A (Newer) friend of mine has a just 3 year old AQHA. He's just plain weedy. Just plain does'nt look like he is thriving/growing as well as he should.
She got him as a newbie owner when he was 8 months old and trusted that the barn staff would do the right thing. Not dogging on the barn staff, but they are very "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
We have switched him to Purina Ultium Growth, increased his hay intake by 100% (From 12lbs to 20-25lbs-He was always hoovering scraps by 6pm, now he actually has a little pile left when we re-flake him at 9pm) We have Power Packed him. He is starting to gain weight, and is looking better-so I think we are on the right track.
He is undersaddle 3 days a week, lightish work 30 minutes trotting total with walks, loopy circles, ect.
What are we missing? Can we do more? The hay is of questionable quality, and I bring in alfalfa for my boys-should I share 3-4 lbs a day? More?
My youngster was put on the Ultium Growth and has filled out quite nicely How much are yoou feeding? Give it some time, he will probably need a solid couple months of no growth spurts before he makes a large improvement. Hay, quailty grain fed at the correct amount, and proper turnout are what should bring him around. They aren't as easy as a full grown horses to beef up
Be careful in how much protein you are pouring into him to make him plump and slick! He is a growing 3 yr old, he will be weedy at times.
If you start feeding him too much protein, you will be dealing with ephyisitis and possibly ocd issues.
Keep plenty of grass hay in front of him, be careful with feeding alot of alfalfa and the Purina Ultium Growth.
Protein doesn't cause growth issues Well, unless maybe you don't feed enough LOL
In fact, a "weedy" look can be lack of sufficient muscle development from lack of sufficient quality protein.
Ditto this. Its too late for joint issues to develop from quick growth. I personally would be focusing on protein - good quality alfalfa woild be my first feed change for a horse as described, along with a ration balancer and lots of hilly, large area turnout.
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
My young horse was 3 last winter (bought her in the fall). I experienced the same sort of thing. She came to me in good weight--but over the winter she was looking pretty thin despite the Power Pac, free choice hay, and ultimate finish added to her grain. But it was the first time she was in work, and in a large pasture with a herd. So I think she was both growing AND using up a lot more calories due to increased work/activity. However, once the spring grass came in--she started gaining pretty quickly and has kept her weight through fall and winter. I don't feed her too much grain--but she eats incredible amounts of hay.
Also--my vet said that young horses may have to have their teeth floated a lot more often than adult horses. She said every 3 months is possible. So make sure you have a vet look at his teeth.
Last thing to keep in mind is that it takes a long time to "see" weight gain in horses. Figure that you might notice a 10 lb weight gain on yourself--but you aren't going to notice weight gain on a horse until they've gained about 50-100 lbs. That is going to take a while (maybe 6 weeks to have a 50 lb gain). But it sounds like you are on the right track so far.