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lizzie44

Weight gain

Hi, my Arab mare is 19 and looking a bit ribby. She has 2xhaynets at night 2 hard feeds a day (  1 scoop coolmix, 1 scoop readigrass and sugarbeet,oil and lo-cal balancer). Anybody got any ideas on how to keep condition on her. She is ridden 5 days a week for up to 2 hours and is always full of beans. She is clipped rugged well and stabled at night. Oh and teeth are rasped and she is regularly wormed. This happens every year but as she gets older its always a harder battle to keep her weight on. Help!! Love Lizzie
ClaireK

Lizzie, you seem to have looked at the obvious things, ie she's well fed, wormed, teeth checked etc etc.

If she is a fizzy sort it might be that the sugar beet is giving her the extra fizz and that could be what is not helping to keep weight on her, all that endless energy wont be keeping her quiet and helping her to conserve energy and use her feed to put on weight. The only reason I say this is a few years ago i had a gelding that had endless energy and it wasnt until i spoke to an endurance rider that i found out sugar beet is good for slow release energy and this lady used to feed alot of it when her horse was in training! Once i took Tim off the sugar beet his energy levels dropped alot. It might be worth trying this option and see if it makes any difference. I would also look at the sugar/molasses/oil quantity in her mix as well as again Tim couldnt have mix.

I have been feeding Fast Fibre in place of my usual balancer and my 3 are thriving on it. It has all the required vitamins and minerals and can be fed as a total hay replacement feed if reqd. A kilo of it is sufficient to give them all of their vits and mins so it could be a change of feed is needed. I dont feed any extra to my mare and she has bags of energy and will have a day out hunting without any problems. Feed would be as good a starting place as any to see if you can change anything.

The only other thing worth trying would be a calmer, I swear by Magnesium Oxide and have a post on here somewhere detailing what its like. Its worth a bit of investigation.

Hope this helps

Claire
lizzie44

Ive been wondering about swapping her to Baileys topline cubes as wonderful claims (!) are made about this product. Very interesting about the sugar beet Claire - thanks for that. She does have buckets of fizz in the winter as soon as we up the hard feed and by comparison is a bit of a donkey on summer grass so maybe you have hit the nail on the head. Love Lizzie
ClaireK

I fed Tim on Baileys top line cubes and yes they did keep the weight on him, but with 3 to feed I found it too expensive so i changed to fast fibre and found it does what i want it to do. It's just a case of finding what works for your mare and going with your gut instinct

Hope you soon have a less fizzy mare, i am interested to hear how you get on

Claire
debbie

we add a mugful of flaked peas to the feed for ours each day - makes a lot of difference to the weight gain but can make them fizzy.  My friend, who runs riding holidays, needs to keep weight on her horses but without the fizz for her guests and she swares by magnezium as asupplement.
Seabird

Have you tried a formulated 'veteran mix'. They are designed to keep weight on older horses. I used to give it to my old grey (Spillers I think, but things have moved on since then) and also a handful of flaked barley in the winter. Feed companies usually have very good equine nutritionists who are happy to answer questions.
debbie

barley rings are good too without adding fizz
lizzie44

Thanks for your help everyone, I am going to try a senior mix after much discussion with the feed merchant. He also said I could give much more oil ( up to a cupfull) rather than the "splash" she has now. Another good tip was to give her an extra feed after work so effectively she will have 3 feeds on her work days. Love Lizzie
Seabird

Let us know how you get on Lizzie.
Oil is easily digested and absorbed. I was encouraged to use it when I did endurance as a way of getting as much fuel in for the work required. A horse cannot digest more than half a bucketful of hard feed at a time - any more just ends up undigested on the muckheap.
So a cupful of corn oil added the equivalent of a scoop of oats on top of the maximum amount of hard feed.

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