Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Weight Issue

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of Loki's weight. I took these before the big cold snap, polar vortex thingy. And the good news is that he doesn't look any worse. In all fairness or maybe just to make myself feel better I have to say that these pictures make him look much, much worse than he does in person. I'm not sure if that means the camera exaggerates the truth or simply brings it out. But really he is mainly just ribby, very ribby. He has weight everywhere else. We have started giving him extra hay. I'm not sure what else to do with him at this point. I would love to give him free choice hay but there is no way to work that out in his current situation. He is still nice and shiny even with his winter coat and bright eyed and energetic.
This angle makes him look the worst.
But really you can see he's got plenty of weight on his hiney.
Maybe he will always be a hard keeper in the winter?
So does it look as bad as I think it does? Any other suggestions to try? I was thinking maybe adding some beet pulp or rice bran...

21 comments:

  1. His ribs are definitely visible, but his hips and spine aren't sticking out. Extra hay is the best option. Shy has the exact opposite problem, she can maintain on 2 flakes a day (but she does get more). Hope you can figure something out!

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    1. The horses at my sister's also have the exact opposite problem. I've been told that trying to get them to lose weight is actually harder, lol. My sister had to put a grazing muzzle on her gelding he got so bad and she doesn't have any dry lots.

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  2. I agree- keep up the extra hay. It's the best option. Some extra 'other' feed is good too but the hay will be something that will be maintainable :)

    He's just ribby but not lean all over so that's good.

    I assume he's utd on worming and teeth?

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    1. He had his teeth done just this spring and his fecal came back good in October/November time frame. Hopefully I'll start seeing a difference with the extra hay soon. We only just started adding it so it's not like it will happen overnight. Thanks for the thoughts!

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  3. Try about a lb of Amplify a day, with 20 grams of Lysine. The amplify is high in fat and low in sugar, with a moderate amount of protein. The Lysine is an amino acid that will help him convert the protein into muscle. The higher fat content will help create energy in the muscle that doesn't come from sugar. It's what I used to get Ashke to weight and is recommended for difficult keepers.

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  4. Keeping weight on them over winter can be so difficult. I empathise *hugs*
    Agree that extra hay is best route as won't blow hos brain like hard feed might.

    Is he warm enough? I noticed last spring that Nancy dropped a crazy amount of weight after getting rained on for the month of May - she was cold and got all sucked up & looked awful :-/

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    1. Thanks for the "hugs" they help!

      I'm pretty sure he is staying warm enough. I know that was an issue last year so we've been extra careful so far this winter. It breaks your heart when they look awful/miserable doesn't it?!

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  5. Red isn't ribby, but he has definitely lost some as well. I don't even want to post the photos from my last ride because he's lost SO much of his muscle and weight, not to a point of skinny'ness but still not where I want him at. I agree with the extra hay, and making sure he's warm. Beet pulp is good...maybe put him on a weight supplement? When we first got him, we put Red on a weight supplement from Tractor Supply. It may make him a little hyped up but it does it's job well and it does it quickly.

    If it makes you feel any better, Loki doesn't look super bad, ribby, but not bad. You can still see his nice weight and muscle everywhere so it's obvious he's a very healthy and happy pony!

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    1. Thank you! I do think that the shadows from the angle he was standing make him look worse than he really is but I do think some weight gaining supplements are in his future as well. He has lost a bit of muscle, too. He's mostly had the past three weeks off.

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  6. Fiction never gained weight until I put him on a digestive probiotic/prebiotic. It really helped him digest and get the most out of his food. His ribs vanished and now we're having trouble keep the weight off of him! Just a suggestion :) I use SmartOmega3 from Smartpak, but there are different kinds sold at Tractor Supply/Feed stores.

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    1. Loki is on Kalm Ultra feed which has probiotics in it and Omegas 3 & 6. He is also on Glanzen 3 which has Omega 3 in it as well. I'm not sure about prebiotics, though, that might be something to look into, thanks!

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  7. Yes, he is thin for my liking in the winter. Most people don't want to do it, but he needs more feed, more hay, more everything to gain weight.

    Ideas; I have several hard to keep TBs and they are all quite fat.

    First of all if you are feeding Purina, stop now and get something else.

    Hay, lots if it. Roundbale if necessary outside.

    Beet Pulp, definitely. I would start by adding 5 cups morning and night. It also increases water intake.

    High fat food, I feed Brooks Omega which is 13% fat. I feed 4 cups 3 times a day for the working horses. I add equal amounts of Masterfeed Roughage chunks for forage.

    At night you can add hay cubes - soaked. A big bucket to munch on over night helps those horses who aren't big hay eaters. Alfalfa or timothy mix is a good idea.

    How many feedings a day do you give? I do three. Morning, evening and night feed. I find it really helps pack the weight on.

    FYI Im a certified Equine Nutritionist.

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    1. Thanks for all your suggestions. This is what he is currently being fed:

      Kalm Ultra by Tribute feeds:( http://www.tributehorsefeeds.com/catalog/performance/kalm-ultra-t91212-1/) He's getting roughly 5 lbs spread over two feedings.

      In the a.m. he gets Glanzen 3 and tractgard and he is supposedly getting about 20#s of Alfalfa hay per my barn manager.

      Being a boarder makes it difficult b/c not only can I NOT do some of the things I'd like such as putting a round bale out for him or give him a third feeding but it also means that I have to trust that things are getting done the way they are supposed to be getting done. I so would love to have my own place where I could just do it myself but right now it is just not possible for me to be at the barn every day for both feedings.

      Again, thanks for your suggestions!

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  8. Beet pulp!!!!!!! It's the best way to add weight without feeding additional grain.

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    1. Yes, I have Ghazal on beet pulp and I do think it works wonders. I am strongly leaning that way for Loki as well. Thanks!

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    2. Yesss beet pulp and rice bran! Oh, and colostrum!! My BM started giving the 23yr old OTTB who was diagnosed with EPM colostrum....WOAH a huge change. The vet recommended it, said it's great for horses with EPM at any age. She got it from Tractor Supply in a little white bag....it's good stuff.

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  9. I like rice bran! I popped it into the feed xl along with Ramone's other stuff and it brought all of his levels to where they needed to be nutrition wise, which makes me wish I had Carlos on it. Ads fat without hotness.

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    1. I've heard a lot of good things about rice bran. I'll have to look into it more closely. Thanks!

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  11. Hm I don't really have any advice because Wiz looked just like that last year through the spring and summer, despite the grain/beet pulp/hay/grass poured into him, but as soon as we treated him for EPM with the Oragin, he put on weight! (Like literally, it's a ten day treatment and on day 5 or 6 he had already gained like 50+ pounds). And right now he's only getting 3/4 scoop of co'op brand grain, with half a scoop of beet pulp am and pm and some supplements, with three flakes of hay and he is staying at a really good weight. If you keep pouring grain into him and nothing is happening, might want to re-evaluate the epm with the vet...

    I will have to say, I started to think he was losing a little weight and I started adding this Nutrena empower stuff (rice-bran based with omega 3s and such) and about half a bag later, I can see a big difference. I tried it on a whim because they were out of the Dumor omega shine stuff that I usually use, but I'll probably stick with it!

    What are you feeding him? Definitely add half a scoop of beet pulp am/pm (the stuff is cheap!) and maybe a rice bran supplement like amplify or the nutrena empower. It's like 15$ a bag, so cheaper than amplify if you're on a budget like me! (http://www.nutrenaworld.com/products/horses/empower-supplements/empower-boost/index.jsp).

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