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Best way to get weight on a horse while boarding

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  • Best way to get weight on a horse while boarding

    I have been on the wait list to move to a barn with an indoor for a while now. They suddenly have an opening and I am afraid if I don't take it I won't get into a place with an indoor any time soon. I would like to move to an indoor until mud season is done with.

    My gelding is slightly underweight. Nothing horrible, but he is ribby. For the past two weeks I have been stuffing his face with hay and feeding him a combination of Omolene #500 and a sweet feed our local mill prepares. He is a hotter personality than most stock horses I have worked with, so far weight gain has been pretty nonexistent looking.

    The problem with moving him to a boarding facility is that hay intake will be pretty much standard boarding facility quantities. I am leery of alfalfa cubes or pellets making him hot. Wondering what other options there are out there for continued weight gain? I don't want anything too complicated for the new BO to deal with either.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog

  • #2
    Some horses can be hot when given alfalfa, but certainly not all horses. My mare has been fed alfalfa cubes/pellets on and off for years, and she's a pretty hot horse. Adding alfalfa into her diet makes no difference in her demeanor.

    You can also try timothy cubes or pellets. Some places even have oat hay cubes, or orchard grass cubes.

    I would also ditch the sweet feed, and probably swap the Omolene out for something else. For the most part sweet feeds are not ideal for hot horses, and I'm pretty sure Omolene is quite high in sugar. If you can get it, Triple Crown Senior is a great choice for weight gain. I sure wish I had access to Triple Crown!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

    Comment


    • #3
      I would be 1000x more concerned about “sweet feed” making a horse hot than alfalfa. I like alfalfa for putting weight on, especially if you need to built top line at the same time. That said, I board, a large young horse, prone to getting “hot” and needs extra calories.

      I buy extra hay and store it in a horse trailer – I provide a “nibble net” of an alfalfa grass 50/50 mix. I much prefer feeding more hay rather than concentrates, as it tends to be healthier for the horse.

      In addition to supplemental hay, I feed a few pounds of rice bran. This is a high fat feed, that can really help add weight and bloom to a horse.

      Lastly, I feed a ration balancer, designed for the type of hay I am feeding. This provides a daily allowance of vitamins and minerals, plus protein the hay may not be providing – in a one pound that gets fed daily.

      If I do not have the means to provide extra hay, I provide hay pellets or hay cubes (both soaked) – I prefer alfalfa, but both are available in grass hay or a mix.

      I would not give sweet feed to add weight, ESPECIALLY for a hot horse. I would reach for Omolene 400 before 500 – but would rather feed more forage, fat and a ration balance or a vit/mineral supplement to either.
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

      Comment


      • #4
        SkyeDragon...I am surprised to see you are using Purina & a sweet feed...I thought you were using Tribute Feeds. Switch to them again, and try soaked beet pulp for weight gain & fiber (just finishing the online equine nutrition course and they reaffirmed beet pulp & soaking it). You can also try oils...cocoasoya is good for weight gain and the BO can just squirt it on from the jug - easy as can be. Sugars and starches can also cause gut imbalances; and if you feed in large amounts (which people tend to do to create weight gain) you are setting yourself up for possible problems. Are you leasing him?

        Comment


        • #5
          Beet pulp, beet pulp, beet pulp, BEET PULP.

          Make him up a big mash of it every night, and he'll put on weight in no time.

          My not-easy-keeping, high-energy 4yo TB stays fat on a big mash of beet pulp, hay pellets, and a little bit of grain (for taste, essentially) twice a day, as well as unlimited hay. But she's not a big hay eater, so "unlimited" works out to maybe a third of a bale.

          Comment


          • #6
            Equi Omega by Uckele...a powdered form of cocosoya oil along with flax, vegetable oil and probiotics. It's perfect for hot horses. Great for weight gain and a shiny coat.

            http://www.sstack.com/horse-care_sup...omplex-7-5lbs/

            My formerly hard keeper is actually a tad chubby now after only a few months on it! Very palatable and easy to feed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ask if the barn will feed extra hay for a charge. Barring that, bring your own, every time you come to the barn, and toss him a few flakes.

