Join the conversation! Login or register to ask your question or help a fellow rider.
Call us 24/7 - 1-800-461-8898

Weight maintnance

This topic contains 36 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  peggy_lewis 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • Author
  • Tara214 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    We recently bought a 7 year old mare for my daughter. She looked fine when we bought her but she has steadily been losing weight. she gets 4 pds of high protein feed a day and hay everyday. Our pasture is low on grass, so she doesn’t eat much in the pasture. But here’s the kicker it takes her 2 to 4 hours to eat feed alone and she is super picky. Her teeth do not need to be floated, but she does drop feed. she is “ribby”, with a big belly, but she also has high hip bones. she puts on weight and drops it just as easily. My mom said to try red cell but my ex-husbands father said it will make her “jumpy” and my daughter cannot handle anymore of a horse because she is a beginner rider. Any and all ideas, without the nasty comments are welcome. Thank you.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Tara214.
    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    When was the mare last wormed? You don’t mention that, so if she has not been wormed recently, that might be worth looking into.

    Are you feeding her the same now as she was being feed by her previous owners. Did she take that long to eat when under their care. Most horses gobble their food, and the problem is to slow them down, not speed them up.

    Is she an only horse? Horses are by nature herd animals, and some horses just don’t function well as an only horse. However, you don’t have to add a 2nd horse. Many race horses live with, share a stall at home & at the race track with a goat. Goats make good companions, are great at eating weeds horses don’t eat, and generally make good companions.

    Tara214 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    She was just wormed. No we have 1 other horse. Her previous owners fed her rations. And I don’t know if she ate slowly when they had her or not, I never thought to ask them how quickly she ate her food.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    I wasn’t very clear before. Are you feeding the same grain or mixed feed as she was being fed before, and the same amount of grain. Are you feeding the same hay she was getting before & the same amount? Not all hays have the same nutritional value. Is she doing more work now, or more? She could need more food if she is being ridden more.

    Some horses are like some people and can easily drop weight. You might want to check with the previous owners if this has ever happened before. If she has always been a slow eater, and she is on the same food she was on, have you had her checked for ulcers? How long has she been at your place, and has she settled in well?

    Tara214 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    No we started feeding her a higher protein grain and type of food in the attempt to get her to gain weight in a higher amount. She isn’t getting rode right now but about once a week for about 2 hours. I may need to call them and see, and the symptoms for ulcers do indeed fit her, so I am going to lower the amount of feed and up her hay amount. And have her checked out with my local vet. I also think the fact that she is 7 and has been around the same horses her entire life including her dam may have stressed her. Thank you for all your help.

    Lizzie Lou
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 14

    What does the veterinarian think? Purina has a good food for helping TB’s with muscling the top line. . I cannot think of the name right now, but it is fairly new to them, like a year or two old, I think. Some TB horses look skinny when all they need is nutritional help for the toplt line, and others look ribby when it is a lot of fat between the ribs giving that look; but I don’t expect that with a TB. . Sorry if my posts look weird as I’m using my phone and it doesn’t play nice when I try to correct or delete something.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    If she does have ulcers, the best hay to feed is alfalfa as it is the easiest on the stomach lining. If her temperament is too high then I suggest a mix of what you are currently using and alfalfa. As for the weight problem, my picky gelding has the same problem- he gains weight but looses it just as quickly (usually due to stress) what works for him is twice a day rice bran mixed in with his regular grain (again, easier on the stomach) and two cups of soy oil with the feed. It’s important to use soy as corn/canola have been linked to inflammation. Also, when starting oil one must only feed a small amount and slowly increase it to a larger amount or the horse will have diahreea. I hope this helped and best of luck.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Please watch how your horse sheds out this spring. Your horse could be developing metabolic syndrome and if so, they often get an extra wooly coat that seems to take forever to shed out. Horses with early metabolic syndrome can either get thick over the neck/mane area and have fat deposits sometimes looking like a lumpy butt OR some horses start dropping weight and have a big belly. Protein is necessary to build muscle regardless of what’s going on, but if your horse has metabolic syndrome you need a low starch feed…no sweet feed ever. I had a gelding that dropped weight very quickly and we had a double problem…metabolic syndrome and ulcers.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    You say you got her “recently” – how recent?
    I don’t have a care suggestion – but believe she may just be a little “stressed” (depressed) due to the changes (“she is 7 and has been around the same horses her entire life including her dam”) and now she is alone.

    Basically you just weaned her – away from “mom” for first time.
    I personally like to groom on horses when they are feeding (untied in paddock).
    They are standing still, can check for ticks, and is a great time for bonding. Perhaps this might help speed her up – not feeling “lonely” when she is eating .
    Just a thought.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    The big belly can be a sign that the mare is having trouble digesting the hay so it stays in her digestive system longer, which could be due to a problem with her or the fact that the hay is not good quality. It can look good and clean but still not have much nutrient value. You can get this checked through your local ag extension agent or university. Also, if she is ribby, she needs more fat in her diet, either through additives such as oil or pellets/nuggets, or by getting a feed with higher fat value. You can find good feeds which have higher fat (for the weight issue) and protein (for the topline) that are also lower in sugar and starch (higher sugar or starch, given as NSC value, will create the excess energy you don’t want for your daughter’s horse). I would suggest looking at whatever feed brands are easy to get in your area, and then research their feed types and talk to their feed rep or nutritionist for your area. Four lbs of feed a day in the winter especially is not much for a big horse that needs weight, so make sure you are feeding amounts according to the recommendations on the feed tag. Ulcers could be an issue causing the mare to eat slowly, or she may just not like the feed. Your vet should eliminate any health issues, such as tooth problems, ulcers, or wormy issues thru fecal exam. We used ranitidine prescribed by vet on several horses suspected of having ulcers last year and it really helped their attitudes and comfort.
    Hope these suggestions help. Best wishes in getting your horse healthy for your daughter.

    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    If your mare is otherwise said to be healthy by your veterinary, I feed Purina Strategy to my hard keeper. I feed the amount my vet recommended In winter months I add one pound of Grow N Win to the regular measure of Strategy each feeding to add calories and improve muscle per my vet.

    There is also a product called Cool Calories you can use rather than the Grow N Win to add fat calories to a hard keeper. You would only use Cool Calories or Grow N Win not both.

    I have just started Cool Calories to see how well it works so I can’t comment on it just yet. Grow N Win pelleted feed does a great job.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I would give her a Power Pak, my Vet usually recommends this, then maybe have her teeth checked again by an equine dentist. Maybe they were done incorrectly. Maybe have a vet look at her if these things don’t work. Good luck.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    You’re not mentioning if you’re feeding the way the old owner did. You may have drastically changed her feed and that’s a big no-no.

    1, put in a call to the old owner and ask exactly how they fed her and make necessary adjustments
    2, have a fecal test done to check for worms
    3, start feeding her FORCO which is great to help horses digest their feed
    4, I know you say her teeth need no work, but have you really had the vet check them.
    5, treat her for sand

    These are my first instincts in adjustments for you to make for her.

    Good luck and rapid weight loss is very dangerous.

    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Oh yes! I like Vicki Fraser’s idea of having another vet look at the horses teeth! Two hours or more to eat 4 pounds of feed seems extremely long.

    All the responses that suggest calling the previous owner are great ideas too.

    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    Oh yes! I like Vicki Fraser’s idea of having another vet look at the horses teeth! Two hours or more to eat 4 pounds of feed seems extremely long.

    All the responses that suggest calling the previous owner are great
    ideas too.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Healthy Horses  ❤  Happy Riders