the amount of weight that was healthy for her. And the same goes for my current horse I'm training. Sunny was starved/abused and he was 250lbs underweight and he was rescued last April. It's been months, and he still is gaining back the muscle and weight needed to look entirely healthy.
Also, horses who are trying to gain back weight NEED to be worked, at least a little. Otherwise they can't gain back the muscle they need to be able to be worked, and appear healthy.
Try not to be so accusatory and discouraging please, for Kansasbarrelracer's sake? I understand you are *hopefully* trying to be helpful, but think of how it could be coming across. =)
 

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I agree with her. ^

I think you guys are being a bit to harsh.
And she is also right when it comes to how long horses have been abused or starved.
Like Smokey Joe for example. He was starved for almost up to 12 months it was horrific and it's taking him a lot of time to get back to a normal weight.
I hope the best for Roo!
 

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wow i wish i could get my TB to not like Alfalfa lol- she loves it!

He is cute- i agree with keeping the working down to a min. and feed up :D

Have you tried to get another feed to compliment the hay? Maybe something like Strategy or and LMF feed? How old is he? Maybe a Sr. feed?

Just a thought! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guys, try not to be so hard on her. I mean honestly, some horses take longer to gain weight than others. It also depends on how long they have been in that condition. Some horses have a harder time adjusting, physically to being fed as much as they should normally. My riding instructor rescued a 32 year old Tennessee Walking Horse a few years ago, and Toby had a horrid time gaining weight back. She had been starved for about 10 months, and was total skin and bones when Abby got a hold of her. It took her a year to gain back the amount of weight that was healthy for her. And the same goes for my current horse I'm training. Sunny was starved/abused and he was 250lbs underweight and he was rescued last April. It's been months, and he still is gaining back the muscle and weight needed to look entirely healthy.
Also, horses who are trying to gain back weight NEED to be worked, at least a little. Otherwise they can't gain back the muscle they need to be able to be worked, and appear healthy.
Try not to be so accusatory and discouraging please, for Kansasbarrelracer's sake? I understand you are *hopefully* trying to be helpful, but think of how it could be coming across. =)
Thank you so much. I get judged by people constantly because of the way my gelding looks. I'm going to clear this up.......my gelding is LIGHTLY ridden, my vet advised me to ride him to build muscle up on his topline. He has built up alot of muscle since I first started riding him. I don't starve my horse, he just burns calories like something fierce. He is constantly moving out in the pasture.

I'm actually thinking about switching feeds for him, I was told purina senior feed or enrich 32, plus also I was told to start feeding him rice bran or BOSS
 

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I agree, why exercise him now?
And also to the Other people with their rescues, Great job!
THey all look fantastic ^_^
 

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Thank you so much. I get judged by people constantly because of the way my gelding looks. I'm going to clear this up.......my gelding is LIGHTLY ridden, my vet advised me to ride him to build muscle up on his topline. He has built up alot of muscle since I first started riding him. I don't starve my horse, he just burns calories like something fierce. He is constantly moving out in the pasture.

I'm actually thinking about switching feeds for him, I was told purina senior feed or enrich 32, plus also I was told to start feeding him rice bran or BOSS
*nods* No problem. I understand how difficult it is to try and keep and/or gain weight on a horse who has had less of a decent life than they should. =) I work at a training/rescue barn; each horse is totally different. =) No need for you to be given grief about your horse being a little different than those who 'have gained weight in less time' and whatnot. =) For the love of the horse, if he's being well loved and taken care of and you know this, who's to judge you?
 

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I agree with the some work. We actually had one that gained too quickly and went lame for a little while. The vet told us that working her more may have actually helped her to not have that happen. I would keep feeding him and giving him light work. Doing some light work can also help him to do less in the pasture to make weight gain more difficult.

I will also say I have a friends whose horse was starved at least 2 different times before she got him. He can no longer have more than light riding at any point in time. If he does then he looses weight so quickly that the vet told her to consider euthanaisa last year. He is only 11 years old. He is on senior feed and beet pulp along with hay and free range pasture. It's sad, but being starved can affect some horse's digestion in the long run so that it is MUCH more difficult to put weight back on than a horse who was only starved once in it's life.

This horse may have had a similar story, but no one really knows. I wish you the best of luck on helping him to gain more :)
 

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To help put a little more weight on him try making a rice mash with Beet Pulp... It helped WONDERS on my 28 year old Arabian mare... She, too, likes to walk her weight right off... it is sometime very difficult to find the right mixture of feed... Also the type of hay... when I moved back east, my mare DID NOT do well on any round bails, timothy, or orchard... The problem I found with certain grains, though is they sometimes make already hot horses even more hot and the work off all the weight they put on... So unfortunately you can't treat every horse in the same feed program. Good luck with Roo... he is darling!
 

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He reminds me of Cricket! Cricket was starved and she was pretty underweight. She got one pound alfalfa, nine pounds grass and a pound of Ultium. She also got lunged every other day for about twenty minutes. She plumped up reall quick. She's also gaining muscle nicely.

Doesn't it feel great to rescue a skinny baby and watch them improve? Cricket's training sucked though, so I've been having to retrain her from the ground up. It's so worth it.

Your boy is SO handsome! I love him.

Here's a picture of Cricket when we first got her.



You could count all of her ribs and all of her vertabrae! It was sickening. It could have been SO much worse though.

Here she is a few days ago. Spunky little child.



After some intense ground training, she's doing much better under saddle. She's my girl.

Keep us updated as he improves! I can't wait to see him all bulked up.
 
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