This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Fatten Up Your Skinny Horse

I have had Kit since he was six years old. He is now twenty-three! I competed with him through second level dressage, bringing home two championships and a reserve champion. He is also the cover boy for my trail guide books. Now he is my main trail horse as I work on my third trail guide book.

I LOVE this  horse. He is my buddy.

This summer he started loosing weight. Now, since he is a thoroughbred, he has never been fat. Just like the difference between a greyhound and a St. Bernard, Thoroughbreds just don't like to get round! However, he has always been in great condition. I kept giving him more and more hay and all I was getting was more and more manure! I had the vet come out and he decided the problem was worn down molars due to his advanced age. He was having trouble chewing the hay sufficiently to digest it. So, it was just passing through. Our new diet plan is to decrease the amount of hay and greatly but GRADUALLY increase the amount of complete feed. I use Omolene 400. The average horse needs about twenty-five pounds of feed a day between hay and grains. I also use soaked beet pulp. I decided to also add some soaked alfalfa pellets. All this to make it soft enough for easy eating. He is already looking much better.

So, here are some tips for fattening up your horse. Remember, any changes you make in diet must be made GRADUALLY. Always consult with your vet and plan on it being a slow process.

1. Have the vet do a health check, especially the teeth. Worn down molars are only one possible tooth problem. Broken teeth and infections can also be the problem.

2. Increase the protein intake whether through hay (alfalfa is higher than grass) or through complete feeds. Extruded Soy is both high in fat and protein and that makes a good additive.

3. Increase fat. This can be done with beet pulp, soy and/or corn oil.

4. Make sure your worming is up to date.

5. Keep him warm in cold weather.

6. Consult with: Your vet, your horse friends and the feed store for advice.

Great News! The Third Book of The Mist Trilogy, The Rising Mist, will be out in ebook format soon! I'll let you know when the print version is out. Here is the cover that just came back from the publisher: