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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!! I have 5 horses but I am clueless when it comes to their wight. So, would you guys help me figure out who is a healthy weight and who isn't and how to fix it? If so, thank you! I will [pst pics of each horse along with short description :-D

1. Elroy is a 34 yr old ottb. He has free choice hay, grazes all day in the meadow, not blanketed, not worked, lives w/ Jake and the cows.
2. Jake is a large pony(feel free to guess on breed/age) somewhere between 15-20(?). He has free choice hay, grazes all day in the meadow, not blanketed, rarely worked, lives w/ Elroy and the cows.

3. Copper is a 9 yr old miniature horse. Free choice hay, VERY minimal grass, not blanketed, in training, not worked, lives with the other two minis.

4. Misty is a 1.5 yr old miniature horse. Free choice hay, VERY minimal grass, not blanketed, in training, not worked, lives with the other two minis.

5. Bell is a 6 yr old miniature horse. Free choice hay, VERY minimal grass, not blanketed, in training, not worked, lives with the other two minis. Would like to show this summer, if she does well would like to breed later in life.

I don't think any body gets grain but I will ask my dad tomorrow, does anyone need grain/oats??
 

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1. too skinny
2. too fat
3. too fat
4. just right
5. too fat
6. WAY Too fat

Ideal weight is to just be able to feel the ribs when you press lightly on the sides. Check out this link on how to tell if your horse is too thin or too fat. I like to keep mine between a 5 and 6 on the Henneke Scale.
Identifying Horse Conditions - Henneke Scale

Keep in mind that ponies and minis are notorious for being over weight. If they get too fat, you risk founder, laminitis. Cushings can also be a problem with ponies, which is a metabolic disorder.

For your skinny horse, I would supplement him daily with 2-5 lbs of Alfafalfa pellets and 1 cup of corn oil until he weight is good, then cut out the oil and reduce the pellets to 1.5 to 3 lbs a day. One 3qt feed scoop holds about 2.5 lbs of most Alfalfa pellets.

I'd aslo have your vet check his teeth. Older horses often need more frequent dental work, and bad teeth can cause weight loss.

It looks like all of them could use a good deworming. If they haven't been dewormed in the last 6 months, of if you've been using (a single dose) of Pyrantel Promate, Oxibendazole, or Fenbendazole, then I would give them all a double dose of Pyrantel now and Ivermectin + Praziquantel (Zimectrin Gold or Equimax) in 4 weeks. That should clean them out well and give you a clean slate to work with for deworming rotation or fecal test method.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks!! I think elroy needs to have his teeth floated and I'm sure we need to deworm the minis again
 

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You've been given good advice so far, but I do want to mention that for the first one since he is old it'd be a really good idea to get his teeth checked. My guy is 30 and has been having trouble keeping weight on the last 2 winters and his teeth are part of the problem. If this is the case I found Triple Crown Senior to be a huge, huge help with his weight. His energy is way up and he just seems more happy and content. It's made a ton of difference for him. It'd be worth a shot. Good luck! I always love seeing old horses :)
 

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My old horses loved to get warm beet-pulp mixed with their grain (masterfeeds) in the winter , it helped to keep them at a great weight and easy for them to chew when their teeth were gone. I would recommend something like that for the old boy, he deserves it.
 

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34 year old OTTB!! I hope my sweet Puck lives that long!
 

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hi there,i do think number one looks far under weight i would advise a weight gain feed,allen n page calm and condition works well if you have that where you are but they are plenty of weight gain feeds for seniors too,he is a very good age though and obviously happy perhaps teeth checking and a good suitable hard feed regime will just give him bit of help and give him a bit of fat to fight the cold,number 2 is hard to tell with his winter coat'looks well to me though for his age, i do think he is a mature fella thou its hard to tell with his winter beard they all get when there weathered,he's cute,i wouldnt worry too much and he can afford to lose slightly before summer. 3 and 5 look like very good doers they could afford to lose a little but again the winter coat adds to it.none look massively obese but laminitis founder etc are horrible diseases obviously so would watch there weights perhaps more exercise when possible,number 4 looks fine. haylage would help your old guy elroy more protein and nutrients but could fatten jake too much with them being together so perhaps feed elroy little and often each day with a suitable hardfeed and see how he gets on.your bunch are all very cute i have to say and i love the miniatures there adorable .;-}
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thank you!! Copper and Bella are on a diet but I doubt we'lll be able to fatten elroy up considering that he is 34, a tb, and a naturally hard keeper :(.
 

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thank you!! Copper and Bella are on a diet but I doubt we'lll be able to fatten elroy up considering that he is 34, a tb, and a naturally hard keeper :(.

I really think you can. You should really try some sort of senior feed. They have much more nutrition and are much more easy to eat and digest for the older horse. Like I said, Purina Senior worked OK for us, but Triple Crown Senior worked absolute wonders. Definitely have a vet come out and take a look too if at all possible.....
 

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I really think you can. You should really try some sort of senior feed. They have much more nutrition and are much more easy to eat and digest for the older horse. Like I said, Purina Senior worked OK for us, but Triple Crown Senior worked absolute wonders. Definitely have a vet come out and take a look too if at all possible.....
Yes I am trying, I just doubt we will be able to do much
 

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I know you can if you want to, we have done it with senior feeds, supplements, beetpulp and lots of good hay feed properly. I fed the older horses on their own, in stalls in winter and they had plenty of time to eat as they were slower than the others, I also soaked the beetpulp and mixed it with the rest of the food so they almost drank it, they loved it and did very well on it. They got the same in summer but not as much,and fed in the pasture,most of the time, always on their own and 2x a day. They have now passed on and are missed sooo much. I look back and realise how much work it was, but wasnt at the time, and it does cost money. I dont have a fancy place or alot of money but we choose to do without some things to do the things we do with and for our horses. Im just happy I have a hubby that understands. Please dont doubt yourself or the great feeds available before you give them a try. Your vet will work with you to get you on a program or a rep for a fed company. At the age your horse is you need to make sure he is as comfortable as possible,and be aware of the signs of distress. Good luck.
 

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I agree with everything mentioned so far. Particularly in the case of your first guy who is underweight, teeth and worming are key as either one can lead to weight loss. I would definitely recommend starting him on some sort of grain for senior horses. In addition to that, I would strongly recommend blanketing the old guy, at least until he can put more weight on. Horses use a lot of calories trying to stay warm in the winter. Your horse may currently have a hard time keeping warm due to low body fat and what appears to be a lack of calories. Furthermore, blanketing him will then allow for more calories to be devoted to weight gain, allowing you to get weight back on him a little quicker.

One other recommendation for those that are overweight is a grazing muzzle (aside from the obvious reduction in hay). I know most of them aren't on much grass, but the muzzle can help reduce their intake even more.
 
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