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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2011
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    151

    Default Putting Weight on a Senior Horse

    We just got a 26 year old horse from the neighbors.. She is probably 100-150lbs underweight. What is you all's protocol for putting the weight on? Especially in the winter.. We have grass but it is short and I am sure doesn't give enough nutrition... Thanks



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
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    Tampa, FL
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    4,340

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    My vet told me high fat, low protein. He told me to avoid senior feeds unless the horse is unable to chew hay.

    Mine are all on a 12/10 pellet and alfalfa hay. I supplement with afalfa pellets on some of the harder keepers. I still am fighting to put weight on a 28 year old and a 30ish horse. There may be metabolic issues involved.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,969

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    I would get a round bale and give unlimited access to hay, as long as she can chew it. My 20 year old has dropped quite a bit of weight the last few winters, despite lots of good feed, hay overnight in her stall (along with all day turnout on grass), rice bran, alfalfa pellets, blanketing...this year my BO put round bales in the pasture for the first time, and she's holding weight better than she has in years.

    I do like senior feeds. They're usually higher in protein and fat, have probiotics, and may be easier to digest.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2011
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    151

    Default

    I started her on Safechoice Senior. I think it is 16/8. I feed her twice a day.. I just started soaking alfalfa cubes for her for a lunch.. She has free choice hay. Orchard grass.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
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    3,294

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    My 26 year old is on 12lbs per day of Equine Senior, 1/2 lb of flaxseed, a large flake of dehydrated Standlee alfalfa hay that is soaked in water, and free choice high quality orchard grass/alfalfa hay. He is a difficult keeper who is a picky eater. This feed program has him looking good.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2011
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    74

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    Seminole Wellness Equine. I wish I had known about this feed all my life as I probably could have fattened up several hard keepers that Purina Equine Senior never worked on. I have a 30 something year old standardbred now who although arthritic has never never been as fat and shiny as he is presently. I fed him Purina Equine Senior for years and he was always ribby. Now, he is an old guy with a layer of fat and shiny!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
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    3,135

    Default

    Add some oil to her senior feed. It helped my old TB get a little meat over the ribs.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Jul. 15, 2011
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    151

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    We only have a TSC and Southern States near us.. So I am kind of limited on brands to buy.. Would you add rice bran? I heard that oil can cause inflammation? Vet told my friend that?? I have never heard it before. What about beet pulp, what is better, shreds, pellets? I have never fed it before, just alfalfa cubes..



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
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    It's expensive.

    I have a 27 year old saddlebred who came to me thin and has gone up and down from a little too thin to slightly thin. He has Cushing's and gets medication, without the medication he is at high risk for laminitis.
    We had to change up his diet this summer after unexplained weight loss. First thing we did was have the vet out and do a panel, then we did a Powerpak deworming, then we had his teeth done and a fecal which showed a high worm load still so another deworming. He will have another fecal done about Feb 1 and possibly another deworming at that time. I'd rather not start off feeding worms, or having the horse not be able to chew and lose nutrition that way.

    On his gaining diet he eats 9 lbs of Triple crown Sr feed plus 6 lbs of tim alf pellets split in two meals, plus 1/2 cup of flaxseed or cocasoya oil, and we had to feed him overnight in a stall/pen as he is a terrible eater. In addition he was getting all day grazing plus about two flakes of hay AM and PM (really not enough). He was doing well from July to October.

    Now that winter is upon us he wears a medium weight blanket and we have changed the alf tim pellets to soaked alf tim cubes, cubes in order to have more long stem type forage in his gut that will ferment and add heat in addition to the caloric value of the feed.

    We have a problem in that we are not able to separate him from a very easy keeper pony right now - it is imperative that you make sure no other horse eats any of the feed. Our old guy would eat every bite of his feed overnight in his own pen, and would do that during the day as well, just nibble away at it, but the other horse is a pig and will eat his and the old guy's when they are turned out together.

    One of the things I did to keep on track was weigh my feed out instead of using a scoop and doing it by eye, I took a set of pictures every four weeks looking down the backbone at the hipbones and from the back looking in between the hind legs, dug out a weight tape and used that.

    Start with the health assessment first, if he is starved then often a refeeding protocol is recommended which is mostly alfalfa in digestable pellet form, then I would use the TC Sr , lots of good hay, oil if he doesn't want to eat the volume.

    I had been making up my own feed from the mill, adding beet pulp and pellets and oil, it was cheaper but it's so hard to feed the volume and stay below the limits on the sugars if the base is a sweet feed and it's hard to make up something palatable without the base, you end up in the kitchen cooking for half an hour every day, wetting feed is bad enough. We have had no abscesses or bad thrush since changing to the TC Sr (knocking on wood!). Try to get something high in protein and fat and low in NSC's.

