Draft horse people!!!

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by BipolarHonor, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. BipolarHonor

    BipolarHonor Senior Member

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    Up until I started taking care if him it would be nothing for him to sit in his stall for WEEKS and then she spontaneously would throw him out for days at a time no matter what the weather was (he has been out during rain storms for days and our night check person has already gone out at night and brought him in during thunder storms because he runs the field) and then back in his stall again for weeks. Right now he goes out in the riding ring to stretch his legs every day while I do barn work. Our fields get real marshy when he have a lot of rain which we have been having. so until our ground freezes we won't turn out in pasture.

    I know she was looking for someone to do his teeth but I don't know if she actually had them done or not.
     
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  2. Winchester

    Winchester Senior Member

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    Why is that Manes? I have a draft cross and have always been feeding a protein-inclined diet to promote muscle building instead of fat.
     
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  3. OldGreyMare

    OldGreyMare Senior Member

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    A draft horse has to be looked at AS AN INDIVIDUAL! My mentor has all nice healthy, roly poly Percherons and feeds a low protein diet....my Percheron mare gets a 12% protein feed, high quality orchard/alfalfa and field grass hay at the moment. Doing well on that. Also really depends on if you work them or not as well, they need calories to burn if they are working or worrying, they will and do loose weight .
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Feeding Draft Horses - Kentucky Equine Research

    Read up on the metabolism of a Draft. They colic real easy on high protein feeds. They do not need it, they have low energy requirements. Grain provides energy, hay puts on weight, not the other way around. Exercise builds muscle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  5. OldGreyMare

    OldGreyMare Senior Member

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    That isn't always true....you have to look at each draft and what their personal needs are. This is part of the problem with light horse people who get drafts and feed them like they would a light horse. Their metabolism is different. It also depends on the grain, what is in it, their age, teeth, work load, etc....I am having a hard time with Smoke keeping weight on her and she has hay in front of her ALL the time, as well as what we give them when they are in their stalls at night. Age is part of it, she is 25, but it isn't always true, an owner has to take the draft and their needs into consideration.

    Feeding Your Draft Horse: Nutritional Feed Requirements - Triple Crown Feed
    Draft horse diets are not the same as a pony or light horse; you have to take into consideration their size, their breed and breed characteristics, known diseases and disorders in drafts and even their metabolism, which is slower than their smaller counterparts. As far as basics go, following the recommended amount of feed or forage for the horse’s weight and lifestyle will help you keep your draft in their best condition.

    Grain and hay go hand in hand and you have to know the draft and what that animal needs.
     
  6. BipolarHonor

    BipolarHonor Senior Member

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    KER is who my feed mill works with to create their different feeds! I was going to put him on the KER pellets which is their version of a ration balancer but with him needing weight I figured id start with grain and get weight on him since we are in the cold months now (temps will be teens and single digits this weekend) and then switch to the ration balancer. if he is still around at that point, the barn owner has taken legal action against the owner now since its looking as an abandonment and we don't know how it will play out for him. i'm hoping the barn owner gets ownership of him he is super sweet and smart. he is learning to stand quietly in the crossties. and we had a lesson on manners going to the field the other day. he hasn't been going out to the field just the riding ring til things froze. yesterday walking down to the field he was crowding we got that figured out and then when we got close to the field he tried to bolt to the gate. I managed to get him stopped and corrected and then he walked in and stood til I unhooked and walked out of the gate.
     
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  7. BipolarHonor

    BipolarHonor Senior Member

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    oh and this is the big guy :)
    20190112_134745.jpg
     
  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    He is doubtless very thin under all that hair, but there is also quite a bit of muscle atrophy around the shoulder and on into his back, and some very odd lumps on his back just below his spine. I can't see clearly but he may have a lot of lower leg swelling as well. He probably needs a vet.

    As far as feeding, there are plenty of draft horses that do very, very well on a good quality hay and nothing else. He looks like the type that will eventually be an extremely easy keeper. He has retained a lot of neck fat despite being emaciated and in horrible condition. That's usually an indication he will be an easy keeper, so is the short back.

    It's quite common around here to mostly maintain them on good hay, as many people have draft horses around here, and some do well on pasture alone. The really crucial issue is preventing them from gaining excess fat, actually. Most draft horse breeds were bred to be 'good feed utilizers.'

    A lot of them wind up like this one, thin, no muscle. To be honest I've seen a lot of horses at local auctions that were in worse shape than him. People hardly bat an eyelash, seeing a draft horse in this condition, it's so common. Which is sad, but many people don't do well by them. They get fed very poorly at some places, and often are penned up with little to no exercise, leading to muscle loss. And these horses look awful when thin, and awful when penned up and have no muscle.

    I am hoping that's all that is wrong with this one, but if he was mine I'd have a vet and be wondering if there is kidney or liver disease going on.

    And in general, what people do around here is give them hay and not a lot of bagged feed/high grain feeds for quick fattening. Oh sure, you do still find people around here who push the sweet feed at them to 'slick 'em up' for quick sale, and often those horses bounce back from this sort of condition with no trouble. And quite often, also, they do not.

    In the past it was 'calf manna and hay,' of course now we have better products than calf manna - ration balancers that are more tuned to horse's nutritional needs, and of course now even calf manna makes a horse ration balancer.

    With this horse, I'd be trying to very very slowly increase his protein intake over several weeks or even two months, I'd be scared to death to throw a lot of rich feed at him all at once because he's been done very poorly for a long, long time and decent food would be a shock to his system.

    I'd give him a quality hay and a ration balancer, amount by weight. I'd hold off on worming until I felt he'd had a chance to put on some muscle and fat. Horses need some 'cushion,' some tissue on them, before you worm them.

    I wouldn't actually give him much grain or bagged concentrate in an effort to quickly fatten him up. I don't believe that's good for any horse, but draft horses generally do not well with efforts to quickly fatten them up(even if they don't get sick, which I described above). They put on fat rather than muscle, and a high carb high starch diet can in fact cause a lot of metabolic trouble even when they are thin.

    I'd give him exercise - very light, slow exercise - just to get him moving around, so hopefully, in future, he could start getting more work and developing muscle. Hand walking, probably. Ten or 15 minutes every other day to start, and then as tolerated.

    Until he was starting to get too fat, I'd leave him with free choice hay. Please, do be careful if you let him graze. Even winter pasture might be a big shock to his system.

    Many people insist that to be 'healthy,' draft horses must be 'roly poly.' That isn't true.

    That's not healthy for them and leads to a lot of problems. That should not be the eventual goal here. A healthy draft horse is NOT 'roly poly.' He's at a 'slim-healthy' weight, with plenty of muscle from appropriate exercise. Slim healthy for most horses is 'right about 5.' You can barely see the last rib and he's got a good covering of muscle and some fat, not lots of 'roly poly' fat.

    My pony is not 'roly poly' and people constantly say "He doesn't 'look like a pony,' he looks like a horse!" When I ask what they mean, they always insist he should be 'real round and roly poly,' and I say, 'that's unhealthy for horses as well as ponies.'
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  9. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

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    That appears to be a small stall fora draft. Or am I wrong, in, its bigger than it looks, or they don’t need all that room? Know next to nothing about the care and feeding of heavy horses.

    Just know that I love to watch them, and feel sorry for animal that get next to nothing for turn out. Thank you for assuming care of this fella.
     
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  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    What a kind expression, he looks really sweet.
     

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