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Re: [RC] [RC-Digest] Vol: 03.0955 feeding an older horse - Chipnml

Be careful about feeding "senior" rations to older horses you're trying to keep weight on.  They are meant to be fed as a complete feed (15-20 lbs/day) when a horse is not able to eat hay.  If you only feed a few pounds a day you won't be giving him the calories he needs.  I have a 27-year-old whom I started feeding Senior to several years ago, and he started losing weight.  I now feed him a 14% pelleted ration, a rice bran fat supplement, some soybean meal, beet pulp and hay cubes all soaked and fed 3 or 4 times a day.  He's still able to eat hay, but the last time I had the vet check his teeth he said there wasn't much left to float, so I baby him.  This is his winter ration.  In the summer when he's on pasture 24/7 he keeps weight on just fine with about a pound of the 14% feed per day.  I like to feed him lots of sloppy wet stuff in the winter since I heard older horses don't produce as much saliva and are therefor prone to choak and impaction colics. His weight has been very good and he dragged me all over the pasture the other day when I was lunging him, so I guess he's doing well on this diet.