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Horse is not thriving on TC Senior... Another 'what to feed' thread...

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  • Horse is not thriving on TC Senior... Another 'what to feed' thread...

    I have a 10 year old thoroughbred gelding. He's in moderate work (about 1 hour 3x a week). He's wormed, teeth good. He's a windsucker but I think we finally got that nipped (Irish Spring soap on his favorite locations, of all things). He's on turnout with an older quarter horse gelding (they're buddies but he's definately the passive one). No grass, but close to free-choice hay. (I would love to have him on pasture, but in every other way the board situation is perfect, he used to be allowed in temporary grazing paddocks but he started jumping out).

    He's probably a 4 on the body scale with primary concern being building fat/muscle over his back and hips (he has a long back and a jumper's hump which doesn't help).

    Right now, aside from high-quality timothy/alfalfa hay:
    6 lbs Triple Crown Senior
    3 lbs Beet pulp
    3 lbs whole oats
    Whey protein
    1/2 cup sunflower meats
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    4 oz Equishine

    Now let me explain

    He was on Nutrena Compete. It made him totally loopy. Like, bucking and pulling and carrying on. He was gaining weight on a small amount, but couldn't deal with the insanity. So we started doing half Compete and half Senior which was still fine as far as his weight, but he was still acting pretty foolish and just not himself.

    So we went to full Senior and he totally lost energy to the point of being lethargic. So I threw some oats in there and it's helped. The next issue is that he's just not doing a good job of gaining weight. He'll gain a little, then after a hard workout you can physically see he's lost weight again. He was looking better and we did a 45 minute dressage clinic session and today I can see we're back where we were 2 weeks ago (can I interject that I am totally JEALOUS, I wish I could eat like a pig then exercise for 45 minutes every 2 weeks. Jerk.)

    I'm nearly to the point of calling the vet, but he's bright, working well, and his coat is spectacular. His feet have improved ten fold and his mane and tail probably grow 5-6 inches a month.

    My first thought is 'more food!' but he literally eats in one day what the other horses on the farm eat in a week and I just don't know how much bulk in concentrates that I want to mess with without starting into other problems.

    The clinician the weekend suggested Strategy but thought we might have hotness issues again so she followed up with Ultium but then thought we might deal with the low energy issue again.

    I have always stood by Triple Crown Senior but I don't think it's working with this horse and his level of exercise.

    I'm in Iowa so I can get Kent, Nutrena, Purina, and Triple Crown. I can get Buckeye but I would have to get it from a fellow boarder that works in Wisconsin, so it would be kind of a pain.

    I would like to avoid sweet feeds because ulcers, been there done that. I would like to spend money on feeding this guy rather than medicating him again

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Well, I know you don't want to feed more, but my TB gets 9lbs or TC Senior, as well as 1.5lbs or Rice Bran daily. 6# would not cut it, FWIW. So, feel free to switch, but, most grains are meant to be fed at a minimum of 5# daily, so 6# really is not a lot. You can't worry about what other horses are getting when you have a hard keeping TB. My two other horses, also TB's, get 5lbs of Agway Superior 14%, in contrast.

    I can't imagine a horse improving on Strategy vs. TC Senior, but, who knows.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow! That is a lot of food, for honestly, not a lot of work.

      Check for worms, scope for ulcers, pull blood. Personally I think that is too much feed for a horse in light/moderate work.

      As far as diet goes, nix the whey protein and sunflower meat. Add a 3rd and 4th meal if possible. Try a product called Amplify by Purina. I've seen it work wonders on hard keepers. Try feeding alfalfa hay; straight, rich, 2nd cutting, beautiful, alfalfa hay. If you don't have access to alfalfa hay try alfalfa cubes/pellets.

      Possible diet:

      AM:
      6 lb TC Senior
      1/2 cup oil

      Mid day feed:
      3 lb oats
      2 lb Amplify

      Dinner:
      6 lb TC senior
      4 oz Equishine

      Late Night
      3 lb alfalfa pellets
      3lb beet pulp
      1/2 cup oil

      Other than the vet and more food, I have no idea what to suggest. TC Senior has always worked well on keeping weight on my horses and they have tons of energy.
      come what may

      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe a thyroid test ? Someone has posted its important to test for more than one thing, t3 and t4? I don't remember exactly what they posted, maybe you can google it.
        On my old pc I bookmarked a Coth thread, with pictures, of a horse that added to his top line with a supplement, but I don't have the old pc handy.
        Sorry I can't remember.

