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Horse needs weight

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  • Horse needs weight

    I have a gelding who is naturally very lean (he had TB in him) however, he does need more weight. Mainly he needs a topline and hindquarters. I have been working on hills with him, backing up, long trotting.

    He is about 17hh.. I would estimate him to be about 1100-1150 pounds. He is currently getting 3 quarts of Ultium 2x a day and pasture 24/7 however the grass is dying because of the heat and there isn't too much of it to begin with.

    I am considering switching his feed and starting him on some alfalfa (gradually of course). Should I increase his Ultium intake or should I switch his feed? I want something a little less expensive than Ultium if I have to feed more of it considering Ultium runs about $23 a bag with tax here.
    I have tried triple crown complete for about a month.. I didn't see a difference (I know that is a short amount of time) so I switched. He was on safe choice for a long time at one point.. 5 quarts 2x a day.. and it did nothing for him weight wise.

    I have access to a lot of different feeds.. Purina, Tractor Supply, Buckeye, pennfield, purina, brumfield hay and grain, southern states.. etc.

    I know its hard to put weight on a horse in a mere matter of a month but I really need something to put some weight on him quickly without endangering his health because I have to sell him soon before I go to college due to financial strain

    He needs more muscle more than anything but he definitely needs some weight. His ribs don't show or anything but he lacks hindquarters, hip bones show a little, etc. He looks like he could use some weight.

    By the way he is 14 years old and I show him jumpers and ride him about 4-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes
    Last edited by bec0820; Jun. 27, 2012, 10:24 AM. Reason: Add more

  • #2
    Always increase hay first (adding alfalfa is a good idea), especially if he's not getting good pasture, then you could add a ration balancer like Buckeye Ultimate Finish to increase his calories if he still needs more. The Ultimate Finish is great for adding calories with out making them crazy.

    Triple Crown Senior is a great feed and less expensive than Ultium (for me anyway I'm in SW PA). It's alfalfa meal/beet pulp based and is very low in NSC around 11.7%.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


    • #3
      Blue pop rocks! Also agree with adding more hay (esp. alfalfa). I have posted this many times before, but my horse was a very hard keeper for a long time. I tried all different grains/hay/supplements/etc. to get weight on him. Stuff helped but never got him where I wanted until I treated him for ulcers. And he didn't present ANY other ulcer symptoms besides being a hard keeper. No crankiness, girthiness, etc. I highly recommend trying ulcer treatment (either Gastroguard or the blue pop rocks) for at least 10 days to see if it makes a difference.

      My horse (an OTTB) is a complete easy keeper now. On 1 quart of grain twice a day, only 2 flakes of hay per day, and on pasture all night (but the grass is dead!), and he is FAT. It's a good thing for him the grass is dead or he would have a grazing muzzle.


      • #4
        When quality pasture is drying down I have the best luck with the addition of alfalfa pellets (6-8 lbs daily), beet pulp (3-4 pounds) and oil ( up to 2 cups) on my hard keeper.

        I have been increasing these now for about 2 wks as the pastures began to dry down. All but gone or brown now and of little use to even the fat horses.


        • #5
          We have been working with an OTTB that we rescued 2 years ago - He is Imachadancer. We taped him at rescue, he was 950#. He was very ribby and our vet scored him at "thin". He had raced for 4 years, had a 2-year unfortunate layover where he didn't get proper down time - he became a handful - the owner lost interest - and then we found him - and he is a keeper.

          We connected with Dr. Getty, Equine Nutritionist in California and she recommended supplements and a nutritional program for him. Her book, "Feed Your Horse Like a Horse" is a tremendous tool. I highly recommend it. We read it cover to cover and learned a lot. Dr. Getty recommended Glanzen3 (supplement) and "all of the hay he could eat".

          We tried all of the "typical" things, and he had no change for the first year. His shoulder bone stood out, he had almost "no neck" so we kept his main in a "mohawk" to give him the "sporty look" <grin> He had the 3-point rump, and I never thought we would ever improve his "shark fin". The dip by his "fin" was so deep and his top line was very low.

          He was put into training for the first 8 months - for manners - ground work - needed to learn about brakes, steering, longing, walking, trail rides, etc. Then he had a few months off. In his second year, we continued him on his nutritional program - switching his grain to Ultium Competition and Horseman's Edge Textured. He was in training for Dressage - and was receiving 10# of grain - fed 3x a day with all the hay he wanted to eat. We fluffed up a pile of hay in front of him 24/7. He is a true thoroughbred with high metabolism - a hard keeper - our BO said he loses weight when the wind blows - and our vet said he loses weight when he thinks - and he is a thinker.

          Fast forward to today - Imachadancer - aka USEF "Simply Red" - we call him Dillon - is a happy guy - a great mount - is progressing nicely in dressage schooling at Training Level - and is ready to explore the "recognized show world". Dillon tapes in at 1208# and has advanced from a severely neglected OTTB who looked like a “yak” to a beautiful specimen of health and beauty.

          Bottom line - feed good quality hay - all he can eat - must make the "hindgut function" - the cute little haybelly right in front of the flank needs to protrude just a little - the hindgut is the calorie producing factory. And hay is what makes the calories. As soon as you get the hindgut functioning - you can easily control his weight.

          Best of luck to you. I hope we helped by sharing our story of success. Be patient!! Be calm!! It will work out. Veronica