maintaining weight

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  lil_judd 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Bethprz Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    I am worried about keeping weight my senior ottb. He was a neglect case and his teeth are bad and can’t chew hay. I have him on hard keeper, weight builder, hay stretcher, and cosequin. Any other suggestions?

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Is his grain the type that can be watered down for a good soggy mash? I have two elder/dental cases here and I feed Triple Crown Senior, watered down significantly to a soft mush and have no weight issues with either. One is 30, the other 27 and both are heavier than they need to be. Both are TBs. For MY horses, water/soft mash seems to be the key.

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

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    In addition to what Pheets suggested, you might want to consider hay cubes, with plenty of water added to them. We use these for several of our older horses, and have no weight problems with any of them. My boy has excellent teeth (per dentist), but I give him cubes and TC Senior because he is NOT an easy keeper. These are in addition to his regular feed and hay, and I give them as a “lunch” with his SmartPak supplements, because I feel the best way to be sure he gets them is to do it myself.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe. Reason: forgot something

    It is never the horse's fault

    Bethprz Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    Thanks guys,
    And yes his feed is watered down. I had someone suggest to me that it could be an ulcer and I should have him scoped. That may be my next step.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    I agree with Pheets, a mash will greatly help.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had the very same problem you are experiencing a few years ago with my mare. After a lot of research I discovered that most brands of hay stretcher are mostly oat hulls and soybean hulls. They are both fillers and give your horse very little, to no nutrition. Once I switched to premium hay pellets (only ingredient is dry cut grass) my girl started gaining. The pellets also come in half hay half alfalfa. To my surprise the hay pellets even costed less than the hay stretcher (yay)! I give them to her twice a day with her normal feed. I wet it all to a mush. Hope this helps 🙂


    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Last year I took in a 16.2 hand 29 year old emaciated mare to help a friend. Because she was very high strung and had lost most of her winter hair due to stress, she was a challenge to say the least. Within two months she looked like a new horse – still old and swayed, but new shiny hair and quality substance covering her bones. So I’ll pass along what I learned in hopes it will help you.
    Transition to new feed/supplements slowly. Include the best probiotics you can afford (I used Forco). To get the vitamins and supplements in her I added them to a warm mash made from soaked alfalfa pellets with a bit of molasses and salt to help with electrolytes; I also added some of her senior feed (I used LMF Gold/Senior complete. At first I had to give this 2-3 times a day to get her back on her feet and in small amounts so it was a ‘goody’. I soaked her hay initially, we have amazing quality hay here in Central Oregon so that helped. Everything was done in small amounts because she was so distracted it would go to waste. Of course, worming and vet care are important factors, as well as just rubbing her all over each day…old ponies have a hard time scratching all those hard to reach places or getting down to roll.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have been down this road a couple of times now with older horses who are unable to chew their hay. OTTB are more challenging because some are nervous and that makes keeping weight on more difficult. Thoroughbreds do better if they can graze over a longer period of time. This settles down their nervousness and helps keep the weight on. If they have no teeth that can be difficult.
    If you’re in the Midwest there is a great product called Envision by Progressive feeds. It is designed for keeping weight on race horses without making them hot. It is mainly flax seed and no carbs.
    Additionally I don’t feed hay cubes – I find these are too hard for the horse to chew and take too long to soak. My preference is hay pellets. Specifically quarter inch alfalfa pellets and oat hay pellets soaked for only a couple of minutes makes them easy to chew and you don’t have to worry about the unchewed ones being eaten and expanding in their digestive system causing issues. Soaking is required for these older horses. Plus the moisture helps keep the colic away. This is the main feed for my older ones and with some added grain such as Envision, the weight has stayed on nicely without issue.
    One 14 hand horse is on three large scoops of mixed pellets soaked daily and one large scoop of grain. This is a good mash in which to be able to add your supplements. This mixture has kept the weight on nicely.
    If you can’t get Envision – try adding Nutrena Safe Choice Senior to the daily feed. Safe choice is carb free and designed for older horses to be able to eat knowing older horses need the calories without the carbs.
    Stay away from oatmo as it can give them too much energy – which isn’t good for the older guys in the mud or on the ice.
    This is what I have used successfully for more than one senior horse over the last 15 years without the teeth to eat hay. We have rescued various OTTB horses, all of whom needed more weight. The Envision is awesome but you can’t get it everywhere unfortunately.
    Hope that helps you. It’s helped me.

    Blue Ribbion Baby
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    When my horse came to a new stable she was so underweight but she is only 9 so she would eat. Yes mushed up grain with water for mush or Apple suace will help your horse. Also alphalfa cubes will help since when soaked are soft and a great weight gainer.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    Beet pulp watered down with hay cubes and pellets. Also, slow feeder so you can supply your horse with feed on a more 24 hour like schedule.

    Also, if truly an ulcer – – call your vet. You should have contacted your vet on this issue. Or a horse nutrition specialist

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