November 12, 2016 at 10:46 am
My Senior horse (age 27 – full turnout, 15.3 and 94″ from nose to tail) had started losing weight last winter. Vet ran bloodwork, fecal exams, checked his hooves, floated his teeth, etc. and he’s a perfectly healthy old boy. He’s always been at a score of 5 (based on score 1-9). Last year, he dropped down to about a 4 and getting too close to 3 for my comfort, but it was unnoticeable until he started losing his winter fur. His hair gets very thick, much more than the other horses he’s been boarded with in the past. It’s difficult to feel his ribs when his coat is thick. I started noticing it in his topline. He gained majority of the weight and I’ve been trying to increase his topline, but still has not increased to my liking. He’s been on proteins, smartpak supplements with exercise, etc. Now it’s getting colder here in upstate NY and he’s starting to lose weight again. Last winter to now, he’s been boarded with a 11 year old horse. They are buddies, but the 11 year old eats much faster than my 27 year old. I give them a minimum of 2% per horse per day of hay per (about 50-60lbs) for both with my 27 year old getting 1.5 lbs of hay cubes twice per day (3 lbs total), plus I’ve started giving him grain (now up to 1/2 scoop = 0.85 lbs now) twice per day with hay cubes along with his supplements. I try to give them enough hay to last them all day until the next feeding, but lately, they’ve been eating (more like devouring) it in under the 12 hour time span (about 10 hours). They hay is in 2 hay nets about 12-14 lbs each net at 6:30am and 14-16lbs at 5:30pm. The 11 year old eats it much faster than my 27 year old. I tested them with 2 50lb bales and they devoured both bales over the course of the day. Each way approx 1150-1250lbs, the younger is a chubbo.
FYI, the 11 year old horse will be moving to a different place in early January. But until then…
I’m considering making the run-in into 2 sections and building a stall on 1-side for my 27 year old during the overnight hours (about 8pm to 6:30am) so he can eat all he wants without interference from the 11 year old. My dilemma is that if I split the run-in into 2 sections, it will only be 8 x 12 for the stall and 7.5 x 12 for the open side for the other horse. I can move over 16″ increasing the size to 9.25ft x 12ft for the stall, but this makes the open area for the other horse at about 6.25ft x 12ft and, I feel, it’s not big enough for the other horse who is slightly longer than than my 27 year old. It hasn’t snowed yet, and no snow in the forcast right now, but nights are down in the upper 20s and will get below zero by January.
I cannot build another run-in or barn at this time. That is not an option.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you 🙂
November 12, 2016 at 3:49 pmJoe-JoeTopics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205
- This topic was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by BUTLERJANY.
Can you get round bales? I have two pigs and three normal eaters, and they are all doing fine with the round bale, which is a lot larger and easily accessed by all.
It is never the horse's faultNovember 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm
I thought of that, but currently we don’t have a large enough tractor and there is no one nearby who will deliver round bales with a tractor. We have no way of getting round bales up to the pasture. It’s an incline the entire way, so not an option to roll them up and have no place to store round bales. Thank you!November 12, 2016 at 6:05 pmJoe-JoeTopics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205
I don’t have a tractor at all. The hay man puts it in the bed of the truck, and we drive into the field, tie a rope to the bale and the other end to a tree, and just drive out from underneath it. Laziness being the mother of invention!
It is never the horse's faultDecember 3, 2016 at 12:08 pmpfladyTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25
I am not a fan of round bales, especially for only two horses. It might mold before they eat it all. Although 8 x 12 is tight for a stall, if he is in there only part of the day, and eating, he may not mind it. After all, in some places, horses are kept tied in standing stalls. My main concern would be that it would be difficult for him to lie down and sleep. If he had any suitable open space in which to lie down during part of the day, that wouldn’t be a problem.December 3, 2016 at 1:14 pmBob&HerdTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7
Your description of your 27 year old’s top line loss seems consistent with his age as he goes through the muscle wasting process of a senior horse. It’s probably inevitable that he will take on a ribby look/feel. His digestive system is becoming less efficient at processing and metabolizing food. Some of the changes would also be consistent with Cushings, if that has not been ruled out. You are on the right track trying to give him unlimited free-choice hay both to help him keep weight on and staying warm at night. You might consider soaked beet pulp. Back to the question of the stall, I think 8×12 is adequate as long as he can lie down and get up. If he messes his stall, it may be hard for him to have a place to lie down away from manure & Urine. With the cold, and likelihood that he may lie down at times, good flooring, ventilation,and dust-free hay and bedding are important.December 6, 2016 at 12:04 amriding for ChristTopics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118
I read that your feeding .85 pounds. I feed my horses at least 5 pounds of grain once a day with free choice on hay. My horses do really good on Total Equine. I suggest this feed to everyone because horses get the most out of it.
A 8×12 stall is a good size.January 18, 2017 at 4:41 pmmorgan_skillingTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6
Triple Crown Senior is a fantastic grain feed – but you’ll need to feed 6 pounds a day to start with and adjust from there. Soaked alfalfa cubes are a great source of protein and complex energy. You can add some rice bran oil – either liquid or pellets – for a good extra source of fat that is easily digestible. And all the grass hay he can eat, of course.
Since the other horse is leaving I wouldn’t necessarily worry about a stall.
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.March 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm
Thank you all for your replies.
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