Hard Keeper OTTB

This topic contains 20 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  jessica_monks 3 years ago.

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  • ZenType Original Poster
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    So I own an older (19-year old) OTTB Gelding. This summer he had dropped weight due to a few factors. Now I have been slowly putting on weight. He is currently on 10 lbs of Kent Dynasty Senior Feed, 4 flakes of hay at night, Smartgain 4 (Regular dose), and as much hay/grass as he grazes over the day. I’m wondering what you guys use on your hard-keepers. I am at a boarding barn so I am not the one that feeds him, so I need to find something easy to feed (Beet pulp would be difficult for me to request). Thanks!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    Assuming his teeth are OK and there aren’t any other health issues that might prevent weight gain I like beet pulp for added bulk and calories. Definitely understand the complexity of something like that in a boarding situation but in the past I’ve used shredded beet pulp because it didn’t require the soak time that pelleted beet pulp does. You can also try adding in alfalfa if it’s an option and he tolerates it well.

    ZenType Original Poster
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    Yea I should have commented. He is current on dental and has no health issues. Yea we tried alfalfa :/ his body could not handle it

    Leslie Leslie
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 44

    I have an OTTB who is a hard keeper and I feed Triple Crown Senior. If it is available in your area I think it’s a great option. Since switching him he eats 1/3-1/2 the amount he ate in his previous feed and looks great. It is actually designed to be able to feed by itself without hay if needed – for an older horse who can’t chew hay anymore, for example… very high in fiber and no grain, so it is very safe to increase as needed.


    Edited to add: it is also about 300 calories more per pound than the Kent, so just switching 1:1 would give him 3000 more calories.

    Another option could be adding hay stretcher. Easy to feed and does not need to be soaked, and haven’t met a horse that doesn’t like it.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Leslie Leslie.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Leslie Leslie.

    www.createdbyleslie.com - handmade custom wood-burned brushes, stall signs, & portraits, etched glasses, and custom stuffed ponies

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    I can also put a plug in for TC Senior. I have a fat, barefoot, 30 yo American TB mare and a 25 yo fat athletic TB gelding. Both have been on TCS for as long as they’ve been here, 15 and 7 years respectively. I swear by it! The mare gets about 8 lbs per day and the gelding, 10 but he has dental issues and difficulty consuming enough hay. But he’s fat : )

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by pheets pheets.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by pheets pheets. Reason: lame proof reading

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I am not sure what area of the country you are in and what feeds may or may not be available to you. but what we feed to all of our OTTB’s here at our rescue is a mix of Nutrena Feeds and Purina feeds both make excellent Senior and performance feed blends that mesh well and when mixed create a wonderful fat filled complete feed that is made to be feed with or without grass hay for those horse who can not chew them well or are in areas where the forage may be of poor quality. we have several here that are in there 30’s that we still ride and are fat and healthy….. they get this mix split in a 2 to 3 gal per day feed ration…. keep in mind the more times per day a horse can be fed parts of their ration the better they benefit from it. I know you said you board your horse, but is it possible to maybe run by on a lunch break and give him some of his ration or to have a family member or a friend that would be willing to do it for you? Nature built horses to be grazers… to eat small meals all day long and then man comes along and locks them up in stalls or small dry lots/paddocks and rations their feed. In my 25 years of experience working with older or neglected horses it has been the added feedings of a quality feed that have helped to put weight on the safest and fastest. the reason I use Nutena and Purina is these companies have been around for a long time and have billion dollar research facilities they have done all of guess work for me they have tested and measured and the tested again to make sure the feeds they market are the best quality and the safest for horses as they can be… I have not found adding beet pulp to the horses ration to be very helpful…. with Purina it is their Amplify pellet and with Nutrena it is their measured ingredients that seem to help or horses best. equal parts: Nutrena’s Safe choice Preform (purple bag), Purina’s healthy Edge Active Senior horse (white bag with blue writing). in addition to regular de-wormings and dental care. you would never guess these horses (in the photos) are in their mid. 30’s

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    I’m on the Triple Crown boat.
    And since you like the idea of beet pulp, it would be good for you, since it is highly based with shredded beet pulp. And like has been said in a previous reply can be used as a full feed. They also have other types of feed too. The complete might be nice for you to try. It’s very similar to the Senior, just has oats and some corn in it. Where the senior has no oats and no corn.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    I have to say, I also am on the Triple Crown boat!

    My OTTB is on the TC Complete…..first ingredient: Beet Pulp! I am lucky that he doesn’t need a whole lot, as it is expensive, but you do get what you pay for! Unlike some brands, they use the exact same ingredients in every single bag–they don’t change the fillers around at all. And in cold months with a little hot water….he thinks it’s the best mash ever!

