Best ways to put weight on a horse?
Topic: Best ways to put weight on a horse?
January 18, 2020 / By Hammond Question:
My horse has been underweight for about 2 years now but is finally just starting to put some on. When I first got him he was a fat, healthy show horse. The owner told us to feed him 2 flakes of hay a day (he was my first horse so she had to explain some things to me). I think she might have assumed that we would be grazing him all day since she knows we have 23 acres of land. What she probably didn't know is that it's all in the mountains. I currently have a smallish area fenced off for him to graze on every day and I keep him off of it some days to let the grass grow. He's now eating 4 flakes of hay a day since the vet told us he needed more hay. He's about 16hh and around 1200 to 1300 pounds. He's been wormed so parasites are no longer a problem. He's starting to get a rounder look to him but are there any other ways I can speed up the weight gaining process? I'm hoping to show him this summer.
He just had his teeth floated last month. That's when the vet told us to give him more hay.
Well ulcers couldn't be the problem since he hasn't been shown in 5 years prior to me buying him. The owner just stuck him in a pasture for 5 years because she got tired of messing with horses. Took me 2 years to get him to gait right and we'll hopefully pick up his show career again soon.
Best Answers: Best ways to put weight on a horse?
Eddie | 9 days ago
worming is a great thing but if he was carrying alot of them single or even double dose workers may not remove them all which is a major issue in weight loss. Id ask your vet for a worm count pack, they are very cheap, you collect a poo sample and it gets sent of to analyse for egg count and worms. I'd suggest this if he has been underweight for two years. Rules one thing out.
Best thing you can do if you cant free graze him is to feed him hay adlib. Give him as much as he likes. It is best to get something a bit poorer quality first off as any type of excess forage to a horse that isnt used to it can cause shock laminitus, even in a very underweight horse. As he adjusts to eating freely increase the quality. 4 Flakes of hay, unless your using a heston type bale is not really alot for a large horse. Also ensure his teeth are fine, even something as small as inadequate chewing even if he eats alot can lead to the gut going into over time to disolve larger bits of food/hay which can often result in weight loss also. Are you able to fence your small paddock in half so he can have a good couple of days in one half and a few with hay whilst the other side grows then vice versa?
Best thing you can do is be natural, as much grass as is physically possible even if thats grazing out inhand amongst the mountains and alot of hay. Feed should be kept low on sugar whilst he puts on a bit more weight safely. Even lots of Alfala given in large buckets at regular points in the day will make a big difference and unless he is lacking energy or you ride alot, you shouldnt need much feed atall if any with free forage all the time. Makes the gut work more regularly without having to dissolve sporadic meals. Of course with the more work you do increase hard feed for energy but thats purely all a horse needs hard feed for if you give unlimited access to good hay and grazing.
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Originally Answered: I need to put weight on my horse.?
For a horse to gain weight, they need to eat more Energy then they are burning. In your case your horse does alot of eventing, so you will have to feed quite alot. Make sure his teeth are ok and that he does not have any mouth olcers as this can prevent him from eating.
I did this with some of my rescue horses who needed weight putting on. Its alot to read and take in but its worth it :)
1. Give your horse 24 hour access to good quality grass hay or pasture – We all have a tendency to get focused on feeding high energy grains and high fat feeds to our horses when they need to gain weight and overlook the contribution that a good quality grass forage can make. Free access to grass hay or pasture always underpins effective weight gain programs for horses.
2.The best hay to give your horse is Lucerne. Lucerne will provide your horse with good quality protein which will facilitate muscle development. This is particularly important if your horse suffered muscle wastage at the time that weight loss occurred. Lucerne is also a high energy forage and makes a valuable contribution to raising a horse's energy intake above their daily requirement to encourage weight gain. It is difficult to make a recommendation as to exactly how much lucerne should be fed as each horses requirement will vary depending on the degree of weight gain required, their temperament (as occasionally lucerne hay will cause behavioural changes in some horses) and the quality of grass hay being fed. Between 0.5 kg and 1 kg per 100 kg body weight per day is a good place to start.
