Horse Losing Weight - Is Feed to Blame?

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Moondance, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    If i was to bet which a horse would go silly on, lupins or barley, i'd bet on barley every time. Simply because it is a grain, and a lot of horses are sensitive to grain.
    I'm sorry about the comments regarding the pellets. I know not all of them are cheap and nasty, and you can get decent quality at a good price. Just you said fattening pellets, and everything i've seen that's 'cool' and 'fattening' is just pollard, so i'm sorry, i shouldn't assume.

    If you wanted to try, once your bag of pellets finishes, don't get another one. Just keep him on the lupins, and see what his behaviour does.
    With feed, and what sets them off, and what they do better on, it's a long and frustrating process of trial and error.
  2. Nicnacs_Mistress

    Nicnacs_Mistress Well-known Member

    Moondance, I have read this thread through from the start, and have popped in everytime something new has been posted, and the thing that stands out the most to me is the lack of time.

    Horses need time to adjust to changes, whether its changes in routine (like where they live/who with etc) or changes in feed, horses are going to need at least a month to get used to the new system. Some horses take even longer to adjust.

    I feel that you have had him in the old agistment, he has had another horse dropped in on him and all the associated stresses, then you have moved to the new agistment (congrats on making the change) and he will take a while to get used to his new home, and the new sounds/smells/horses/routines etc.

    Same with his feed. If you keep changing his feed every fortnight because somebody else said what you were feeding wasn't right, then his system is never going to get used to what he is fed, and he may go downhill even. One of the primary rules of feeding is consistancy - so when you change feeds you should be mixing say a quarter of the new feed with 3 quarters of the old feed and feed like that for a week, then increase to half and half, then 3 quarters and 1 quarter until you are feeding only the new feed.

    Try to give him time. And remember - EVERYONE will have a different opinion on what to feed your boy, and if you follow EVERYONES advice you will end up with an unhappy horse, a very full feed shed of stuff you don't use, and a very empty wallet.

    Use your common sense and take every piece of advice with a pinch of salt, then go with what works for your horse. And don't forget to let your horse adjust to what you feed him!

    Stick with the basics. And really, a decent round bale will actually cost less in the long run than small rectangular bales. Yes, he will gorge on the first one, but then he will settle and you may even get a month out of a bale once he and his system is used to the hay.

    Good luck and keep posting, its great to watch your progress.
  3. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    How long does it usually take for a specific feed to leave a horses system? I'm curious as I had him off the lupins for about three or four days, and he was quite calm. But when I realised that in the interim, I need for him to be eating SOMETHING, I started feeding them again and he has gone back to being cocky and silly.
    Had him in the round yard yesterday and he was being such an arse. Everytime someone walked past, he'd start cantering flat out, and no matter what I did, he wouldn't calm down or slow down. Completely ignoring me.
    I was free lunging, so I went and got the lunge line and everytime I attempted to get near him to put it on him, he'd bolt. He was being such a big idiot, I ended up saying "okay, fine, you want to run away from me? Expect to keep on running!" and I wouldn't let him slow down until he was ready to make an effort at being good.
    Finally got the line on him and started back at a trot. He went whizzing around at this massively extended, super speedy trot. Almost like a pacing trot. I kept asking for a walk and giving a half halt on the line all to no avail. I eventually got so frustrated, I demanded a canter, which he obeyed, I asked for a trot, which took about five or six commands and three tugs on the line before he dropped back. I asked for a walk, and kept asking for a walk, with a tug on the line every single time, until he finally dropped back to a walk. I was done, he was exhausting me.
    I hadn't intended to work him so heavily, but dammit, he was being so naughty! He was dripping with sweat by the time it was over, which I hated, but my God, he really has no respect. Nothing I said went into his big head. Grrrrr!

    Annoying because all that cantering wouldn't be helping him gain weight. :(

    And I have been trying to get a round bale, but right now, NONE of the stock feeds have them. I even ventured farther out from home and couldn't find a place selling them. Not grassy round bales, not lucerne round bales, nothing. Nowhere has them.
  4. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    As quoted directly from the cardboard tag on the brand spankin new bag of Russells Fattening Pellets:

  5. Merlin

    Merlin Well-known Member

    Ok I havn't read the whole thread BUT horses that have been injured and on medication are going to have gut issues. Medication kills or the healthy gut flora and makes digestion difficult and painful if ulcers are present aswell. Also chopping and changing feeds every few weeks IS NOT HELPING. Get the gut sorted out, put him on a SIMPLE diet with LOTS OF BULK. So I would be getting hold of some natural yogurt with active live cultures, 2 heaped tablespoons with a splash of water, a stress dose of Protexin for 5 days, and a scoop of slippery elm, whisky up and syringe down his neck once a day.

