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Piper182 05-19-2009 06:58 PM

Very Old Horse- HELP!

There is a horse in my barn that I have been taking care of. He is between 35 and 40 (no one knows because he came from a rescue years ago). He is the sweetest little man in the world (an arab), but he is basically skin and bones. His legs look awesome, like that of a young horse, but the rest of his body is boney. He has four teeth on top and four on bottom, but we feed him three times a day. He gets senior feed wet and mushy and soggy alphalpha cubes.

Does anyone have any recommedations about how to put more weight on him. He tends to eat more now because we have been putting him out 6 days a week and grooming him daily. He loves the attention.

Also, he is still shedding but I think he wasn't eating enough over the winter to now be growing new hair. He has horrible dandruff and I'm scared of grooming him too much for fear of giving him bald spots. I give him moisterizing baths like once a week but I don't want to dry out his skin even more. Any help is appreciated.

He doesn't get any supplements except eye drops (other than the weight he is in perfect health) and plays around like a baby when he gets the attention he deserves.

Please help. He really is an awesome horse, but people are afraid to play with him because they feel like they will break him. I want him to put on weight so people will love him up.


Judy at Shady Grove 05-23-2009 06:10 PM

I found this info that might help. My friend took in some rescue horses and it took her a couple years before they filled out right. What does the vet say? Sounds like a lovely horse -- see if this info does anything to help you out. :o

Today, equine nutritionists have turned to fats as a far more efficient and advantageous caloric alternative. Fats offer more than twice the calories per gram than do grains. A pint of corn oil added to the daily ration will significantly boost the caloric intake (3840 calories per pint) without adding bulk. By contrast, one pound of typical sweet feed will supply 1100-1600 calories and one pound of corn approximately 1600 calories.

Fats offer other benefits as well. Containing neither the fiber nor the carbohydrates of the grains, fats produce little internal heat during digestion and are not generally associated with the unruly behavior sometimes linked to feeding high carbohydrate grains like corn. There is some concern, however, that fats comprising more than fourteen percent of the ration may inhibit proper utilization of the fat-soluble vitamins. Both vegetable and animal fat products are available in either liquid or dried forms, although vegetable fats are generally more appetizing to the equine palate. There are several newer commercial grain mixes with higher fat levels now being marketed specifically for hard keepers and horses in heavy work.
If you decide to add fat to your horse's diet, be sure to incorporate it gradually. I start my horses with 1/8 cup of oil twice a day mixed with their grain. After a week, I will increase it to 1/4 cup twice a day. In another week, I will increase it to 1/2 cup twice a day, if necessary. You can give up to a total of 2 cups a day, but if you start a horse at that level, you'll be sure to give him a major case of diarrhea. His system needs time to adjust to the fat. You will also need to keep a very close eye on his weight if you start feeding fat. Horses can gain weight quickly on fat, and the risk of laminitis is high if weight is gained rapidly and in excess. Before you make any major dietary changes, though, you might want to get the vet out to take a look at this horse.

Piper182 06-08-2009 12:34 PM

The vet knows Al well. He is in perfect health other then needing eye drops. He isn't very sound, but he's old so it doesn't matter. He runs like a fruit every so often and the vet said he would be more worried if he was perfectly sound at his age. Also, weight gain should make him sounder.

Thanks for the advice, we have just started him on oil. Cross your fingers.

Judy at Shady Grove 06-08-2009 04:41 PM

Hope he does gain weight and fill out -- hopefully he'll feel better too! Keep us informed on his progress. Judy

snipe67 04-30-2010 07:45 PM

Hi Carly ^^,

I found a great information about How to help your horse gain weight.

they are talking about wormer, psyllium, vitamins, beet pulp and limited roughage.

you can read that for more information.

hope it helps

Judy at Shady Grove 05-09-2010 06:03 AM

How's he doing?
How's your horse doing? Has he been able to gain weight? Judy

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