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Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to introduce everyone to my newest rescue. This is Link. He is an 8yo OTTB gelding, who obviously has fallen in the wrong hands and on hard times. I simply couldn't leave him where he was. I am super excited to get him rehabilitated! He is on a good program to regain weight, and the vet is scheduled for a full exam, fecal, and dental. I'm excited to share my journey with him as he goes through all of the positive changes of the next few months. Anyways, meet Link! He's certainly not the worst off I have ever rehabbed, but he is definitely in need of a lot of TLC.


 

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My plan is to keep him. I would love to do some lower level stuff with him. He supposedly has a year of hunter training, I didn't have the heart to ride him to find out. Once he's feeling better we will see how he goes under saddle. He raced for 6 years and its just insane to see what he used to look like, to now. As my husband asked, "Are you sure that's the same horse?"

A lot of people get these OTTB's not realizing that their nutritional needs are a lot different than your stock bred horses and easier keepers. And get way in over their heads, and this poor guy suffered for his owner's lack of knowledge on proper feeding and nutrition. She honestly thought he wasn't skinny, either. I don't know how you can look at this horse and say he looks the picture of good health...
 

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A lot of people get these OTTB's not realizing that their nutritional needs are a lot different than your stock bred horses and easier keepers. And get way in over their heads, and this poor guy suffered for his owner's lack of knowledge
Agree that people go in ignorant, horses suffer for it, but I don't agree they have different nutritional needs, and they can indeed just as easily be 'easy keepers' when fed/managed right. It's the way they are fed & managed as racehorses that tends to cause gut probs, turning them into 'hard keepers'. It is often more about good, 'low GI' feed, free choice hay/grazing & treating the gut issues effectively more than them needing more calories.

I had 2 horses looking on the thin side like that(not that thin but close) at the end of winter this year(that's a first!). One I wasn't worried about - he's usually fat as mud & he was getting enough - albeit just poor - grazing/hay. & they all get regular nutritional supps. He is now fat as mud again, when the grass picked up. The other didn't get as thin as him, but she is an OT horse who's ulcery & so needs TLC. She, like my other horses, actually did fine on the poor grazing & hay... but then dropped off quickly when I ran out of the 'Gastro Aid' & couldn't get any more for a while, that seems to be effectively managing her ulcers(but obviously not getting rid of them completely). As soon as I got more & she'd been getting it for a week or so, she picked up again.

I agisted a while back, at a paddock always full of (too)rich grass. All horses were fat as mud, including a couple of TB's. Then a new girl got an OTTB that was skinny, and being TB, she told us he was innately a 'hard keeper' & so needed large, rich feeds. She expressed her surprise and confusion that there were other fat TB's there that weren't hard fed. She'd come down with a huge bucket for him, once or twice a day, full of grain. She also regularly chopped & changed feeds, because she wasn't seeing him gain any weight after a few weeks, so would declare that feed didn't work & change. He kept losing weight & then one day got a phone call from the property manager that we would need to remove our horses immediately. The TB had died of colic and the girl had told the manager she thought it was due to... botulism or some such, from ducks being in the paddock(I remember asking here at the time about the risk of botulism from ducks...)! So they declared the paddock unsafe for any horse... Unfortunately the girl cried on social media about losing her poor rescue horse & someone gave her another OTTB... which I heard thru the grapevine mysteriously died of colic too.
 

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Good for you!
He's going to turn out to be a fine horse!
And my horses' name is Link too ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
His vet appointment is scheduled, yay! Monday morning at 8:30, for his dental, exam, and fecal. I will let everyone know how it goes.
 
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