Feed advice rising 5 year old!?! Weight gain help?

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Hello,

So I have a rising 5 British sports horse x Welsh d she’s more sports horse looking.

I just want a bit of advice on what I can feed for a bit more weight gain she is currently on:

Full hay rack at night in the stable doesn’t always finish the hay.

Out on a fairly short paddock but still she can graze, she also has a section of hay put in the field to top up.

She had 2 feeds a day each containing
-250g spillers daily balancer
-250g cooked linseed
-large scoop topchop lite

She didn’t come out of the tail end of winter looking great so added the feed and she looks a little better but still is not keeping on weight great or filling out as I wanted, she’s due to rotate paddocks soon which has longer grass but it’s still not full and lush so this may help a little.

Any ideas what I could add for weight gain? She was turned away for winter and will be being brought back into work soon but want to get her at a better weight if I can first. If it’s makes her a bit fizzy that’s no problem. She is up to date with worming and due a worm count soon.

Advice please??
 
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How is she doing growth wise? I have a rising 5yo who is still growing and gets a bit leaner during growth spurts. Remember that it is totally natural (and heavily advised) to have a horse coming out of winter not looking in show condition. I'd much rather see a bit of rib than fat pockets especially going into the Spring - no horse ever died from being a bit lean.
I'd agree that the bucket feed you're providing isn't adding much value to your horse, I don't think you're feeding enough personally. I'd first get her weight assessed, Baileys, Saracen and Dengie, among others I'm sure, will come out to your yard for free if enough people and either bring a weighbridge or do a fat score test and give feeding advice and usually a voucher or two. There are loads of tools online - https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-body-score-your-horse for instance if you can't find anybody to come to you. This probably comes across a bit patronising but I say all this because I find that sometimes people think their horses need to put on weight when they are actually perfectly fine and healthy.
If all else fails just feed more hay/haylage/grass and give her time.
 

ihatework

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What is her current body score? Have you got a photo?

Grass will be coming through soon so that will help.

In the interim just make sure she has true ad-lib hay day & night and I’d swap the light chaff to Alfa oil and add in some soaked grass nuts.
 

TPO

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How is your hay rack positioned? If it's one of the old fashioned types that is fitted higher up it may be that she's not finishing the hay due to the discomfort of eating with head up. If it's a hay rack in the style of a haybar or the full height ones then ignore me.

You are feeding low calorie chaff, small amount of linseed and a balancer... that is not a conditioning feed.

The quantity of linseed can be increased. Soaked grass nuts, copra, rice bran and soaked oats will add condition. Just keep in mind that grass will be coming through and horses are designed to lose weight during winter and shouldn't be kept "well rounded" all year. I'm personally not a fan of alfa but it's definitely more conditioning than a "lite" chaff. I feed Dengie Meadow grass as my chaff and I rate it. I also feed Keyflow Pink Mash; while not the highest in calories it has helped all of mine in different ways and has kept/put weight on when needed. I'm guessing it's because it promotes gut health and enables them to get more out of their other feeds.

Ad lib hay at night and I'd give her more during the day if she's finishing that one section. I don't know where you are but up here in Scotland we had some lovely warm weather that brought the grass through and then more epic rain and finally it's back to frost so although some grass is through there's not much goodness in it and it's dying back (look for grass turning purple as a sign).

I feed adlib forage and a base of pink mash, linseed and chaff as a bucket feed. I add grass nuts to anything needing more calories and increase quants of other feeds. They get a good vit/min supp and salt. Different quants of that diet is helping a poss EMS obese cob lose weight, a TB (who pretty much refuses to keep a rug on despite not having much of a coat) in excellent condition and a 7yr old who is still growing maintain a healthy body score.
 

ester

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It's bizarre that you opted to feed top chop lite to a horse whose 'condition wasn't the best' in November.

I'd feed a more calorific chaff/grass nuts
micronised linseed instead of cooked

and see how she went with the grass coming through with regards to additions to that.
 
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Alpha oil, copra, oats perhaps. Your current level of bucket feeding wouldn't keep a hamster looking well.
Nothing adorable about you the negativity is not needed. So you would feed the 3 feeds you mentioned together? I'm feeding RDA bucket feed for the feeds I have.

How is she doing growth wise? I have a rising 5yo who is still growing and gets a bit leaner during growth spurts. Remember that it is totally natural (and heavily advised) to have a horse coming out of winter not looking in show condition. I'd much rather see a bit of rib than fat pockets especially going into the Spring - no horse ever died from being a bit lean.
I'd agree that the bucket feed you're providing isn't adding much value to your horse, I don't think you're feeding enough personally. I'd first get her weight assessed, Baileys, Saracen and Dengie, among others I'm sure, will come out to your yard for free if enough people and either bring a weighbridge or do a fat score test and give feeding advice and usually a voucher or two. There are loads of tools online - https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-body-score-your-horse for instance if you can't find anybody to come to you. This probably comes across a bit patronising but I say all this because I find that sometimes people think their horses need to put on weight when they are actually perfectly fine and healthy.
If all else fails just feed more hay/haylage/grass and give her time.
Thank you for your kindness and advice. She's still bum high so has a little growing to do. This is why I came here for advice to see if I could do more for her feed wise. I will see if I can contact the reps for my area, it's only me at my yard as we have stables and paddocks with the house. Only got my 2 so not sure they would come out! Thank you very much I will up her hay during the day and see how that goes.

