Feeding the senior horse?

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Ashley

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Ok so I just get a senior horse. Hes not a little guy, but rather a big guy. He is in good shape now and want to keep him that way. What should I be feeding him? HOw much?

Right now he gets alfalfa pellets, grain and beet pulp. He eats hard stuff fine, but I noticed he does struggle with hay, and did spit a wad out tonight. He is roughly 24 years of age. Which is just a guess as he is unregistured. I am going to try and get the vet out ot get his teeth done this fall yet and hopefully get a better estimate of his age.

 

Reijel's Mom

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My old riding mare goes through a LOT of senior and soaked beet pulp. It varies per time of year. In the winter she gets about 9lbs of senior plus 6lbs of soaked beet pulp daily broke up into 3 meals a day (EXPENSIVE!). She also can't eat hay very well at all anymore, so the beet pulp is basically her roughage source (there is roughage in the senior, too). I've had her teeth floated several times but for her she just has too many teeth missing at this point. She'll chew hay but drops most of it out of her mouth.

In the summer/spring/fall, so long as there is plentiful grass available to her, she keeps her weight on very well and only gets about 3 lbs of senior/day.

I would suggest if your old guy still has trouble eating hay after his teeth are worked on to try adding oil to his feed if he'll tolerate it. That's one inexpensive way to give calories. Unfortunately my old girl will NOT touch her feed with oil added, she is very fussy about her feed. I can't even switch brands on her.

It might be just the picture, but to me it looks like your new old boy could stand to gain a few pounds.

Good luck with him, the good oldies are gems!!
 

chandab

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I have a 25 year old half-Arab gelding, that I've owned for 22 years, he's been an easy keeper most of his life. I discovered Progressive Nutrition feeds about 3 years ago, and he hasn't looked better; I primarily feed the ProAdvantage grass formula (ration balancer). He has pretty good teeth, so is able to eat hay fine (the equine dentist will be here in a couple weeks to do everyone that needs it, including him; his teeth were so good we were able to skip the last two years, but he needs them done this year). [FYI - he's 15.2H and about 1050#.]

His winter and summer diets differ a little bit. Year round he gets 1# ration balancer per day and free choice grass hay/pasture. Last year I was able to get beet pulp pellets (they are a special order), so added 1# dry measure (then soaked) to his daily diet (this is all he will eat of the beet pulp, as he isn't thrilled with soaked feeds, I'll have to see if he'll eat more this year). This year he came out of winter a little thinner than I like so I added 3# alfalfa pellets to his diet and that helped bring his weight up. In the winter, I add 3# senior feed; with the ration balancer, the senior feed is primarily fed to add a good, easily digestible fiber source to his diet, as our hay is so-so (we grow our own, and we've had poor hay years lately; and grass hay is hard to come by around here, in the past he hasn't done too well with too much alfalfa hay in his diet, so I stick with grass hay). My BIL gave me two 32 gal garbage cans full of whole oats this spring, after seeding; so he's been getting about 2 cups 2x daily of the oats; he likes them and I think they are helping with his weight, so I'll continue with the oats. I also feed BOSS, about 1 cup daily seems to work for him.

If your boy is spitting out wads of hay (quidding), then he probably needs his teeth done. I dont' see my boy do this very often, but occasionally he does spit out a wad of hay (hence the reason for making sure his teeth get done this year). Hope this helps give you an idea of where to start.
 

Miniv

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I betcha buck his teeth need work.........

Soaked beet pulp with alfalfa pellets and senior grain is what I would recommend. Instead of regular hay, have you checked out CHOPPED Hay? It comes in a bag from the feed store and would probably be easier for your guy to chew on.
 

Marty

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Hi Ash. The sooner you get the teeth done the better.

Sonny is 25 years young and is a big strapping boy. He gets 14 pounds of Purina food per day broken up into three feedings.

He also gets beet pulp mash for lunch, about 5 pounds. All the pasture he wants plus plenty of good hay. He keeps himself in show shape. Always has. Good luck with your mare. She's cute.
 

Ashley

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Hes a gelding. He actually isnt skinny at all. His bones are well covered.

I was hoping to wait till spring to do teeth as I have several that need it and the vet wont do bred ones. But I will do the two big guys and my stallion this year and do the rest next year. Bill will be easier to foot that way to. I will just have him looked at by the dentist next year then.

He does get alfalfa pellets, beet pulp and right now sweet feed, until I get back to town and get the other grain.

The hay he isnt getting is almost like choped hay. Its the chaff that comes off the bales that I am feeding right now. Got a big ol pile of it in my garage to use up before I get the the bales. HE isnt on hay regularly yet, just feeding him different things to see how he eats, that way I know what he can and cant eat for winter and how to feed it.

Luckly for me this boy eats anything. HE def loves treats! Then again I have never had a horse who was picky.
 

SandyWI

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There is a product that I think might be made by Farnum, but I could be wrong on the manufacturer. But it's called "Weight Gain." It's granular stuff, and you only feed a few ounces per day. I used it when I got a retired standardbred harness racer who had been kept at a "rescue" place and wasn't getting enough food. His ribs were sticking out just terribly!

I had him on pasture, and also gave him Safe Choice grain by Nutrena, plus a scoop of the Weight Gain morning and night, and within a month he was gleaming and beautiful!
 

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