I own a six-year-old, 950-lb (435-kg) mixed-breed gelding that’s in light work. He has access to pasture for six hours each day and is stabled the remainder of the day. He eats 3-4 flakes of grass hay every day when stalled as well as a balancer pellet and a handful of feed. Right now, he’s fed a hoof supplement and natural vitamin E supplement. He needs to lose weight, but I am concerned about the amount of hay he receives and the likelihood of stomach ulcers. I am considering adding electrolytes. Your thoughts?
I own a four-month-old Quarter Horse filly with a body condition score of 3; she obviously needs to gain weight. She was born in a field to an unhandled mare, and I volunteered to take on this filly’s care. Unbeknownst to me, the filly was removed from her dam’s side, loaded into a trailer, and shipped to my farm all in a single day. Now, she’s habitually sad and stressed, to say the least. She has some filling in her hind legs and, though we try to hand-walk her several times a day, the filling is not subsiding. Right now, she spends about 20 hours a day in her stall with unlimited good-quality hay and the remainder in a small pasture by herself. Can you offer any nutritional or management tips for this filly?
I own a four-year-old Thoroughbred gelding that weighs about 1,250 lb (570 kg); he’s in average body weight. I do beginner dressage and lower-level eventing. He is fed free-choice grass hay with an additional flake of alfalfa, and a medley of different feeds totaling 3.25 lb (1.5 kg), including a balancer pellet (4 oz). I also give him an anti-ulcer supplement. I’d like to switch him to an oats and hay diet. I know I can adjust the amount of energy he consumes through increasing or decreasing oats, but will his nutrient requirements be met? Also, he has crumbly hooves. Any nutritional advice for poor hooves?
My aged gelding maintains a typical Norwegian Fjord shape—he’s 14 hands (142 cm) and round, but not obese. He has white line disease, and I’m not riding him until his hooves improve. Right now, he’s on pasture for 9-10 hours a day, though he is muzzled, and he receives about 6 lb (2.7 kg) of grass hay in a drylot each evening. He is also fed a high-copper complete vitamin and mineral supplement, and a gastric-support supplement. I’d like to know if there’s anything else I can do to improve the quality of his hooves without adding a lot of new products. Any ideas?
I own a five-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; he’s 16.1 hands (165 cm) and in moderate body condition. We spend some of our time working on low-level dressage, but I do plenty of trail-riding with him, too. He consumes no pasture but is turned out into a drylot 4-8 hours a day. His daily diet consists of 20 lb (9 kg) of hay and 2 lb (0.9 kg) of low-starch feed. He has subtle signs of digestive trouble—slow to eat hay, intermittent loose manure, sunken-in flanks—even after a month-long course of prescription omeprazole and daily gastric support subsequently. Other factors that I suspect contribute to his digestive problems include his dam’s chronic and fatal colic history, recent vaccine reaction resulting in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, and multiple parasite burdens treated earlier in life. Fecal albumin tests have turned up positive, which makes me think a hindgut problem is present. What are your thoughts on adding EquiShure?
Lollipop is my 31-year-old school horse. He’s a 14.2-hand (147-cm) Quarter Horse, and I’d guess his weight at 1,000 lb (450 kg). He’s used for beginner lessons four times a week. Right now he’s in moderate body condition, a score of 5, but I’d like to see him a bit heavier. He spends half the day in his stall, the other half in a paddock. He’s fed 6-9 lb (2.7-4.1 kg) of pelleted feed, beet pulp drizzled with soy oil, and as much second-cut grass hay as he wants each day. Not only is his weight stagnant but he has consistently loose stool. What else can I try?
I have a 22-year-old Arabian mare (14.3 hands; 960 lb or 435 kg) that has Cushing’s. She doesn’t work hard, trotting on a longe line for 20 minutes or so a couple of times a week. Her basic diet includes scant pasture, 16 lb (7.2 kg) of timothy hay, 1 lb (0.45 kg) of ration balancer, and 1 cup of a senior feed to help mix in her supplements. Her supplements include cinnamon, ground flaxseed, chaste tree, probiotics, psyllium, and two digestive products. She also receives pergolide for Cushing’s. I’ve battled loose manure with her for many years, but it seems to be worsening as she ages. Would adding pumpkin or charcoal help her; would either interfere with her medicine?
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