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Older pony losing weight

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  • Older pony losing weight

    We have a very old pony mare that we rescued several years ago. She is really having a hard time and is losing weight. I'm giving her a large portion of senior pellets (which she is eating) morning and night and she is spending all day in a very lush pasture. It looks like she is eating all day. She has been having a hard time with her hay so I've been soaking it. I've tried beet pulp but she won't eat either the molasses or plain types.

    She has been wormed and seen by the vet who has really no ideas other than to get as much into her as possible. Her coat is shiny and she seems to feel ok but just can't seem to put on any pounds. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Sounds like it's time for a dental if you haven't done that yet. I feed my 29 year old mare soaked alfalfa/timothy cubes. She doesn't like to eat them so much in the warmer months but I've finally gotten her to eat them. I put 1/2 scoop in a bucket, put enough water in the bucket to just cover the cubes. Let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes. I put the pellets into her feeder first and then put the soaked cubes on top so she has to eat through the cubes to get to her pellets. (I feed a full scoop of alfalfa pellets and a full scoop of senior pellets 2xdaily)

    In the winter she gets a full scoop of cubes with 1/2 scoop of beet pulp pellets soaked.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


    • #3
      How many lbs are feeding of the senior feed? What brand are you feeding? Agree with the above pp about the dental check.

      Is she eating any hay at night?

      When I first got my pony she wouldn't eat beet pulp either. I'm used to making it sloppy for my horse who loves it that way. What I did for the pony was make it a little less sloppy and put her grain in it. Add some carrots/apples, soaked alfalfa cubes.

      Now she slurps the sloppy beet pulp with no problem and nothing added in it.

      You could also try a fat supplement.

      I get shredded molasses free beet pulp.


      • #4
        Did the vet pull blood?


        • Original Poster

          Yes the vet pulled blood. Nothing showing up. She gets Progressive Senior pellets that are soaked so that she can eat it and she gets 1.5 lbs dry of this twice a day. She is really not eating her hay at night even though we are soaking it. Going to try the alfalfa cubes and try to mix it up. She will eat sloppy food so if we can make it more palatable for her maybe she will eat it. She just ignored the beet pulp but I had not tried mixing some of her grain in it yet. Her coat is good and she is feisty as ever, screaming at the geldings to do her bidding, but I'm alarmed at how much weight she has lost. She is way over 30 though.


          • #6
            I'm finding my oldest-oldies who turn up their noses at beet pulp in any form, especially wet, will really get down to business with Hay Stretcher. I use the Blue Seal version, but I think most are similar. I don't wet it but the pellets are large and crumble easily. It seems to promote salivation, and it doesn't get them so full so quickly that they just stand there like when they eat Senior feeds.

            Lots of our harder keepers are looking GREAT on this stuff!


            • #7
              Focus Sr. by Source is flax-based (fats) and has pre- and probiotics. I know, I mentioned this sup before on another post but Source makes pretty good stuff.

              See reviews here: http://reviews.smartpakequine.com/74...ws/reviews.htm

              I've just started taking Source for humans recently and my nails are growing like crazy! Not sure what else it's doing for me yet but it's too soon to tell.


              • #8
                I've always been a fan of triple crown senior. It has always seem to work the best for my older guys. Even my 36 yr old was in great weight. Check her teeth for A dental also older horses can't seem to chew and digest hay well even weight if they are missing or are not able to use certain teeth. They can eat it like the grass but it won't digest and they don't really get anything from it. I'd try soaking the senior feed if its pellets and not more of the soft mash like triple crown she may not be getting everything she needs. Truthfully if it is real pellets I'd change her to a more mushy senior feed. Easier for her to digest and get nutrients. Also try mixing a little beep pulp with feed and soaking. Soaking senior feed is usually a good way to go if they are not gaining weight. I've had 4 between 34 and 36 that were horses and this worked well and kept the weight on.

                Here is one at 34 at the time of the pic
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • #9
                  Originally posted by redhorse5 View Post
                  Yes the vet pulled blood. Nothing showing up. She gets Progressive Senior pellets that are soaked so that she can eat it and she gets 1.5 lbs dry of this twice a day. She is really not eating her hay at night even though we are soaking it. Going to try the alfalfa cubes and try to mix it up. She will eat sloppy food so if we can make it more palatable for her maybe she will eat it. She just ignored the beet pulp but I had not tried mixing some of her grain in it yet. Her coat is good and she is feisty as ever, screaming at the geldings to do her bidding, but I'm alarmed at how much weight she has lost. She is way over 30 though.
                  Well it is very good she still has an opinion in life. Sounds like you need to concentrate on finding a fiber form she can/will eat. I am sure that this heat is not helping her appetite either. But you may end up going to a 100% senior ration or nearly so if the alfalfa pellets are not cutting it for her.

                  Also if she is off feed a little ask your vet about Vita -15. It is an Rx injectable and it does help give them a little appetite boost.