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Which of these should I go for if any?

  • Alfalfa Pellets Only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stay on Strategy, have patience

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Alfalfa Pellets with oil added

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Switch to new food entirely

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Add beet root to Strategy diet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Neither!! (New suggestion)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently adopted a 20 year old Belgian draft horse. He was an amish rescue, and is underweight. His teeth have been checked, recently, he was dewormed, and according to all I've been told, is healthy as. Well, a horse. I might be being impatient-but I have yet to see any significant progress, in the couple months that he's been on it. Besides his topline blossoming with the work we've been doing, his ribs still show and there's that very obvious pit in between his ribs and his hip area. He's currently on Purina Strategy, 4 pounds day and night, is pasture boarded, and has free choice hay. I asked around a couple groups I'm in on Facebook and people have given a variety of answers. I've heard beet root is wonderful, I've heard switch from Purina to just straight alfalfa pellets, switch to Ultium (Purina as well), pellets with flax oil. At a loss of what would work best. I'm seeing if I can find any nutritionists out near me, but I'm hoping to get a bit more advice on here? I'm waiting to get him fitted for a saddle because I'm nervous about it fitting him currently with his current body type. Any and all advice is welcome! Two first pictures show what i mean now the third is from before I had him
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At 20 it will be a struggle. Free choice hay is a good start. I mix bermuda and peanut in winter as I'm in the deep south. 24/7 access to pasture year round as well as 3 feedings. Either peanut hay or alfalfa of some sort at feed time during summer. A topline specific supplement to insure they get the amino acids they need and a fat supplement for added calories year round. I used ProAdd Elite and Senior Weight Accelerator. Feed wise they got Proforce Fuel or Ultium depending on availability. I've also fed the Purina Senior Performance. Once they are out of work and lose the bulk of their muscle then reconditioning needs happen slowly and don't expect to see the muscle they had in youth unless you can get them back into that same level workwise. Use it or lose it truly applies. And building it back as a Senior doesn't happen as it does in youth. Likely he won't put on much more muscle with just riding. This is mine at 26ish with light logging in addition to riding. Not the muscle she had when younger doing farming, logging and carriage work. Once she stopped logging and was only ridden she looked more like your boy. She passed at 30.

You can kind of see the hollows behind her withers and lack of heavier muscling along the topline. She's also sporting her winter coat that hides things.
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Hay hay and more hay. Alfalfa and grass hay of good qualiy. You do not want to use grain. Get his teeth floated, wormed and that sheath cleaned . If you use any supplement I would get a nsc senior feed. You can add veggy corn olive oil to rice bran , sr feed.
 

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Ive had excellent luck rehabbing older Amish drafts with good pasture, free choice hay and adding fat, vitamin e and amino acids to soaked hay pellets. I second the no grain. I prefer canola oil if I’m needing a cheaper oil, as it has a better balance of omegas. I’ve used manna pro cool calories 100 too…a lot less messy than oil As it’s powder. Don’t forget minerals either… I personally offer free choice loose mineral mixed by my local feed mill, but have used Nutrena or Purina non medicated cattle minerals in the past.

If you are new to drafts, check out Rural Heritage Draft owners manual by Beth Valentine.
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Here are a couple of my senior ex Amish drafts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hay hay and more hay. Alfalfa and grass hay of good qualiy. You do not want to use grain. Get his teeth floated, wormed and that sheath cleaned . If you use any supplement I would get a nsc senior feed. You can add veggy corn olive oil to rice bran , sr feed.
Teeth have been done, was wormed recently and I've since addressed his sheath. That was my first thought was his teeth, but we might end up doing alfalfa pellets in case he's having issues digesting the hay he does eat.
 

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ManaPro Max-E-Glo.
Get the pellets, and mix 50:50 with Strategy, or Purina Senior. Feed 3-4lb 2X per day, along with free-choice hay.
 

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I had trouble with the MaxEGlo going bad eventhough stabilized but that was more the size bag and that it wasn't kept indoors because of size it came in/amount to feed. Better with their Senior Weight Accelerator as I could keep that indoors easily. I did like the MaxEGlo results. I found same results with ground flax. I'd buy the non stabilized and only feed in winter when it would keep. Saved $$.
 

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Hi! I would give him hay but not a bunch of it because it is hard for old horses to chew. When my 20 some odd horse got skinny I would give him senior grain, doesn't matter what brand. I would also soak beet pulp in water overnight. Then I would mix the soaked beet pulp and senior grain. Sometimes I would put soaked alfalfa pellets in there too. One thing I learned having a old horse is if you have them on grass and they have plenty of it they keep there weight on really well.
Hope this helps!
 

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When my 20 some odd horse got skinny I would give him senior grain, doesn't matter what brand.
The problem with this is the horse having a issue is a draft horse and draft horses are/need fed differently than other types of riding horses because of their endocrine systems.
Grain, feed and many drafts do not go well together...
If you do end up feeding feed it does make a huge difference the brand and recipe, that makes the ratio numbers seen on a bag back critical to feeding safer or asking for great trouble to find you. This is actually true no matter what breed of horse but much more critical in drafts.
Recipes from the different manufacturers and specific style of food make huge differences in many a horses life..
Proceed with great caution when feeding a draft horse feed or grain....
🐴....
 

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Empower boost is better than the Max E glo in my opinion. Higher fat content. If you must feed grain use a high quality low nsc performance feed.
 
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