        Comment


        • #5
          Nutrena has the new Safechoice Perform that may work for you. I have not been as enamered with TC as I thought I would be. It is good, but I have had to feed a lot more of it then I have fed of any feed in years. Hmmm. Can you get Tribute?

          Comment


          • #6
            6 lbs. is pretty much the minimum TC Senior one is supposed to feed. I would up that to 4 lbs. morning and night and a 2-3 lb. lunch, and ditch the rest.

            What kind of hay are you feeding? If just a grass hay I would switch to an orchard/alf mix, second cutting preferred, free choice. I have some hard keepers and they are all a bit tubby on this, hunter fat.

            I would put a collar on him too. Windsucking eats the weight off horses.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would try the TC Complete, it has a similar base to the SR but also has oats (which you are adding anyways) and a higher cals/pound than the SR, of course I can't remember the exact numbers right now. Also more than 6 pounds may be needed, but I am sure you could drop the extras.

              Ricebran is always a good source of calories as well.
              http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                6 lbs. is pretty much the minimum TC Senior one is supposed to feed. I would up that to 4 lbs. morning and night and a 2-3 lb. lunch, and ditch the rest.

                What kind of hay are you feeding? If just a grass hay I would switch to an orchard/alf mix, second cutting preferred, free choice. I have some hard keepers and they are all a bit tubby on this, hunter fat.

                I would put a collar on him too. Windsucking eats the weight off horses.
                Agree - up the TC Sr. TB's are notorious for requiring more food than most other breeds. My mare gets more than 4x than my gelding, who is a tub of goo right now.
                "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                Courtesy my cousin Tim

                Comment


                • #9
                  When my 10 year old, 16.1h TB gelding needs to gain weight, the TC Senior gets fed at 12lbs per day, with all the straight alfalfa I can stuff in him. No energy problem in either direction. Maintenance amount during good pasture season is around 8lbs/day when he's in full work. Gotta FEED that TB metabolism. And mine cribs, too, so I totally agree with the poster who said "collar". They don't gain weight when they're getting high instead of eating.
                  Patience pays.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The hay is very good timothy/alfalfa hay. Yes, he has the cribbing collar on but really the only thing that made him quit was the Irish Spring, otherwise he would just keep trying even if he couldn't get a 'hit'.

                    I will start increasing his TC Senior because whether or not I keep feeding it, I have a new bag I just opened Sunday that needs to be fed

                    I figured it might be worthwhile to post some pictures, I had to dig around for some 'outtakes' because honestly, from the side it's hard to tell he needs significant weight, he's a very muscular guy. And when he's round he'll use his back and he looks better behind the saddle and around his hips.

                    (forgive the show picture, I cut myself out because I look like I'm having a panic attack, and I do have digital use of the picture)

                    http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i3...t/cc9b62dd.jpg
                    http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i3...t/8c4af3dc.jpg
                    *http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i3...t/c75c97d9.jpg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a similar situation with one of mine. I upped his TC Senior (about 5 pounds per feeding), added rice bran pellets and Weight Builder. He bulked right up. oh- and I did a fecal and re-wormed him.

                      I'm all for adding different elements when you need to but sometimes it is just good old fashioned they are not getting enough of the ordinary.

                      Though the cost of my feed went up, it actually stayed about the same since I got to cut out all the extras. Plus, my life got a lot more simple. Amen.
                      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        12 yo tb mare gets 8 lbs of TC senior per day (plus fat supp and alfalfa cubes, in addition to good pasture).

                        She is still on the thin side, but she's gaining fat and muscle nicely on this.

                        I agree with upping pounds and trying something like a rice bran.

                        I disagree with going to Complete. This mare looked horrendous on 10 lbs of complete. I've heard similar issues with other tb horses on complete v. senior.

                        Pics!

                        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-S...48732865_n.jpg

                        And about 30 days later with switch to Senior:

                        https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-C...720/Mocha1.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Remember, TC Senior is NOT a grain. It is a complete ration formulated to be a substitute for hay if need be.

                          'Echoing the others in saying TC Senior is designed to be fed at 5lbs minimum per day.

                          I'd up the TC Senior and ditch the oats, whey, and veggie oil completely.

                          Also make sure you are not under-deworming.

