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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. The past week I have noticed my 6 year old AQHA stallion has dropped weight. His topline is pretty prominent and he is showing ribs. He isn't acting sick or sluggish at all. Up to date trimming, vaccinations, and was just recently wormed(all my horses are kept on a strict worming schedule as well). On 24/7 pasture(approximately 5 acres, by himself) with fresh running water, gets 2 flakes of mixed grass good quality hay(one morning, one night) 1/2 scoop of SafeChoice Maintenance, half scoop of Alfalfa/Oat cubes soaked 2x daily. He is worked irregularly(I just had a baby), and hasn't been ridden/worked in over a month. I have checked his mouth for an abscess and have found nothing.
 

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Could he be worked up by a mare or some change and be pacing? I've seen horses drop weight ridiculously quickly from just pacing.
 

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That what my first though too. It seems this time a year a leaf blows by in a funny way and she goes into heat!
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I'd suspect a mare in heat as well.

But just to be safe have you had blood pulled for a Coggins?
 

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Anytime you have a drastic weight loss, the first thing you should do is assess what is being fed and their current activity level. Is there adequate good forage (minimum 1% of body weight)? Are you feeding a supplement that is appropriate for the horse's age, use and forage and feeding it at the recommended level? Has his activity level changed? If so, has the feeding program changed to meet the needs? If everything looks good in these areas and activity level hasn't changed, then you need to call your vet for an exam. There may be a dental issue or a disease process that is causing the weight loss.

For some horses in the south, I have seen the extreme heat of the summer and bug trouble lead to eating less and weight loss. I have a gelding that drops weight every summer because he is miserable. He is very sensitive to bug bites and unless he is kept as bug free as possible he will drop weight every year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The heat I think is a factor. It is low/mid 90's with heat index of around 110 most days. Very humid as well. He's been pastured by himself for a while now but really noticed a drop when the temperature started getting high plus the humidity. He honestly doesn't pace much, he'll go to the fence and nicker when a mare comes to it but usually never paces for over an hour when said mare leaves. He's a really chill stud. He just had a coggins pulled three months ago, negative. Teeth were floated just under a year ago. He's on 5 acres by himself, getting 2 flakes of mixed grass hay, 1/2 scoop of Safechoice, 1/2 scoop of alfalfa/oat cubes 2x daily. Not worked daily, maybe once a week if that due to me having a baby.
 

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How much grass, hay and concentrate feeds are you giving by weight? What does your horse weight and should he weigh? Scoops and flakes are of little use when determining whether a feeding program is adequate because the weights can vary. 1 flake of hay can weight 10 lb while another may weight 2-3 lbs. The same with concentrate feeds, a scoop of one may weigh significantly more or less than another.
 

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I'd check his teeth again, he is young and if it's been a year he is due.

Honestly "doesn't pace more than an hour!" doesn't sound chill to me.

Is he lonely? Can you put a gelding adjacent or in with him?

I do think mare's may be the issues. Stallions are fun.

The heat isn't helping I'm sure.

I am concerned that a young and "healthy" horse would drop that much weight that quickly. Doesn't sound like he is typically a hard keeper.

I would start with teeth and upping his feed then get the vet out of that doesn't do it. Better safe than sorry.
 

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I had a three year old stallion that was impossible to keep weight on. As he developed, I decided that he would make a nicer gelding than a stallion. Within a few months of the gelding, he started gaining weight. He was too fat for the rest of his life. I think he just worried the weight off of himself because he wasn't getting what he thought he needed.......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
By pacing I mean walking, no trotting, or loping. Doesn't test the fence either. I've had many studs, taken in studs that have never been handled and used to breed for many years(took in a 10 year old, never handled, used to pasture breed 15.1 APHA stud last Spring actually - he would kick, rear up and paw at you, charge at you, etc, by the time we sold him he had impeccable manners, would hand breed easily, was broke to ride, easy to stall, pastured by himself in a one strand electric, pasture adjacent to anyone with no issue). He is no where near "crazy". You want to cuddle? Go see him, he loves cuddles. Loves people. Has never needed a stud chain no matter the occasion - lead him past 5 mares in heat with a grass string around his neck. He can pasture with anyone or anything. Used to cattle, goats, donkeys, mules, geldings, younger studs, bred mares, etc. Doesn't matter to him. My older gelding actually bullies him. He is a cutting/cow bred AQHA, stands 14.1, weighs just under 800 pounds when healthy(he's not a bulldog QH, he's more athletic built). His flakes of hay weigh approximately 7 lbs each, he's getting a full scoop daily of SafeChoice, and a full scoop daily of soaked alfalfa/oats. This is with him not working at all. Not to mention with 5/6 acres of good pasture. Vet checked his teeth when she pulled coggins, said they were fine.
 

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You need to weigh your scoop of grain. It sounds like he is t getting anywhere near enough safe choice. The recommended rate is .75-1lb per 100lbs for a performance horse with moderate exercise(let's pretend that is what he needs to gain weight). So if he needs to weigh 900-1000 lbs + (depending on how thick he is built) he needs 8-10lbs of safe choice a day. My 3qt scoop weighed about 2.5lbs for the safe choice. So two full scoops twice a day or 4 scoops split between three feedings.

That said- none of my horses ever did real well on the safe choice. And my stallion particularly in summer, and really not being anything more than a light performance horse, often needed LOTS of calories and a fat supplement to look good. I think he was able to maintain on 4lbs of triple crown complete during the winter, but we had to up it to 12 lbs(obviously split up into 3 meals) and fat supplements. He wasn't a horrible worrier, but was not anything like keeping a mare or a gelding.
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Even "walking pacing" isn't good.. especially not for an hour!

I'm not saying he is crazy just that the exercise may not be helping. My trainer has an equally quiet and well behaved stallion. He still drops weight.

Is he alone? I can't quite get that part. He may like a buddy-whether in with him or next door.

Despite regular worming have you checked a fecal? Even with good worming programs a horse can come up positive.

How long ago were his teeth checked?

Agree you need to weigh your scoops and yes he may need more SafeChoice, but that said I don't see that as a reason for him to suddenly drop weight like that, there is more going on.
 
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