Up front I will say that he's been treated for ulcers with the full 28 day course of Ulcerguard and lyme with the full 28 day course of doxy. Had vet out last week to draw blood - everything came back fine. Teeth were done in Nov., vet checked when she drew blood - says they are fine. Coat is super shiny wet looking, feet are good.
He's 15.1h, weighs 908 lbs. He's gone from a body score of 6 to a 4 since we moved him from home to the boarding barn in late Feb. His workload has picked up from being a total hippie to light riding 4x week. Mostly a litle walk/trot on the lunge (less than 10 minutes) and then 20 minutes under saddle, mostly at the walk. He's turned out about 6-8 hours daily, weather permitting. At home he was out 24x7 with free access to his stall.
His diet: 5 lbs. Legends Performance Pelleted, 1 lb. alfalfa cubes (dry weight). Approx 15 lbs of good quality o/a mix hay. He also gets Smart Omega 3 and we're adding about 1lb rice bran. He's not a good hay eater, never has been, so upping his hay is not possible. He'll eat about 6 flakes max a day. I try to give him more, but he justs wastes most of it. I used to have him on 5 lb. TC Senior, the same hay, and no other supplements, and he always kept his condition around a body score of 5-6.
I think he needs to go back on the TC Senior, as that's BP based and gives him a little more DE/lb. BO insists that the he looks fine and its just the extra work, and wants to give him more RB or oil, but she'll grudgingly put him back on the TC Sr and I'll pay the difference. I just think we're throwing too much crap at him and I'd like to simplify his diet with more quality instead of adding all the empty fat calories.
Thoughts and advice appreciated. If I don't see some improvement by the end of June, he'll have to come back home.
The horse belongs to YOU. You know what he does well on I would go back to that. I have only been at 2 boarding barns in all my years of horse ownership. At both of those (over 20 yrs ago) they supplied the hay/ bedding/ stall cleaning and nothing else. We fed our horses what WE wanted to. It seems like the b/o of today want complete control and owners live in fear of making a decision that goes against their wishes.....
I swear by TC Senior. Can you find some really good quality alfalfa hay? Even my pickiest boys will finish that off. I can't feed free choice to most of them, they get a mix of alfalfa/timothy. He might be anxious from the lack of turnout...I'd try an ulcer supplement along with the alfalfa. Good luck.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
I think I'll definitely put him back on the TC Senior. BO argues like he!! against it, but she'll suck it up and do it. I don't mind paying the extra $10 a month to put him on it, I'll save that in in what I'm paying for rice bran pellets, ulcer meds, and probiotics in the long run. He's getting the maitenance dose of blue pop rocks starting this week.
I'd love to give him some good alfalfa, but its really hard to find right now with all the rain we've had, none of the hay farmers can cut, so I'm giving him alfalfa cubes instead.
West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
Put your horse back on what you know he needs. Switching any horse from a BP based feed to a pellet is asking for weight loss, IME. And rice bran may work for some, but with the myriad of horses I've tried it on, it's never put so much as an ounce on them. BO is being cheap; don't let him/her get away with that. Trying to do oil in the summer sucks, too, since it goes bad so quickly, and a lot of them just won't eat it (and who could blame them? ).
Nope, up your boy's feed to a more practical ration, and maybe add some straight alfalfa, as others have mentioned. If you can't get alfalfa, do extra BP instead, since alfalfa cubes aren't really meant for horses and they can cause more issues than they solve.