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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    106

    Default Ancient horse needs to gain weight

    Have an OLD (around 30 yrs) standardbred gelding who looks like he was just rescued! Withers, hipbones,and spine showing, hint of ribs. Has always been healthy otherwise, regular worming and vet checks. The older he gets, the more trouble he has keeping weight on. He gets a large amount of Equine Senior, hay, and is on 24/7 turnout. He eats separated from other horse because he is the low man on the totem pole. I am worried about him getting through the winter. He has good appetite and is still pretty spry for an old man. I don't want to overload him with stuff trying to fatten him up, but I don't know what to try.

    How do I get weight on him without having to feed him a whole bag of feed every day?
    Stallions are from Mars.
    Mares are from Venus.
    Ponies are from Hell!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2010
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Posts
    2,805

    Default

    We had good luck adding Purina Amplify to our 30 plus year old mare's diet. We added it to her Senior Feed mash. It is expensive, but you use a small amount. It really helped put some weight on our mare.

    Good luck.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2011
    Location
    Northern Cali
    Posts
    74

    Default

    If you are not worried about founder, free efeed all in one. This gets them FAT.

    If not the vet recommended rice bran in small amounts (a pound for two) because horses can only digest so much fat at once.

    beet pulp is supposed to be a bulk food but for some reason it seems to help add weight. Maybe it keeps their gut moving?

    And make sure he is warm. I have to put three blankets and a hood on my mare to keep weight on her during winter.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,264

    Default

    If teeth haven't been done in the last 6 months, do so.

    Soaked alfalfa cubes 3 times a day will help.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Posts
    732

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Somermist View Post
    We had good luck adding Purina Amplify to our 30 plus year old mare's diet. We added it to her Senior Feed mash. It is expensive, but you use a small amount. It really helped put some weight on our mare.

    Good luck.
    IMHO Amplify is a miracle product for the seniors.When my boy was 35 he dropped and looked awful.I fed him TC Senior,beet pulp and a pound of amplify am and pm,all soaked..He also got a full bucket of soaked alfalfa cubes am and pm and usually some at lunch.I went heavy on the amplify and it worked like you wouldn't believe.He died two yrs later.And blanket him,definitely keep him warm!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,020

    Default

    hey D, are you still at Carol's farm?

    Anyhow hope you are doing fine.

    To gain weight:
    Buckeye ultimate finish
    Omegahorseshine
    Rice bran

    I've always had easy keepers and had to give away all of the above after a few weeks as it packs the pounds on easy keepers. Another cother used the omegahorseshine for her older TB mare and said it put weight on her.
    The Buckeye ultimate finish worked the quickest. Of course I did not want C&C to gain weight, so I gave that bag away also.
    Buy the big bag. You will save money on it per serving.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,108

    Default

    If your horse can eat hay well and don't has anything wrong with any organs, how about alfalfa?

    That is all we feed and our horses, even very old ones, look great.
    We only add senior feed mashes if they can't eat hay well any more.

    Worth a try anyway.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
    Posts
    745

    Default You are not alone!

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    If teeth haven't been done in the last 6 months, do so.

    Soaked alfalfa cubes 3 times a day will help.
    There probably isn't much tooth to work with, but I bet you've done that. I have a 24 year old TB, retired show hunter that is in about the same condition your guy is. I have done everything from oils, feed, mashes, FC, 7X, etc. etc. He looks better in the summer than the winter, good luck with your guy.

    I am big fan of beet pulp and hay cubes. (soaked of course.)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2007
    Posts
    333

    Default

    We have had luck putting weight on with:

    Soaked alfalfa cubes
    Amplify
    One and Only

    At 30 he might not really be getting a lot of nutrition from the hay. The One and Only can be fed free choice. I put 10 pounds on an old guy in 10 days using the above.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Here's another thing to consider- senior is a complete feed. If he is capable of chewing and swallowing his hay or is also getting soaked cubes, you could switch him onto a grain that he doesn't have to eat quite so much of to get the same amount of fat and protein.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2010
    Location
    Catharpin, VA
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    Have you tried oil?

    I wasn't a believer in it as anything other than a messy waste of money until a wiser horsewoman who had worked closely with vets/nutritionists shared her experiences with me. 1cup oil (corn, veggie, canola) has the calorie equivelant of 5lbs of grain, without overloading their belly and is easily absorbed.

    Put my hard keeper rehabbing OTTB mare on it. Started with 1/4 cup 2X a day and worked up to the max of 2cups 2X a day and voila! Improvement! She also sarted licking her 'bowl' clean.
    Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
    RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
    RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
    RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    If teeth haven't been done in the last 6 months, do so.

    Soaked alfalfa cubes 3 times a day will help.
    Yes - check teeth and feed alfalfa!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EquineImagined View Post
    Have you tried oil?

    I wasn't a believer in it as anything other than a messy waste of money until a wiser horsewoman who had worked closely with vets/nutritionists shared her experiences with me. 1cup oil (corn, veggie, canola) has the calorie equivelant of 5lbs of grain, without overloading their belly and is easily absorbed.
    I'm terrified of feeding oil. Our 38 year old pony coliced the day after I gave him oil for the first time (he had no teeth). The vet said it probably wasn't related but you know...it just nags at me .



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,070

    Default

    My 29 yo lost a lot of weight last winter.

    This winter he is on approx (each of two feedings) 8 lb Triple Crown Senior and 4 oz rice bran oil. And he is staying nicely covered.

    My vet explained that, as they get older, the part of the system that digests grain gets less effective, but they still digest the beet pulp and the oil (which provides the most calories).
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hundredacres View Post
    I'm terrified of feeding oil. Our 38 year old pony coliced the day after I gave him oil for the first time (he had no teeth). The vet said it probably wasn't related but you know...it just nags at me .
    I think it is almost certainly unrelated.
    Try again starting with very small amounts of oil.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Posts
    1,982

    Default

    Another vote for oil, which will add calories without adding volume. You could try substituting Ultium for the Senior feed - it has about 50% more calories per pound and isn't quite 50% more expensive. Buckeye UF and other rice bran products are pretty expensive per calorie, though they pack a good nutritional punch. If you're in a part of the country that grows soybeans, they're inexpensive and also pretty protein/fat/calorie dense, and horses seem to really like them. They soften up nicely when soaked, too.

    Beet pulp adds a lot of volume, which can be good or bad... my old guy reaches a point where he just won't eat more than a certain amount at one meal. He will, however, eat as many meals as anyone is willing to feed him! Can you go that route - how many times can you bring him a snack in 24 hours?

    And blanket, blanket, blanket!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,469

    Default

    Another vote for adding oil. Also, consider a probiotic, and Gamma Oryzanol.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    A friend of mine had great results with her "golden oldies" using hay stretcher!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2007
    Posts
    642

    Default

    Oil, beet pulp, alfalfa cubes/pellets soaked,,ultium, and BLANKETS! feed as often as he will eat. Other than that, not much else you can do, if he is still happy, goes out, and enjoys the day, keep at it.He may still continue to lose weght on this regimine.If so, mother nature is telling you something.But as long as he is happy enjoy him!!Best wishes!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
    Posts
    2,506

    Default

    How are his teeth? When did he last have them worked on/checked? How many does he have left?

    By late 20s I put all my oldies (no matter condition or amount of teeth) on hay pellets softened into mush with water (aka "old man mush") and hay on the side for entertainment. I basically free feed this old man mush. Add things like rice bran, oil, supplements to it. Easy to digest and chew and usually they gain weight really well.



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