    Good luck, winter is a hard time to put on weight but they don't have to lose it either, lots of good quality hay is your friend.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  10. #10
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECarr View Post
    We only have a TSC and Southern States near us.. So I am kind of limited on brands to buy.. Would you add rice bran? I heard that oil can cause inflammation? Vet told my friend that?? I have never heard it before. What about beet pulp, what is better, shreds, pellets? I have never fed it before, just alfalfa cubes..
    Southern States sells Triple Crown, at least here. Corn oil is the bad one for inflammation, canola has good ratios of omega acids and is relatively cheap, I use flaxseed oil blend from SS and it costs too darned much so I am strongly leaning to the canola. Alfalfa cubes are very good stuff, soaked for the old guys. High in protein as well as forage value. Beet pulp shreds with as little molasses as possible, also good soaked. Mostly good as a low NSC forage substitute.

    Got to warn you that some old guys are picky - they'll eat fine for three months and then turn up their noses at the same meal. It's maddening
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    She, sorry.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2011
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    298

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    Southern States in my area of MD sells Triple Crown, also. I recently found out that Southern States is an independent contractor for Triple Crown, meaning each individual store can set their own prices. So if you have access to multiple SS within a reasonable drive, call them all and price check products. I found out that I was paying $6 MORE PER BAG for Triple Crown at one SS vs. the other SS a few more miles down the road!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2013
    Posts
    251

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    If you can get Triple Crown Senior (at Southern States), I think it's one of the best feeds for any horse.

    My soon-to-be 25 yo has always been a hard keeper and for the past few years he's really looked rough in winter. This year he looks the best he's looked in his LIFE (and I've owned him since he was 6yo).
    His menu:
    6 pounds of TC Senior split into two feedings
    1/2 cup Nutrena Empower Boost in each feeding
    About 3-4 lbs (can't remember) of soaked alfalfa cubes in evening
    About 12-15 lbs of nice mixed grass hay per day
    1scp Devil's Claw Plus in evening feed (huge difference in how he feels)
    Strongid Daily Dewormer (I know it's controversial, but it's worked for mine for 18 years, so I'm not changing)

    I wish I could post a picture. He looks (and feels) amazing.

    ETA: Maybe this will work (I'm on my phone and not sure about my FB settings)
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...user=717654629



  14. #14
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhythmNCruise View Post
    If you can get Triple Crown Senior (at Southern States), I think it's one of the best feeds for any horse.

    My soon-to-be 25 yo has always been a hard keeper and for the past few years he's really looked rough in winter. This year he looks the best he's looked in his LIFE (and I've owned him since he was 6yo).
    His menu:
    6 pounds of TC Senior split into two feedings
    1/2 cup Nutrena Empower Boost in each feeding
    About 3-4 lbs (can't remember) of soaked alfalfa cubes in evening
    About 12-15 lbs of nice mixed grass hay per day
    1scp Devil's Claw Plus in evening feed (huge difference in how he feels)
    Strongid Daily Dewormer (I know it's controversial, but it's worked for mine for 18 years, so I'm not changing)

    I wish I could post a picture. He looks (and feels) amazing.

    ETA: Maybe this will work (I'm on my phone and not sure about my FB settings)
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...user=717654629
    Goodness, he's blindingly shiny. And plump. Nice.

    You say he looks great *now*, what dietary changes did you make?
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2011
    Posts
    316

    Default

    I'd have a vet do a health assessment first. Including ruling out thyroid or ulcer issues.

    Oil works but seems to really attract flies. More senior feed may be the answer - measure it by the pound as some thinner horses may need 10-15 pounds a day.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2013
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    251

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    Goodness, he's blindingly shiny. And plump. Nice.

    You say he looks great *now*, what dietary changes did you make?
    To be fair, he looks much more plump in this picture than in real life. He's a good weight, but he almost looks fat in the picture and he's definitely not.

    The biggest change has been the Nutrena Empower Boost and the Devil's Claw Plus. He was eating everything else last winter and not holding his weight. He's a horse that thrives on good pasture and suffers when it's gone. I think I'm feeding a little more of the alfalfa cubes too, but not much.

    My biggest concern was his dwindling topline. He was really starting to drop off and looked so OLD. The Empower Boost seems to have solved that issue.

    I also think he wasn't feeling well due to arthritis and it was affecting his mobility and musculature. The turn-around in his energy level and soundness has been nothing short of miraculous. I feel guilty when I think of how I'd just accepted his weight loss and stiffness as "old horse" stuff. He isn't ridden and is outside 24/7, so I figured he should be fine. There's no denying the difference though.

    ETA: The secret is also giving something like Empower Boost TIME to see real results. He's been on it for several months now, and it seems like the longer he's on it the better he looks. I think too many people try something, don't see immediate results in a month, think they're wasting money, and switch to something else. The first thing I noticed was an improvement in haircoat. Then the weight started picking up. Then the topline started filling out. And I made sure to start him on it BEFORE he started going downhill this year. My goal was to avoid him losing weight. To my delight he's actually bloomed, even with no pasture.



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