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3 years ago

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I need some ideas for keeping weight on my big boys. As our pastures have improved tremendously over the last 2 years, and the horses have had some issues with laminitis, so we took them off pasture. Instead of pasture, we are building a "Pasture Paradise" track system around the outskirts. It's about 30% complete, and we are loving it! The horses are safe from laminitis issues, they stay in great shape, gets lots of exercise between work days, and live more to speak.

Previously, their diet consisted of good pasture, good quality hay (grass and alfalfa), oats, and beet pulp (plus soybean oil and mineral supplements). We barely kept their weight on with that diet and their previous workload. Since the laminitis became an issue, we had to stop the pasture and beet pulp due to the sugar content. We increased their oats, and everything else is the same. They have high-quality hay around the clock. The horses' work load has decreased significantly temporarily, which is allowing us time to figure some things out. One issue we are having though is the increased exercise in the track is making them lose weight. They have always been pretty fit anyway, so they can't afford to lose much. What are some good ways to keep weight on a very active horse without lots of sugar? These guys are almost always on the move, playing, moving up and down hills and rough ground, and more! If I can keep the weight on, I will never have to worry about conditioning them at this rate!

Thanks in advance!

Red Gate

vince mautino says 2015-11-20 08:47:35 (CST)

I have had good luck feeding a soybean fat supplement when I had some mules that went down in weight. It might be cost prohibitive in your case with the bigger horses as it is about $30 /50 pounds. A lot of corn oil would work too

I never had much luck with beet pulp. You need fat to put weight on or protein and work to build muscle.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2015-11-20 08:51:01 (CST)

If this activity is new, it might be them getting more fit and losing unused fat. They might reach appoint where they level off.
I am of the opinion that just running around on their own doesn't keep them fit. They need work.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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