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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Huge Weight Loss

    My horse is leased and she is in a boarding barn. Since being leased she has lost so much weight her ribs, hips, and tail head are hanging out. Even her neck has been falling away. The lease has not come to an end yet and the person leasing does not own the barn. They have been trying to have the horse get fed more but things are not improving. The contract does not outline what should happen in this case. What should I do? It is distressing buy clearly something has to happen but not sure what needs to happen or how this ought to be handled.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    Some one is not feeding this horse. Take feed and make sure it eats it right in front of you. If the horse scarfs the food then you know it is not being fed. Then you go to the barn owner or manager and ask why this horse is not being fed. Then call the owner and insist they do something to get feed to the horse. If nothing is done then call a lawyer.
    I would go and take a flake of hay to the horse and make sure it gets to eat it.
    There is a possiblility the horse has a health issue but it sounds to me more like it is not being fed. Of course I am not a vet nor am I in your area. This is JMHO and I am not there to see it for myself. Sounds like the owner needs to be made aware of the condition of the horse.
    You might want to take photo of the horse in it's present condition.
    Do all you can to remedy the situation.
    sadlmakr
    Last edited by sadlmakr; Oct. 27, 2011 at 08:41 PM. Reason: mis-spelling



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    1,035

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlynothing View Post
    My horse is leased and she is in a boarding barn. Since being leased she has lost so much weight her ribs, hips, and tail head are hanging out. Even her neck has been falling away. The lease has not come to an end yet and the person leasing does not own the barn. They have been trying to have the horse get fed more but things are not improving. The contract does not outline what should happen in this case. What should I do? It is distressing buy clearly something has to happen but not sure what needs to happen or how this ought to be handled.
    I can think of a couple of ideas to handle it. Have the person leasing the horse move it to another facility or mutually agree that you, the owner, take the horse back and get her back into good health. I would think if the people leasing the horse have been trying to rectify the situation, they recognize that there is a problem and that they care- they should understand what needs to be done in the best interest of the animal and not object. Between the two parties, I am sure an agreement can be reached with regard to the financial aspect.

    The horse needs to be moved out of the current facility ASAP!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2006
    Posts
    615

    Default

    Try to figure out what's behind the weight loss. Rule out medical or dental issues first, the move on to the feeding schedule, then to barn management.

    If all medical/dental issues are cleared, find out what's happening feed-wise. Is the horse getting enough hay? Is it good quality hay? Is she getting her grain or if not, can they start adding a good quality grain? Most importantly, is she getting enough hay for the work she's doing?

    If she's getting fed enough good hay (and you can confirm it's being given to her), then find out why she's not eating it. Does the hay get thrown right before she goes in for a lesson so by the time she comes out her paddock mate has eaten it all? Is she eating it too slow and her paddock mate is eating her share of the hay, too? Is there a bossy horse in the paddock that's keeping her from her share? How many piles is the hay being thrown into and are the piles far enough apart to keep a horse from guarding it?

    My horse dropped a ton of weight this summer when I went away for 10 days. He was a little lean when I left, and when I came back the BO told me she was throwing him a lot of hay trying to get his ribs to disappear. I went out to see him and was shocked. He had dropped so much weight he was about a 3 on the scale. Could have stacked plates between his ribs. The BO WAS feeding him a lot of hay...but the other horse in the paddock was eating it all. The BO never figured that out, because my horse was alpha and it didn't 'make sense' that he'd happily share his hay. Or, he'd walk off after grazing on it for 20 minutes to have a nap and then go back an hour later only to find the hay was gone. Plus, she'd feed the horses last feeding at 4:30 and they'd be done by 6 or 7 and then have to go 12 hours before next feed time.

    My point is that while your mare is obviously not getting the calories she needs, you need to figure out WHY. Is it because the BO isn't giving enough or are there other circumstances (like I mentioned above)? Either way, something needs to change ASAP if your girl is that skinny. I started supplementing my guy with 3-5 lbs of rice bran based complete feed + 2 cups of canola oil, plus a bucket of alfalfa cubes every night...but I also moved him once I realized the BO had no plans to change her feeding schedule.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default

    My mare is being moved. It seems to be a case of not enough of anything. She is not the only one undergoing weight loss. The teeth were just done and another worming will be done after the move. All horses get individual turnout so no one is stealing what they get offered. If anyone has any good ideas for how to increase weight gain your input would be great.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2006
    Posts
    615

    Default

    Definitely sounds like you're doing the right thing by moving her. What's the feeding schedule like at the new place you're moving to? What kind of hay, is it flakes or round bale, etc?

    The best thing that helped my guy gain weight relatively quickly were alfalfa cubes. He's an easy keeper and retired - which made his weight loss even more ridiculous - so a fourth meal of alfalfa cubes each night as a "fourth meal" helped immensely. Basically he started gaining weight on this plan (after i worked up to these amounts safely):

    - 4 quarts of soaked alfalfa cubes (about 1 qt unsoaked)
    - 1 cup of canola oil

    and

    - 4 lbs of rice bran based complete feed
    - 2 cups BOSS
    - 1 cup of Equine Power 2000
    - 1 cup of canola oil

    I could only get out there once a day so had to keep his feeding to about 5 lbs. He started gaining weight with the grain addition but really blossomed with the alfalfa cubes. Now he's on a round bale so no more cubes and only the rice bran complete feed and he's gaining even more weight.
    Last edited by OTV; Oct. 28, 2011 at 07:26 PM.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    18,073

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    The horse should show a significant improvement within the first month when it is moved to the new barn - if it is getting the proper feed, including free-choice quality hay. By six weeks it should be almost back to normal. If this does not happen, after all the normal tune-ups of teeth and worming, etc. it could be something more serious.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Georgia
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    2,605

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlynothing View Post
    My horse is leased and she is in a boarding barn. Since being leased she has lost so much weight her ribs, hips, and tail head are hanging out. Even her neck has been falling away. The lease has not come to an end yet and the person leasing does not own the barn. They have been trying to have the horse get fed more but things are not improving. The contract does not outline what should happen in this case. What should I do? It is distressing buy clearly something has to happen but not sure what needs to happen or how this ought to be handled.
    My horse would already have been brought home.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    7,158

    Default

    Dont' worry about supplements and don't dump hugh amounts of grain into her immediately. She should gain the weight back relatively easily if she gets her normal grain ration (or just a bit more) and free-choice hay - assuming there are no underlying issues. I might be tempted to put her on a multi vitamin/mineral supplement for a few months assuming she probably wasn't getting what she should have been and something might be deficient.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
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    1,990

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    Quote Originally Posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    Dont' worry about supplements and don't dump hugh amounts of grain into her immediately. She should gain the weight back relatively easily if she gets her normal grain ration (or just a bit more) and free-choice hay - assuming there are no underlying issues. I might be tempted to put her on a multi vitamin/mineral supplement for a few months assuming she probably wasn't getting what she should have been and something might be deficient.
    This. I would add an extra meal of soaked alfalfa cubes or soaked beet pulp, but that's it. When they're that skinny, you don't want them gaining weight very fast - could cause issues too.

    I'm in the Northeast - we like a little extra weight going into winter (our horses live out 24/7). But even with our cold winters, the most I would do is extra meals & free choice hay.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default

    I worry about the low weight with the cold weather coming too. Going to be sure she has some good blanketing so she doesn't use up calories staying warm. I like the idea of the extra meal of soaked cubes and if need be I can go by and provide a 4th meal. What about adding a ration balancer to ensure that is taken care of? I was thinking a complete feed with some beet pulp and oil and then add some cubes in an extra meal. Going to fill nets so there is free choice hay. I was excited to hear there ought to be some significant improvement in a month. Poor horse has had a bit of a time I think.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,990

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlynothing View Post
    I worry about the low weight with the cold weather coming too. Going to be sure she has some good blanketing so she doesn't use up calories staying warm. I like the idea of the extra meal of soaked cubes and if need be I can go by and provide a 4th meal. What about adding a ration balancer to ensure that is taken care of? I was thinking a complete feed with some beet pulp and oil and then add some cubes in an extra meal. Going to fill nets so there is free choice hay. I was excited to hear there ought to be some significant improvement in a month. Poor horse has had a bit of a time I think.
    As long as the horse is eating at least the minumum amount of feed per day (for example, for TC Senior, I think it's 5 lb/day to get all necessary vitamins/minerals), I wouldn't add a ration balancer on top of the feed, especially since it seems like your girl will be eating more than the minimum required amount. A good quality multi-vitamin (I like Smart Pak's line) - absolutely. Best of luck - your girl will be back on track in no time!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    25,972

    Default

    TC Senior would be my choice. And stuff her full of high quality hay. Maybe some Probios would be a good idea in addition.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    18,073

    Default

    Thank you for actually being prepared to DO something for your horse instead of just talking. That extra hay will make all the difference and your being on site will make sure the barn is vigilant. You have shown that a lease is not just a way out of doing anything for your horse.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Thank you Foxtrot. It has been difficult because being the leasee puts one into an uncertain place in regards to how, when and under what circumstances one should intervene. There is nothing in the contract to cover this but I can assure you it will go into the next one. It is also sort of fuzzy to determine what is too much weight drop and thenonce identified as an issue time has to go by before you can determine if enough is being done to correct the situation.It has been one ride and a half but I am relieved that the situation will now be managed. Thank you everyone for your support....it is what I needed for that extra bit of strenght to get this done.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    Yes, your next contract should say that if you are not pleased with anything that is going on with the horse, you will take it back. It is still your horse and your responsibility and this leasing out, while helping the owner, does not mean they relinquish responsibility. Are the lesees also responsible for any veterinary bills that are not from a pre-existing condition? Shots, worming, teeth? Showing bills and prizes?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    3,242

    Default

    Good on you for moving quickly in regards to your horse.

    One way to deal with the weight issue is a weight-tape and photos. Note the weight when horse leaves, and provide an acceptable range: 5% swing? 10% swing? that could occur without notifying you. That should accommodate the weight gain that should occur before winter, as well as the weight loss in summer or hard work.

    But it should provide some guidance for if the horse gets too thin, as happened in this case, or too fat. Both are hard on the horse and could be dangerous. And the photos would provide a reminder that the horse looked a certain way when it left your direct care.



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