3. Add high energy feeds to the diet – If the desired rate of weigh gain is not achieved after implementing the first two steps above, your horse still requires additional energy over and above that provided by the pasture and/or hay. You now have three high energy feed options to consider adding to your horse's diet.
4. Ensure your horse is receiving a balanced profile of protein, vitamins and minerals – If your horse's diet is unbalanced from a protein, vitamin and mineral perspective it is likely that this will prevent your horse from gaining weight, regardless of how much you are feeding it. Feeding your horse the recommended amount of a well formulated commercial product or feeding a good quality supplement (remember to choose carefully as some supposed complete supplements are anything but) will ensure your horse's diet is well balanced. It may also be necessary to include a high quality protein source such as soybean in the diet. Again for best results, a feeding management software program such as Equilize should be used to balance your horse's diet correctly.
He should have about 2 qts of grain am and pm and then free hay. So he doesn't waste it give him two flakes in the morning, when he's done, give him a couple more. Then at night give him four flakes. He should always have hay in front of him.
Because of the moisture you need to feed more grass to keep a horse at a healthy weight than you'd need to feed hay.
Also a regular work schedule will help.
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This is what i would feed my skinny arab, first keep hay in front of them at all times so they can munch on it cause horses graze all day in the wild. Then i gave him grain. I gave him LMF like 4 hand fulls of it, a spoon full of olive oil, a drop of red cell(its good for them), a 1/3 coffee can of rice bran( they might hate the way it tastes but its sooo good for putting on weight.), 1/2 coffee can of crimpped oats, a little bit of sweet cob. and some moalases to make its taste better. Also i wetted all that down cause my horse was old. but it worked :) hope this helps all of these things are good for putting on weight
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I would give him about 1/2 a quart of beet pulp (pre-soaked) and 1/2 a quart of grain for starters, and about 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil and vitamins. The vegetable oil will be good if you are showing because it will make your horse's coat really nice on top of things. After doing this for a couple of weeks, reevaluate your horse and see if you need to increase his concentrate intake. You can also try feeding your horse alfalfa along with his grass hay, since it will get more calories into his system. This is really one of those simple diet strategies that health nuts who want to lose weight do- you need calories in and calories out to balance, but it is usually harder to measure in the horse. Since he is skinny, it is safe to say he needs more calories in in the form of concentrates- grain, oil, beet pulp, etc.
You mention your horse is a show horse- have you ruled out ulcers? Ulcers will create similar symptoms in the horse as a heavy worm load, and most show horses have them.
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We feed my horse 3qts of Triple Crown Complete morning and night to try to get his weight on. And he has 24/7 turnout, and we feed him 2-3 flakes of hay am/pm and he gets a bran mash (bran, carrots, apples, and a handful of his food, maybe some treats). he is finally putting on weight :)
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Have the vet come out and float his teeth if this hasn't been done. Horse's should have their teeth checked a minimum of once per year.
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Originally Answered: How do I get my horse to gain weight?
Do not just increase grain to add weight you risk lamanitis and colic.
If you want to add weight add fat to the horses diet.
You can get stabalzed rice bran a powder and add it over the feed or you can add liquid oil to the top of the feed. Start at 1/4 cup and work up to one cup per feeding.
It adds calories with out making the horse hot and it carries no cloic or lamanitis risk. There are many ways to add fat to the diet.
You can also add beet pulp. It is hte stuff left over after they remove the sugar from sugar beets. It comes shredded or in pellets and you put it in water and soak it and it expands. So start out with a couple of cups and add water and let sit hten feed to the horse.
You can mix the grain into the beet pulp and give them everything together. Beet pulp is also great as it is fiber and will not cause lamanitis.
The other thing I would bdo is go to free choice hay. Let him have all he wants.
I take thoroughbreds off the race track and turn them out on pasture give them free chioce hay and get their weight up and start with their re-training process. I use the above formulas to put weight on them. It works.
I do not feed sweet feed I use Tripple Crown it is a pelleted type feed and you feed way less of it and the horses seem to be able to use the feed better. Then I add fat and beet pulp and everyone gets free choice grass hay. No one is thin and they look good.
Good luck with your Paint.