              Also, as others have said, BEET PULP! If the barn doesn't do it, again, it's not hard for you to set up a pail to soak it at home, and bring it to the barn with you for him. This did wonders for my mare when she was down in weight but we didn't want to feed her any more grain as she was already a bit hot.
              You have to have experiences to gain experience.

              1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Beet pulp and rice bran. Rice bran pellets if your barn won't do wet feed. My OTTB is boarded and we worked hard to get him up to weight. Beet pulp and rice bran was the magic combination.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've certainly been in the situation where the barn won't feed as much hay as the horse needs and I have tried to make up for that in a variety of ways.

                  I've had the best luck with a lot of TC Senior and oil, but that was really a band aid solution. The advantage there is that it's easy, there's no soaking required, and it's easy to store. It's also pretty idiot proof.

                  I've not had luck with alfalfa pellets or cubes (but I've also not been in a place where the barn would feed something like that, soaked, twice a day, so it's been on me to do it when I'm out, once a day, and I felt like I just couldn't get enough into the horse.)

                  Not had luck with beet pulp (likely for the same reason as alfalfa pellets/cubes, above.)

                  I've not had luck with rice bran (just not enough calories IME for a horse that really needs weight.)

                  IF the barn will allow you to bring in hay, and will follow your instructions for feeding it, a nice grass/alfalfa mix (or straight alfalfa) to supplement whatever they feed is probably the BEST bet.

                  IF the barn will soak feed for you, alfalfa cubes or beet pulp is probably a good bet.

                  IF the barn won't let you store extra stuff, and won't soak, then load him up on Triple Crown Senior (or something similar) and oil and hope for the best. If they'll feed him three times a day, that's a win.

                  And, as always: make sure his teeth are addressed, make sure he's well wormed (perhaps it's time for a power pak?), and make sure his limiting amino acids are addressed--huge fan of Uckele Tri-Amino for this.

                  But, really? Something I've finally realized is that it's just Not. Worth. The. Hassle. of boarding at a barn where I am constantly fretting about my horse's weight. I'm just so tired of making that particular compromise. But if you're not, there are ways to make it work, sort of.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I am going to assume that to BO will not be willing to soak anything. In all the time I have boarded I only met one BO that was willing to do this and that was only because she was already soaking twice a day for her own horse. I am also assuming that he will likely get what I would call standard boarding rations for hay, being two flakes per feeding.

                    This barn boards 30+ horses so I am looking for something simple. Because he won't be at home, I may not be able to go out every day either. It will only be for a few months until the ground dries up and then I will likely go back in the fall if the experience is a good one. While at my house he will be on a round bale.

                    If I do try alfalfa pellets do they absolutely have to be soaked? I tried the cubes before and even with soaking had a horse that would frequently choke or start to choke on them. Kind of scared me off.

                    Does beet pulp and rice bran absolutely have to be soaked?

                    Sounds like the easiest may be to switch him to a senior feed and cocoyoa soy oil, or has anybody tried this stuff before? http://www.smartpakequine.com/cool-c...100-3725p.aspx
                    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                    The Blog

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jackie & Starlette View Post
                      SkyeDragon...I am surprised to see you are using Purina & a sweet feed...I thought you were using Tribute Feeds. Switch to them again, and try soaked beet pulp for weight gain & fiber (just finishing the online equine nutrition course and they reaffirmed beet pulp & soaking it). You can also try oils...cocoasoya is good for weight gain and the BO can just squirt it on from the jug - easy as can be. Sugars and starches can also cause gut imbalances; and if you feed in large amounts (which people tend to do to create weight gain) you are setting yourself up for possible problems. Are you leasing him?
                      I love, love, LOVE their RB, however their other grains I never had much luck with getting weight on a horse without having to use a ton of it.
                      Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                      The Blog

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by JLR1 View Post
                        Equi Omega by Uckele...a powdered form of cocosoya oil along with flax, vegetable oil and probiotics. It's perfect for hot horses. Great for weight gain and a shiny coat.

                        http://www.sstack.com/horse-care_sup...omplex-7-5lbs/

                        My formerly hard keeper is actually a tad chubby now after only a few months on it! Very palatable and easy to feed.
                        I like the sounds of that. I have heard that the oils can make them a little loose which makes me wonder how much is actually helping them and how much is just going through them. That is why I haven't tried any yet.
                        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                        The Blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would add a fat supplement to his diet. Either the Ukele one mentioned, Cool Calories, rice bran, Cocosoya oil, or even plain old veggie oil. Yes, oil can cause them to have loose manure, which is why you start off with a little and build up to a desired amount, and back down the amount if they do have loose manure. That being said, I've yet to see it. My horse gets 8oz of Cocosoya a day, and has been getting that for well over a year, and does not have issues. The couple of others I feed it to (in smaller amounts) are fine, too.

                          I have fed Cool Calories to a couple of horses and been happy with it. Even the super picky mare I fed it to ate it well.

                          These are easy, barn staff friendly solutions, though not the total solutions I would use to put weight on a horse. If you can pay a little extra for extra hay (if they are willing and it will get done), I would do it. Or buy some of your own, and give it to him when you are there.

                          As a BM, I will never understand barns that skimp on hay.
                          Amanda

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Try their Maturity...love it!!! Used it on my starved mini..put weight on nice & slowly.

                            Originally posted by Skyedragon View Post
                            I love, love, LOVE their RB, however their other grains I never had much luck with getting weight on a horse without having to use a ton of it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you tried TC Senior? It's high in fat, low in NSC and loaded with fiber.
                              I also give extra hay, an alfafa mix and it seems to be working.
                              I always need to supplement with hay and feed, most barns will not give the amount my horse requires.
                              I tried paying more for extra feed and hay, but my horse never gets it.
                              I keep a stash of feed and hay in my trailer and supplement on a daily basis.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The easiest and quickest way that I put on weight on my young horse (the hard keeper) is using Cocosoya Oil. I went through a bottle at the beginning of winter, and she easily put on 100-150 pounds. She's dropped most of it since I stopped using it, but my trainer thinks the weight is okay, so I'm just waiting for Spring.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Get a slow feeder that holds a whole bale, and keep it filled in his stall with an alfalfa mix.
                                  Slowly start adding veg oil to his feed. You could keep the bottle by his stall.

                                  After you ride, give him beep with some oil soaked in (and a good quality electrolyte)
                                  www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                  chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Another vote for TC Senior. My hard keeper Tb does very well on this. She gets a digestive/ulcer suppl in smartpaks and free choice hay.

                                    I feel your pain. When I board my horse at the big indoor she invariably loses some weight. It's a big barn and the barn help can get inconsistent, there have been days where what was in her feed bucket was not her TC Senior and since she's picky she won't eat it. The hay quality also isn't the highest.

                                    Free choice hay is also a tricky matter. At "home" she has a hay net hanging just outside her stall, so there is no waste...maybe that would be an option for your horse?

                                    Also, what about Dengie? It's bagged, shredded hay and horses love it - no soaking required.
                                    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Why not consult the BO. Just tell her/ him that your horse is underweight and you've been trying to put weight on so does she /he have any ideas.

                                      If there are 30 horses, she/may already be adding extras such as beetpulp and oil for some hardkeepers.

                                      As a BO I am very happy to help with this situation and from time to time have hardkeepers or horses that arrive underweight. I enjoy putting weight on them! Also happy to provide extra hay, soak beet pulp and add oil or other supplements if a horse needs weight on. In a way, it's a matter of pride that the horses in my care look healthy and in good weight.

                                      Have to say too that for some, a fecal test followed by strategic worming has been the key.

                                      You don't know the BO won't help unless you ask.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I used to buy extra hay, store it in my trailer, and either have someone regularly feed the extra (barn would not accomodate requests for extra, even if one offered to pay) or just throw 15 pounds myself to the horse each time I went out.
                                        Click here before you buy.

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