My 13-year-old Paint mare has had equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in the past, though she seems to be recovered now except for some intermittent stumbling. She’s moderately fleshy, which is a good weight for her. She is fed 1 lb (0.45 kg) of fortified sweet feed, alfalfa and timothy hay pellets, soaked beet pulp, and pasture 24/7. Would a vitamin E supplement be good for her? Is there such as thing as too much vitamin E?
I moved my Arabian mare to a new boarding barn in the winter. I chose this facility in part because of the well-maintained pastures and abundant grazing. This spring and early summer my mare began to slobber excessively. When she opened her mouth to accept the bit, saliva gushed from her mouth. The barn owner, who has housed horses on the property for nearly three decades, said it was due to a naturally occurring fungus on some pasture grasses and as long as my mare has water available to her (which she does), she would be fine. Does this sound on the up-and-up to you?
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?
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