What is her current body score? Have you got a photo?

Grass will be coming through soon so that will help.

In the interim just make sure she has true ad-lib hay day & night and I’d swap the light chaff to Alfa oil and add in some soaked grass nuts.
On the blue cross chart above I would say she's very lean. She is quite hippy if that makes sense I will get a photo this evening and post once I finish work. I'm put off my Alfa oil the horses i've witnessed it being fed to it's always blown their brains! But I could add in the grass nuts.

Why are you feeding TopChop Lite to a horse you want to put weight on? I would swap the chaff for dried grass, or alfalfa if your horse tolerates it.
When looking at the analysis of the chops sold at my local feed store this actually seemed the best one for different levels of fibre oils etc...

How is your hay rack positioned? If it's one of the old fashioned types that is fitted higher up it may be that she's not finishing the hay due to the discomfort of eating with head up. If it's a hay rack in the style of a haybar or the full height ones then ignore me.

You are feeding low calorie chaff, small amount of linseed and a balancer... that is not a conditioning feed.

The quantity of linseed can be increased. Soaked grass nuts, copra, rice bran and soaked oats will add condition. Just keep in mind that grass will be coming through and horses are designed to lose weight during winter and shouldn't be kept "well rounded" all year. I'm personally not a fan of alfa but it's definitely more conditioning than a "lite" chaff. I feed Dengie Meadow grass as my chaff and I rate it. I also feed Keyflow Pink Mash; while not the highest in calories it has helped all of mine in different ways and has kept/put weight on when needed. I'm guessing it's because it promotes gut health and enables them to get more out of their other feeds.

Ad lib hay at night and I'd give her more during the day if she's finishing that one section. I don't know where you are but up here in Scotland we had some lovely warm weather that brought the grass through and then more epic rain and finally it's back to frost so although some grass is through there's not much goodness in it and it's dying back (look for grass turning purple as a sign).

I feed adlib forage and a base of pink mash, linseed and chaff as a bucket feed. I add grass nuts to anything needing more calories and increase quants of other feeds. They get a good vit/min supp and salt. Different quants of that diet is helping a poss EMS obese cob lose weight, a TB (who pretty much refuses to keep a rug on despite not having much of a coat) in excellent condition and a 7yr old who is still growing maintain a healthy body score.
Thank you so much I have found that very helpful. Nope it's not one of the hayracks that are up high. It's just the right height where she can shove her head in the top.

How much can I increase the linseed to per day? So in my case what would you do? Increase the linseed and add some grass nuts maybe? I've always been told it's not great to feed lots of different feeds ? I've heard of the dengie meadow grass I know we have a local brand that sells a grass chop too. Pink mash i've not heard of... Ok I will keep an eye out for the better grass I am in the midlands! Yes that is why I chose a balancer to provide her with what she needs without the supplement this was advised to me.
It's bizarre that you opted to feed top chop lite to a horse whose 'condition wasn't the best' in November.

I'd feed a more calorific chaff/grass nuts
micronised linseed instead of cooked

and see how she went with the grass coming through with regards to additions to that.
Thank you
 
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What a shame you didn’t follow the excellent advice given in November.
Can I just add it was followed? She has plenty of hay.

A balancer which was suggested, my feed store only sells cooked linseed I could travel for micronized linseed if it was recommended which is why I wanted advice... and a chaff the only thing I haven't done from previous thread was add any grass nuts?
 

ester

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topchop lite really is just straw so I'm not sure how that was the best analysis. Grass chaffs/nuts aren't all equal so I'd definitely aim for one with a higher energy level (DE)

I had images of you cooking up linseed yourself! Which one do you feed currently? (charnwoods micronised can be bought online by quite a few outlets - they are cheaper than charnwoods direct usually).

Is the mare happy to eat bigger meals? If not rice bran products are also good for those who need more concentrated input. And copra is often worth a try if available to you.
 

TPO

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You can buy micronized linseed online with delivery for cheaper than some places stock it at so do your homework if it's a drive away/fuel costs to consider. I think it was Farm & Pet Place that I used to get it delivered from cheapest.

I *think* it's around 500gm a day (a mug is approx. 200-250gm) is the recommended max but you can feed more with no harm done.

I personally don't like "balancers". They are "balanced" as in the ratio of ingredients are balanced to themselves and not necessarily to the horse's requirements. Again it's just personal preference but I feed a (what I consider) good vitamin/mineral supp that works out cheaper than commercial balancers. Again just my opinion and balancers might be more beneficial for others than I consider them to be.

People will be able to advise better once you've posted a picture. At this time of year I'd tend to err on the side of caution as grass should be coming through plus there are still some frosty mornings affecting the sugars but if she's been getting adlib forage since last November, fed twice a day, out of work, appropriately rugged when out and stabled at nights then I'd be very worried that you would condition score her as "very lean" and would be looking to speak to a vet about her 1) not picking up after following feed advice since Nov and 2) dropping off further to "very lean".