    Do this for 5 days and then once a week maintenence :) This should sort the gut out UNLESS he has ulcers in which case a cause of Gastrozol daily will be required :)
  6. barragirl

    barragirl Active Member

    This is quite a long thread and all i can suggest, is listen to peoples advice but remember that what makes their horses hot or not may not be the same for your boy as every horse is different.
    I note that some people have told you that barley & lupins makes TBs hot, can i say that from my past tbs, some can get hot but most of mine have been totally fine.
    You need to give a horse about two weeks on an food product to see if it heats them up. For a TB to fatten up, it can take 2-3 months.
    I definitely wouldn't be choping and changing your horses diet because it wouldn't be doing your horse any favours.
    Maybe speak to your vet on what they suggest diet wise and commit to it for a couple of months. It he is getting to hot on that to ride, then maybe stop riding until he has put the weight back on. Lots and lots of bulk (hay) is always fantastic to put on weight on a tb along with a balanced simple feed.
    Best of luck, hope things turn around for you
  7. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    What is he like when someone else handles him?

    Could be a training/groundwork issue rather than feed? A handler confidence - him taking the p!ss sort of thing?

    Could be herd bound? I had a TB who would drop his sh!t if things changed in his herd environment - such a princess, who otherwise was a really quiet, lovely boy.
  8. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    He has mega trust issues. He trusts me, but at the same time, he also walks right over me, because he knows I know his history and he knows I won't do anything mean to him.

    But yet, when other people, who are more in your face and outgoing and bossy try to do anything with him, he doesn't take it kindly and he freaks out. It doesn't help him, it hinders him, because he stresses out tremendously.
  9. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    Pictures from yesterday (given its now 3am):



    His coat is actually REALLY shiny, you just can't see it in these pics, as it was incredibly overcast. He also wasn't very impressed because of the weather. Moping around trying to get his "girlfriend" to pay attention to him.

    For some reason, he doesn't look as bulky in these pictures as he does in real life. In real life, his ribs are barely visible, and you can barely feel them when running your hand over them.

    Silly horse is out of work right now too. He's done something to his back leg and inside the thigh is swollen a bit and he's not moving properly on it when he's being worked. Giving it another 2 weeks to see how it goes on its own. If it hasn't improved by my next pay day, then the vet pays a visit.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  10. Ali

    Ali Well-known Member

    Looking good :)
  11. wheatbeltanimalrescue

    wheatbeltanimalrescue Well-known Member

    Give yourself a BIG pat on the back mate - he is looking fantastic **) Looks like a different horse, all your hard work is paying off!!!
  12. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    He looks like a different horse **)
  13. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    More pics from today since the sun was out and properly shining!!!


    Strange... looks ribby on this right side, but not on the left??



    And other pictures I took just for the silliness of them, LOL:

    His nickname is "Donkey", can you see why?

    What the....??


    I bought him a bale of hay on Tuesday that I put inside his stall for him to have, ad lib...
    He ate HALF a bale overnight! And of course, now he's done that he doesn't want hay anymore.
  14. Moondance

    Moondance New Member


    22nd December:


    28th December:


    I know you cant see much of him behind my fat legs, but still. Improving. And he's been done it without fizzing up. His diet is now a lot more simple, it was recommended to me by the woman who runs the property.

    1 dipper pellets
    6 dippers chaff
    6 dippers pony pellets (they have HEAPS in them)
    1/2 cup TuffRock Equine Joint Formula

    He also gets ad lib hay in a hay net in his stall. I put in 4 biscuits of hay each time and it lasts him 2 days. I always put more in before it runs out.

    The TuffRock is because of his training as an intended racer (but never having raced) and now, his work with lunging and jumping, I want to make sure he has all the beneficial joint support BEFORE problems occur.
    My friends 10yo OTTB has joint problems, as he walks around, you can hear his joints crackling. I want to give my boy something that will help him NOW, before his joints ever get to that point. It also seems to be doing more for him than just helping his joints, as since he's been on it, his coat has gotten a lot shinier. As the TuffRock is designed to provide and stimulate collagen production, they get the most magnificent bright, clear coat and condition improves so much. A fair few of the horses on the property are on it and their coats are amazing!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  15. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    Just the purposes of comparison:

    To the left/top is Reggie at his utmost worst, November 2nd, 2010.
    And more updated/recent pictures, as seen on December 22nd.



  16. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    good job. they arent that hard to fix after all, you just need to know what to do with them. Lesson well learnt and many more to come in the perils of horse ownership:)*
  17. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    Not hard to fix, just costly.
    NOWHERE local has been able to source round bales, so he's been on the hay bales, at $15 a bale and he goes through one in under 3 days. With his $60 a week agistment (which pays for the paddock, no feedings), then another close to $40 a week just for his hay on top of that...
    I got paid this past Tuesday. $550.
    More than half of it went onto Reggie.

    The owner of the property told me last week, she knew of a place selling round bales, $88, was going to get them this week. Clearly she forgot about it, because she's gone off on holidays and won't be back until next week.
  18. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member should have got an arab..mine cost me about $10 ea per week to feed.. or a welsh pony :D
  19. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Yep some of these horses take a lot of groceries!

    But it is worth it...he looks a million dollars! well done!
  20. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    AND just coz I love showing off how goddang sexy he is...
    More pics from yesterday:




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