I also concur with the corn oil suggestion. Another is a product called
Athlete from Purina, fed as a supplement in the case of the underweight
horse. It is used for racehorses straight, and is also found as one of the
ingredients in Omolene 200. It is a highly digestible very accessible form
of fat which can be released for working horses as energy, or used for
horse that needs the calories for weight. Athlete can be obtained from
> From: Wendy Milner <email@example.com>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Feeding the Neglected Horse
> Date: Monday, April 14, 1997 9:52 AM
> Laura MacCallum wrote:
> >Just acquired a seriously neglected coming 5 year old Arabian gelding
> >is approximately 200 pounds underweight. He's 14.3 and weighs 690 now.
> >purpose of his purchase is to compete this ride season in some slow
> >distance rides with my boyfriend, who is a heavyweight rider (6', 185
> >but ONLY if the horse becomes physically ready this year.
> Since this horse has been neglected, and I'll assume that you don't
> know his history, you can assume that besides being under weight, he
> probably has been neglected in other management areas as well.
> First, de-worm him. (You said this was scheduled). Give him a month,
> and then de-worm him again, with a different type. This will help get
> rid of most all the worms. If he is infested with worms, he may
> actually get sick as the worms die off. Some horse will colic the
> first time they are de-wormed if they have a gut full of worms. Be
> Second, vaccinate him. Don't do this the same week that you de-worm
> him, just in case. But do get it done soon.
> And third, check his teeth. Even as a five year old, he may have
> problems. And unless the teeth can grind the food, you won't be
> helping him by just adding more hay.
> Do not try to put too much weight on too soon. You mentioned that you
> wanted to get him back as quickly as possible. That should not mean
> pushing too hard.
> The basics still apply. Good quality, and quantity, grass hay.
> Also, instead of just free-choice, make sure that you know how much
> he is eating. So, put out six pounds of hay in the morning, and
> check it in the evening. Just because you give him the hay, doesn't mean
> he'll be eating it.
> The warm water is good as well, particularly until the weather turns
> a bit warmer.
> Because the horse may have problems, due to the neglect, with digesting
> his food, you might want to add a compete pellet that is made for
> the older horse. Equine Senior is good. It is a highly palatable,
> and highly digestable, complete feed. Keep feeding the hay, for
> bulk, for chewing, and because you'll switch over to it completely
> later. You can give him lots of Equine Senior (which will cause him
> not to eat as much hay), without a problem. Then as he gains weight,
> switch over to less pellets and more hay. How much you start with
> will really depend on how much of the hay he can digest now.
> Also, adjust the amount of grain you add (decrease the grain if you
> add in the Equine Senior).
> Beware of anything that has selenium in it. Depending on the area
> of Colorado that you are in, you may have an excess of selenium in
> your hay already. I ran into a toxic problem this year.
> You can add corn oil to the grain. This is pure calories. Generally,
> start with 1/4 cup of oil per feeding. Then up it gradually. Some
> people say up to 1 cup of oil per feeding is alright. You'll know
> when you've given too much. The manure will be running with oil.
> So - Balance the feed.
> A 900 pound horse (the weight he should be carrying) should be eating
> 18 pounds of hay (2%) per day. See if this horse will eat that much.
> Keep track of the weight that he does eat. If he wants more, feed him
> Decide between your mixed grains with oil, and/or Equine Senior. Pick
> the one (or mix) based on what he is actually eating and digesting.
> Keep track of the weight of the horse, and adjust his diet accordingly.
> When he is back to a reasonable weight, you can start training him.
> But start slow. Consider this horse as you would some one recovering
> from a long hospital stay. They are not going to go out and run a
> marathon the month after getting out of bed. Personally, I would not
> consider even a limited distance ride this year. I would wait till
> next year before stressing him.
> As an extreme example, Pharalina was very sick and lost way too much
> weight - skin and bones is a good description. It took her more than
> 6 months to recover weight enough to look "normal". And she had good
> management all her life before the colic/surgery/infection. Now, she
> is an older mare, so time was against her. But, you'll still need time
> with this younger gelding. Don't rush it and you'll have a good horse
> for much longer.
> /\ -O-
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> Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000
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