                          Pics:

                          my Salty girl when I first brought her home

                          6 months later, a diet of 8lbs TC Senior & free choice grass hay has improved Salty's coat dramatically

                          Salty girl 5 years later, all filled out, same diet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you want to go with something that is higher in fat than rice bran, try the Legends Omega Plus (made by Triple Crown). It's 24% fat. (which also helps give them a nice, shiny coat!) I always used to use the Buckeye equivalent (Ultimate Finish), but switched to the Omega Plus to cut costs a bit. Still works wonders for any hard keepers I have! And you only feed like a cup or so per feeding.

                            Also, the old adage I go by: You can put more weight on a horse with less feed if you feed them more often. I.E.-- if you can split the same volume of food into more meals (say, 3 feedings versus only 2) most horses will put weight on faster. Their stomaches are so small, if they get fed too much at one meal, at some point the food is just going to literally go "in one end and out the other" because they can't digest it all. If you feed smaller meals more often, they will be able to absorb more nutrients, and you'll eventually be able to cut down on the over all volume.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just my thoughts!

                              I can't see the point in feeding Senior feeds, which are designed to have high fiber, to horses who have the ability to chew and have access to good quality hay.

                              Your concentrates are at close to 10 pounds a day, on the high side. I would suggest a smaller quantity of a quality feed with a protein level around 11-12%, higher fat and average starch levels. In your case there is no need for a "complete feed" with high fiber.

                              The feed companies spend all sorts of time researching and balancing feeds. and then the purchaser happily unbalances everything, with a pound of this, or that , a pinch of this, a cup of that.
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you want to try another feed, I used Nutrena XTN for a TB who was a hard keeper. He was a maniac on a lot of feeds and no alfalfa for him, he had no tolerance for it. On grass hay and the XTN he gained weight, did not turn into a fruit loop and I was able to maintain his weight on a minimum amount of XTN once he had gained weight.

                                I am going through the weight thing now with a different horse who for some reason does not do well on any senior feed and she picks at the XTN.
                                I switched her to beet pulp and plain oats and she is finally gaining weight.
                                She gets grass and alfalfa.

                                They do this just to drive us crazy!
                                Nina's Story
                                Epona Comm on FB

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                  I can't see the point in feeding Senior feeds, which are designed to have high fiber, to horses who have the ability to chew and have access to good quality hay.

                                  Your concentrates are at close to 10 pounds a day, on the high side. I would suggest a smaller quantity of a quality feed with a protein level around 11-12%, higher fat and average starch levels. In your case there is no need for a "complete feed" with high fiber.

                                  The feed companies spend all sorts of time researching and balancing feeds. and then the purchaser happily unbalances everything, with a pound of this, or that , a pinch of this, a cup of that.
                                  Not all senior feeds are the same, but as a general rule higher fiber feeds are lower in NSC. TC Senior is very low in NSC yet well balanced and fortified, thereby improving my girl's condition without aggravating her inherited tendency to be explosive and ulcery. This is why I will continue to feed her TC Senior despite the fact that she is perfectly able to masticate. The OP mentioned behavioral concerns as well.

                                  'And I agree completely about well meaning owners throwing off the balance of formulated feeds by adding a little of this and a little of that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If the horse has a history of ulcers, and he's been acting fractious (you attributed it to the TC Complete) it's quite possible they're back.

                                    Frankly, you can keep pouring tons of grain into this horse, but if the history is there, and the behaviour is there (and cribbing) and he's not gaining weight despite this rather large amount of grain, I'd say a course of ulcergard is the best bang for your buck at this point.

                                    If he's got ulcers, he wont' gain weight no matter how many tons of it you give him. So THAT is a waste of money right there..

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                                      If the horse has a history of ulcers, and he's been acting fractious (you attributed it to the TC Complete) it's quite possible they're back.

                                      Frankly, you can keep pouring tons of grain into this horse, but if the history is there, and the behaviour is there (and cribbing) and he's not gaining weight despite this rather large amount of grain, I'd say a course of ulcergard is the best bang for your buck at this point.

                                      If he's got ulcers, he wont' gain weight no matter how many tons of it you give him. So THAT is a waste of money right there..
                                      Excellent insight!

                                      I would take the suggestion to heart. It may save you money in the long run!
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If it were my horse, I'd start ulcer treatment...or scope, but scoping is expensive enough that a trial of GastroGard is less expensive.

                                        One of mine went from (trying to remember here) about 9 lbs of feed + 2 lbs of Empower a day to enough grain to mix in his vitamin/mineral supplement after ulcer treatment.

                                        Comment

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