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Some info: My mare is 20 years old, registered AQHA. She is UTD on Coggins and vaccinations, trimming, worming and floating. But she is somewhat difficult to keep weight on.

Is there anything I can add to her feed to help her gain weight that won't cost me an arm and a leg? She is currently on free choice hay and Purina Senior feed.
 

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What kind of hay is she on?

My older, hardkeeper TB mare maintains her weight very well on soaked alfalfa cubes in addition to her regular grain and free choice timothy/orchard hay.
 

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The best way to get weight on a horse is pasture. If that's not possible, beet pulp is high in fat and will put weight on quickly. Other than that just keep free choicing her hay and her weight should pick up.
 

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Beet pulp is not high in fat. It's actually very low in fat and sugars (unless you buy beet pulp w/mollasses), and high in fiber. It's FULL of calories, which would also be good to put weight on. It's between hay and grain when it comes to calories per pound
 

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Look for Triple Crown SEnior. It is an amazing feed that does wonders where Purina fails :)
 

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Rice bran is also excellent at putting weight on a horse. I have found that with hard keepers it is actually cheaper to add this to feed rather than giving the horse excessive feed. Follow the instructions on feeding though becuase too much of rice bran is not good for the horse. It has been a while since I have had a horse on it so I don't remember exactly how much you are not to exceed a day- I "think" it is a pound. The rice bran also puts a gorgeous coat on a horse!
 

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What is she eating right now? Her diet could be causing her to lose weight. I know with my "hard keeper", it's a LOT harder to keep weight on him if I use sweet feed or any feed that contains corn, oats, or molasses. Once I took him off all those things, he was no longer a hard keeper!

Dental issues can also cause a horse to lose condition. Senior horses often need more frequent teeth floating.
 

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Follow the instructions on feeding though becuase too much of rice bran is not good for the horse. It has been a while since I have had a horse on it so I don't remember exactly how much you are not to exceed a day- I "think" it is a pound.
It's 2 lbs a day for the max amount. Most horses do well on one pound though.
 

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Rice bran and flax seed are supposed to be good for weight gain, along with making their coats shiny and helping them build lean muscle. I've never used them myself but I've been told they work great. Also, I would be wary of some senior feeds because a lot of them are packed with sugar. Read labels carefully.

My trainer gives her 33 year old horse Safe Choice pellets and it's worked the best out of all the grain she's tried. You just have to find what works best for your individual horse.
 

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I feed my 31 yr old blind half toothless appy a pelleted feed called Total Equine. It can be fed from 2# twice a day up to 6# twice a day for horses who cannot eat anything else. It's not cheap tho and not available everywhere. If you can get it, I highly recommend it tho.

Other feeds I have and do use in addition to smaller amounts (2-4# twice daily) of TE.... Alfalfa pellets are great, sometimes you have to soak them if the horse lacks chewing power, ie molars. and also I highly recommend Beet Pulp. Shreds are best, imo as they provide better fiber that way. My old horse also chews around on prairie grass hay that I have cut up into 4" long pieces.... Yes it's a pita... I only give him around a flake twice daily as he gets enough poundage via the Beet pulp and Total Equine to sustain him. He won't eat the Alf Pellets anymor, cuz he's a pita. ;)

So the least expensive way would be adding Beet Pulp.. It can be feed free choice once they are eating it..
 

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I feed rice bran to all my horses Equi-Jewel main

I started feeding it to my horse with insulin resistance because the I-R caused him to lose weight.

He and everyone else stay plump on 3/4 cup daily, along with other supplements, grass hay and pasture.

A quality vit/min supplement is needed when feeding rice bran:)

Just an FYI, she is 20 and is at a prime age to develop metabolic issues such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome, insulin resistance and cushings.

The horse in my avatar was 19 when the insulin resistance exploded on him. He lost about 80# in six weeks and that is when a degreed equine nutritionist that owns a local feed company told me to him on equine rice bran "five minutes ago" :shock:

Point-being it is possible your horse is in the early stages of some metabolic issues and feeding her as if she is will not hurt her.

That means no grains or molasses. The less sugars and starches that go into the better.

Giving her a high quality pre/probiotic will also help her digest her food properly.

I feed this to my I-R horse Optamax™: medvetpharm

I buy it thru United Equine Vet Supplies; they have an on-line catalogue.

He gets one ounce daily, the recommended amount for stressed horses.

Hope this helps:)
 

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try rice bran/cool calories just stop them when you are done with them cause they WILL keep on gaining weight!!! :)
 
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