    PiaffeNPassage PiaffeNPassage
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    Have you treated for ulcers? If not, absolutely do as nearly 99% of horses coming off the track have ulcers.

    I too am a personal Triple Crown Senior fan! 🙂

    Will he eat more hay in his stall?

    Owned by Imperious 1997 ArabXFriesian Gelding

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had a OTTB gelding I got when he was over 300# underweight. I started him on Farnam Weight Booster and a mixture of Purina Senior and Purina Safechoice, along with free choice grain. He did wonderfully and put on weight like crazy. You may also want to try giving him his grain in a mash rather than hard, it will be easier for him to chew and digest that way. OTTB’s eat a lot more than your typical horse due to accelerated metabolisms. Make sure you’re giving him a fair amount of grain in proportion with his body weight and his height. Best of luck!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    You could also add rice bran, I prefer the Poulin brands but am not sure if it’s available where you are. They make a shredded beet pulp with soy. I like the high fat low, high protein, with low starch diets.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    Sounds like you have Reasoning for the waight loss. Either way
    at that age you may want to look for signs of Cushings. With my first old boy one major sign was the inability to be conditioned despite a regular work regiment … These horses can get ribby. Certainly something you’d want to aware of in the future if not now. Something I only wish my boy could have been diagnosed with way earlier than he had.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  AmyJean.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  AmyJean.
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Here’s my 2 cents

    I have the worlds hardest Keeper TB, she’s picky, skinny and can blink off 100 pounds if she’s in the mood.

    Hope this helps you!

    Situation Assesment:
    Fecal Egg count Check? (Worms)
    Sand Fecal Check? (can be done at home just google it!)
    Ulcer Check? You don’t necessarily have to get scoped but a 5 day round of ulcer guard you may see some behavior changes that mean you had ulcers so keep treating. (Stress ulcers don’t help you gain weight)

    A healthy Sand Clear regimin (double dose for 10 days) can work wonders!
    Also when they’re really skinny I add Redcel to their regimin, not sure what in it (Iron/Vitamin supplement) helps but it’s stopped the weight loss on some of my worst rescues.

    I like Dynasty, the Sr is a 14/6 so if you’re trying to up weight you have a few options…

    1 You can add a source of fat (not weight gainers as they are mostly fluff) only add things 90% fat or higher to make it worth the $. I prefer Cool Calories or even rice bran, but cool calories is cheaper. When we are in winter I add up to 4 scoops per day (tiny scoop) of cool cals. It’s pure vegetable fat so there’s no limit to what you can feed.

    2 You can try another feed, I have a picky eater, everyone said TC complete because it’s so high in fat, but she won’t eat it. So after trying dozens of feeds! I’m now cheering for Blue Seal Sentiel LS (Green Bag) It’s easy to soak if needed and it’s 12 protien, 12 fat. You can safely feed up to 4 scoops (standrad 3qt scoop) per day in feedings. I generally do 2 scoops twice per day.

    3. You can add a third meal if you have time. Go for an alfalfa pellet + beet pulp meal is a tummy pleaser.

    4. Fiber, I can’t say enough about fiber! Forage first, so either 24 hr grass or at least 24 access to good hay will help. ADM nutrition’s “Forage First” concept was huge to me in college and though I don’t feed their brand of grain the concept sticks, Feed ALL the forage you can then supplement with grain.

    Hope any of that helps!

    JerseyGirl JerseyGirl
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I have tried almost everything everyone has suggested and I have had the most success with:

    AM: 4 lb Total Equine, 1 lb of oats, smartgain 4, smartgut, and smartomega, 1 cup of corn oil, regular grass hay and peanut hay.

    PM: 4 lb Total Equine, 1 lb of oats, 1 cup of corn oil, regular grass hay and peanut hay.

    With turnout at night and in a stall during the day so she’s inside with a fan while it is really hot.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 8

    I’ve got a hard keeper too. She has to be on grass hay because alfalfa makes her colic. I gave her cocosoya for a while, and it really worked well. You could try that, but start slow. It’s got a strong smell and taste so it takes a while for them to get used to it. Maybe try that?

    Also, make sure his digestive tract is in good working order. You could try a digestive supplement that will help his body use more of what he eats.

    One last thing that isn’t so much fun: try decreasing his work load, just until he’s at a good weight. Don’t ignore him completely, just take it easy so that he can pack on the pounds instead of working them off. Then, when he’s at a good weight, go back up to his regular work load and keep him on a maintenance dose of whatever you give him for weight gain.

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