Grain help

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Anna Giuda, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Anna Giuda

    Anna Giuda Full Member

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    Holy Toledo I need to get out of this forum. In the last month, my trainer/ BO suggested severely decreasing my tbs grain because she thought he was getting too much energy. Now, come three weeks later he is skinny. Not every bone in his body is showing skinny, but his ribs are very prominent. I pointed this out to her, but she claims that it’s his muscle (just one of the many reasons I’m leaving this barn). To combat this recent weight loss I attempted to up his grain again, but she does not think it’s a great idea. I have talked to my vet and they said changing the grain isn’t an option because of his compromised digestive system (he had colic surgery years ago), so I am left with two options. Upping his grain and be left with a horse with too much energy for his own good or put him on a weight supplement that might also provide him with excess energy. And thoughts/advice? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    What and how much is he currently eating?
     
  3. Anna Giuda

    Anna Giuda Full Member

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    He is currently on 1 qt of Poulin hay stretcher (forage extender) and 2 cups of Poulin senior feed. He is not an old horse (he’s 10) but this is what he’s been on since his surgery.
     
  4. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    I would ask your vet about beet pulp. I've had excellent luck with my TB mare's weight on beet pulp and it doesn't add excess energy. It is good for the gut and is considered a good forage substitute. You can feed as much or as little as you want without causing problems and I know it has worked well for many horses with a history of colic or colic surgery. My mare has eaten beet pulp (with just a couple of supplements) for 8 years now and has never been skinny. She looks amazing actually.

    I would absolutely go with whatever my vet said though. He or she is your expert, not your barn owner.
     
  5. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    Go with the vet's advice.

    And for what it is worth.. usually forage is more important than grain or a stretcher for maintaining and gaining weight.

    I would ask the vet about alfalfa.
     
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  6. Anna Giuda

    Anna Giuda Full Member

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    We have called the vet and are waiting for a reply, but last time we called they suggested having a trainer asses him (they aren’t very concerned with how little he gets, they only really care if he gets too much.) and then relay their reccendation to them for confirmation or refution. As for hay, he gets free choice, but won’t eat a lot. He gets pretty sick of it.
     
  7. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    What kind of hay?

    I don't know many horses who won't gladly eat nice leafy alfalfa.
     
  8. Anna Giuda

    Anna Giuda Full Member

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    It’s 2nd cut Timothy hay. Pretty nice quality. The only thing with alfalfa is the vet didn’t really want us introducing anything new into his diet. (Even switching cuts of hay is a touchy subject). I will ask them about it though.
     
  9. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    I'd find a new HORSE vet and get a 2nd opinion.
     
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  10. TBLove

    TBLove Full Member

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    When assessing this horses condition, I feel you need to consider the following:

    - Has his exercise changed or increased since dropping the grain? If you increase work and decrease grain you WILL loose condition if he was at a good weight prior to the changes.
    - Does he clean up his hay well? If he cleans it up well, adding more hay each feeding may make a huge difference (A flake or two extra can and will go a long way)
    - Define "excitable?" When a horse is not being fed enough it can give the illusion of "quiet" and often they get more energy when the feed is optimized. Have you considered the fact he may just be a hotter horse? Are you mistaking him feeling WELL as feeling hot?
    -Have you discussed adding an increase in "cool" calories that is not grain based? Such as Shredded or pelleted soaked Beet-pulp, stabilized rice bran pellets/topper or alfalfa pellets?
    -Has he been on a consistent worming schedule? If not, I would run a fecal because often the first signs is a "ribby" look to the animal
    -The ribs themselves don't have a lot of muscle on them,but ARE one of the first places horses loose fat. Look at this for reference:
    [​IMG]

    and here for the full weight scale system: https://www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk/thumbnails/0/24533.2699.jpg
     
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