My 23-year-old Friesian broodmare was purchased in Holland 14 years ago. Since her arrival, she has lived out at night in the summer and out at day in the winter, as I like to offer hay as well as grass at all times to avoid colic and other problems. She has always been a poor eater and girthy. She began having diarrhea nine months ago. The vet prescribed a gut balancer and probiotic treatment, and he told us to feed her only hay. She hardly touched the hay and didn’t seem to be getting any better throughout the winter. She lost so much weight that I thought we would lose her. Spring came and I decided to put her in the field with the other horses to see what happened. Well, she improved somewhat and gained a little weight. I came across an article that talked about the pH of the colon and acidosis. I know she is not typical in that she has not been stabled and grain-fed, but do you think it would be worth trying her on EquiShure? Or, do you have any other suggestions?
I own Athens, a 24-year-old. 16.2-hand, 1,250-lb (565-kg) Warmblood gelding. His current diet consists of Bermudagrass pasture, 10 lb (4.5 kg) of timothy hay, 2 lb (0.9 lb) balancer pellet, and 2 lb (0.9 kg) of beet pulp. He had two laminitis episodes, with the last occurring four years ago. I am concerned about a recurrence because he is pasture-boarded, and he removes his grazing muzzle often. Your thoughts?
My ten-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter gelding is healthy and sound, except I can't work him much, as he routinely gets thumps if the temperature even approaches the high 70s. We are anticipating a record hot summer with many days over 100 degrees. I'm at my wit’s end thinking about how this will affect him. I had to scratch a class at the last show due to thumps, and it was not a demanding day for a horse his age. He is fed alfalfa hay and 2 lb (0.9 kg) of a performance feed, and he is in moderate body condition. Help!
I own a 30-year-old Thoroughbred mare that weighs about 1,100 lb (500 kg) with a body condition score of 4. Historically, she has been an easy keeper, but now she needs to gain weight. She is ridden three days a week, though the work is not intense. Her ration includes unlimited timothy hay (which appeals to her only slightly), 8 lb (3.6 kg) timothy hay pellets, 2 cups beet pulp, and 2 cups of stabilized rice bran. She has limited turnout. While she is bright and energetic, she has trouble maintaining her weight on this diet. I purchased some soybean meal to try to up the protein content of her ration, but I don’t know how much to safely add to her diet. At one point, I took her off of a senior feed I had been feeding because we thought it might be contributing to diarrhea that she was experiencing. Anything with wheat or alfalfa seems to cause hindgut upset, and alfalfa hay also makes her legs swell. What can I do to help this mare gain weight?
I have a seven-year-old Thoroughbred gelding named Soldier that I am returning to light work. The goal is to be able to ride him five days a week. Right now, he’s in moderate body weight, at about 1,200 lb (545 kg), so I’d like to keep his condition about the same. He has unlimited access to a round bale of grass hay, 5 lb (2.2 kg) of oats morning and night, and a joint supplement. Soldier will soon be moving to new barn and transitioning to pasture turnout. He’ll have high-quality grass hay, rather than a round bale. I will start with whole oats but may gradually decrease the amount and introduce a ration balancer depending on how he copes with the pasture and hay. Questions: (1) Should I bother with the ration balancer? (2) Are oats OK as a feed for a horse in regular work? (3) Do I need to worry about the new hay stressing his system?
My pony (330 lb or 150 kg) was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. He is thin with swollen facial bones. To counteract this, I recently changed his to diet to 8 lb (3.6 kg) of feed daily, which includes alfalfa pellets, senior grain, and corn oil. I need to feed calcium-rich feeds, according to my vet. Do you have other suggestions?
I own a 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding currently in occasional work with the thought of ramping up to moderate work in the coming weeks. He weighs about 1,200 lb (545 kg) and is in fleshy body condition (a score of 7). I feed him 1 lb (0.45) of soybean meal, 2 oz of a commercial mineral supplement, and 700 IU of vitamin E. He has free-choice grass hay that contains some timothy and a salt block. He has all-day, year-round access to pasture, and it is plentiful during the growing season. Am I feeding him enough protein? Are his calcium and phosphorus intakes sufficient? He is overweight, especially fleshy over the ribs and tailhead, but he has a hay belly. He is not muscular or filled out over the topline. Is this just due to lack of exercise or is this a dietary deficiency?
My Canadian Sport Horse mare foaled 10 weeks ago. She has always been an easy keeper, and now she is parlaying plenty of energy into milk production, where she could rival a dairy cow. Even though she is lactating and her pasture is stressed due to drought, the mare is gaining weight on a diet of pasture and a ration balancer (2 lb or 0.9 kg). The colt is a chunky-monkey and he’s growing fast, so I was thinking of weaning him early to try to temper growth a little. How early can I wean him?
I own a six-year-old Quarter Horse mare—1,200 lb (545 kg) with a body condition score of 4. I ride her five days a week, but I work her only moderately. She is kept stalled 12 hours a day and is turned out the remainder of the day. She tested positive (N/H) for hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) and polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM1). Her current ration includes 2 lb (0.9 kg) of a low-starch feed, 4 lb (1.8kg) timothy pellets, free-choice alfalfa/grass hay during turnout, 6-9 lb (2.7-4.1 kg) alfalfa/grass hay in stall, and vitamin E and ulcer supplements. I have tried other diets for my mare, but I cannot seem to find the right combination to return her to "normal." My mare is losing weight and no longer has a shiny coat. She seems very stiff and unwilling to collect and drive from behind. She does not refuse work but is less energetic. She also seems touchy or sensitive. What are your thoughts?
I own a 17-year-old, 14-hand (142 cm) Paso Fino gelding that’s in moderate body condition. Pete is ridden three days a week at a distance of 6-10 miles. Right now, he’s fed grass hay and a ration balancer. In the past, Pete’s had laminitis and gut problems, which makes spring a worrisome time for me. Is there anything else I can do for him as spring approaches?
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