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My horse is losing weight, why????

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  • My horse is losing weight, why????

    My horse finally for to the weight that he needed to be at this new boarding stable. But for some reason he is losing again, I can see his ribs a little too easily for my liking.

    I noticed it when his winter coat started shedding out, but couldn't really tell until he was fully shedded out. I asked the BO and she said that nothing has changed, only that I have been riding him more. but even last summer I rode him and he never got skinny.

    I checked his teeth, and they could use being done, but they are not bad, and he is not leaving any food behind, he is eating it all up. so the only things I can think of is:

    1. BO used to feed 4 times a day, and now is feeding 3, still same amount, just put 4th feeding into the other feedings.


    2. My horse gets his alfalfa right next to the fence, he like to pull it out of the bucket and share it with an older mare, who will eat his until its gone then go eat her own.

    Could him only getting half the hay cause that much of a difference? or feeding less often?

    If I need to get something to help put the weight back on, what would recommend?
    Right now he gets 1 flake Alfalfa in the a.m., bermuda pellets, salts, glo, O&M at noon. and bermuda pellets in the evening, I think with some hay but not sure.

    Any advice will help Thanks!

  • #2
    But the teeth can make a difference even if he's not dropping his food - if he doesn't chew it well, he won't get the full amount of nutrition and calories from it.

    And sure if he's sharing his hay, that's half his hay or more gone. It adds up over time. Does he get his "grain" in a stall, by himself, or in a feedpan with the herd? If in his stall, then why not put his hay/alfalfa in the stall too, and leave him in an extra 20-30 minutes so he can finish it up?

    Most people don't ride hard enough to really make their horse need that much more food - like a walk-trot for 30 minutes four days a week or something, with a canter around at the end. That's not a lot of work, really.


    • #3
      Yes, getting half the amount of hay he was getting before can make a big difference.

      I would have his teeth done, and when was he wormed last and with what? I'd also consider upping his grain, if he's in a heavier work load...

      Good luck!


      • Original Poster

        He is in a pipe corral where the turn out is right next to it, so he is in his stall when he eats and the horse that is turned out at lunch time, shares it with him. I will ask if BO can move it further away where the old mare can't reach it. He just likes to be by her and I hope my boy is ok with eating somewhere else.

        no hes not getting worked much at all, maybe twice a week.

        About the teeth, I thought about that. It makes sense. but they are not bad at all.

        I will talk to BO Thanks!


        • Original Poster

          Not sure what he was wormed with, the BO takes care of that and they have them on a routine, they get wormed every other month.


          • #6
            It can be sharing the hay ( or alfalfa) or the quality. Did the BO get a new shipment in? Have his teeth floated if needed and request he be hayed a little farther apart.
            Come to the dark side, we have cookies


            • #7
              Grass makes a lot of things better. What breed is he? My young TB is ribby as all get out, but it's appropriate for his body type. The BO is always worrying he's not getting enough feed (she'd like to see him dressage fat), but the vet insists he's fine. I agree with the vet. I did up his rice bran intake about a week ago though. This heat wave is making it hard for him to keep weight.
              If you find out exactly what he's eating, you can do some ration balancing to figure out what's missing: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=345
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • Original Poster

                No I do not think there is a new shipment of hay. but possible.

                He is a TB, I know they can be ribby, but he just seems too ribby to me. It is also affecting how his saddle is fitting too, it used to stay up where it should be but now it slides back. and wont set up off of his withers enough. I will try to get pics next time I am out there. Maybe you can tell me if Im over reacting. Its just that I have spent the last 4 years that I have had him to get weight on him (he was really bad whenI got him) and its discouraging to see him losing some.


                • #9
                  So the barn owner says your horse is getting the same amount of feed as before, but you're riding more and he's losing weight. I guess he needs more to eat!


                  • #10
                    I would also recommend getting his teeth checked but not by the equine dentist mentioned in the other thread.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Weighaton View Post
                      I would also recommend getting his teeth checked but not by the equine dentist mentioned in the other thread.

                      But seriously, put his hay pile just 15 feet over - like in the middle of the pen instead of by the fence. It's not like feeding it in a totally unfamiliar area far away - just farther enough that the neighboring horse can't reach it under the fence.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Weighaton View Post
                        I would also recommend getting his teeth checked but not by the equine dentist mentioned in the other thread.
                        ROFLOL! No thanks!!!!


                        • #13
                          The first times I boarded my 2 horses
                          , my horse started losing weight. She was supposed to be getting hay, but turns out they were all getting grain and beat to death pasture at night. She got thinner. Then it turned out she was pregnant (unknowingly bought that way). I asked her if I could buy her hay. BO said no it will make the other horses jealous. The foal was born. My horse got thinner.

                          All this time I'm asking the BO why my horse is thinner. Her excuses:
                          She's at a new barn
                          She's pregnant
                          She's nursing
                          She's depressed
                          Her teeth
                          Needs worming
                          Her foal was weaned from her

                          I finally got the he11 out of there. I went to a place where the owners were always there, and treated all the horses like their own. She put on weight and looked beautiful and I was riding 3 times a week.

                          She got hay and nice pasture.

                          I should have gotten out of the first barn sooner, but BO being "knowledgeable", I sort of believed her.
                          Bottom line was my horse needed more food!

                          Furthermore, my old guy (rip) was getting thinner at another place, turned out to be that the goats were eating all his food! I gave him more of the grain that I bought, the BO then locked up the grain.

                          I got the he11 out of that place too. He wasn't home, so I left him a note that I had moved to another place. He actually came to my door at my home spewing crap like how dare I take my horses off of HIS property, I could be arrested for stealing!

                          So if your horse is getting thinner, ask the BO to give your horse more hay.


                          • #14
                            I'd take care of the teeth, but does sound like he needs more hay. I have one who's not very enthusiastic about hay and dropped weight at the beginning of spring because he just got tired of his plain ol orchardgrass. I started giving him more alfalfa, and voila, he got enthusiastic about eating his hay again and gained weight back on. It drives me nuts, because I believe in them having all the hay they can eat 24/7, and he throws it around and loses weight!
                            Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                            Witherun Farm


                            • #15
                              LOL, my two got tired of the hay this winter and wouldn't touch it, just throw it around. I got some alfalfa hay, and sortof crumbled some on top of the hay, and they cleaned up every bit from then on in.