It might be that you are being hyper critical of your own horse and she doesn't look that bad at all so I'm just going off what you've posted so far.
 

amymay

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Can I just add it was followed? She has plenty of hay.

A balancer which was suggested, my feed store only sells cooked linseed I could travel for micronized linseed if it was recommended which is why I wanted advice... and a chaff the only thing I haven't done from previous thread was add any grass nuts?
Yes, apologies to be fair, you generally did. However part of the advice was to feed as much hay as she wanted. Had you fed ad-lib then you may not have found her struggling.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and your shoes I’d simply be feeding hay ad lib, and good old fashioned grass nuts, fibre beet and alpha.
 
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Bellaboo18

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Can I just add it was followed? She has plenty of hay.

A balancer which was suggested, my feed store only sells cooked linseed I could travel for micronized linseed if it was recommended which is why I wanted advice... and a chaff the only thing I haven't done from previous thread was add any grass nuts?
Charnwood will deliver micronised linseed.
 

ihatework

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OP - when feeding an underweight horse bucket feed the 2 key pieces of info you need to consider are 1. What the DE level is (digestible energy aka calories/conditioning value) and 2. What weight of the product you are feeding.

Your top chop lite is 7.5 DE. This is what people might use to give a bit of bulk to a fatty/laminitic. By feeding this all you are doing is filling up feed space with low value food.

In comparison Spillers conditioning fibre is 11 DE and Alfa A is 12.5 DE. So if you are going for a chop then go for a higher feed value.

That said, I’m not massively convinced that feeding chop by the scoop to an underweight horse who is already ad-lib on hay has huge value and you are better off looking towards more concentrated calories.
 

Pinkvboots

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I would try and get hold of micronised linseed and increase up to 2 mugs a day, you could try just a basic grass chaff I feed graze on its so much better than a chopped straw chaff.

My Arabs can't have alfalfa or anything with molasses it blows there brain fortunately mine are good doers, but when one of mine was young I struggled to keep weight on him as a lot of feed sent him nuts, I just kept it simple feeding as much hay as he would eat I would put a huge trug of hay out everyday, he had 2 feeds of grass chaff unmolassed sugar beet and micronised linseed and he did slowly put on weight and kept it on.

I have also started feeding the thunderbrook hay cobs soaked, it might be a good way of giving your horse extra fibre if they are not keen on eating loads of hay, you could put a big bucket of them in her stable alongside her hay ration.
 
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topchop lite really is just straw so I'm not sure how that was the best analysis. Grass chaffs/nuts aren't all equal so I'd definitely aim for one with a higher energy level (DE)

I had images of you cooking up linseed yourself! Which one do you feed currently? (charnwoods micronised can be bought online by quite a few outlets - they are cheaper than charnwoods direct usually).

Is the mare happy to eat bigger meals? If not rice bran products are also good for those who need more concentrated input. And copra is often worth a try if available to you.
Thank you for your advice, I think I am going to change her chaff to something with a higher DE she does lack energy so maybe that will help give her a boost ready for coming back into work! It's just a local sourced cooked linseed I can't think of the name now but would you say to change to the micronised? I've just had a little look online at the charnwoods one. I've heard good things about Copra and they sell it at my local feed store.

You can buy micronized linseed online with delivery for cheaper than some places stock it at so do your homework if it's a drive away/fuel costs to consider. I think it was Farm & Pet Place that I used to get it delivered from cheapest.

I *think* it's around 500gm a day (a mug is approx. 200-250gm) is the recommended max but you can feed more with no harm done.

I personally don't like "balancers". They are "balanced" as in the ratio of ingredients are balanced to themselves and not necessarily to the horse's requirements. Again it's just personal preference but I feed a (what I consider) good vitamin/mineral supp that works out cheaper than commercial balancers. Again just my opinion and balancers might be more beneficial for others than I consider them to be.

People will be able to advise better once you've posted a picture. At this time of year I'd tend to err on the side of caution as grass should be coming through plus there are still some frosty mornings affecting the sugars but if she's been getting adlib forage since last November, fed twice a day, out of work, appropriately rugged when out and stabled at nights then I'd be very worried that you would condition score her as "very lean" and would be looking to speak to a vet about her 1) not picking up after following feed advice since Nov and 2) dropping off further to "very lean".

It might be that you are being hyper critical of your own horse and she doesn't look that bad at all so I'm just going off what you've posted so far.
Thank you I will definitely have a shop around and change to the micronised linseed I think! I'm feeding 2 mug fulls of the cooked linseed at the moment, well it's 2 of the top spec cups but that's about the same I believe.

Yes I see what you mean about balancers people do tend to have mixed views. Well pictures attached what would you advise I do from here? I think I was maybe over worrying a tad but pics do not do her full justice she does look a little more ribby in person, she decided to break into the back garden for her photo for the forum lol.

Yes, apologies to be fair, you generally did. However part of the advice was to feed as much hay as she wanted. Had you fed ad-lib then you may not have found her struggling.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and your shoes I’d simply be feeding hay ad lib, and good old fashioned grass nuts, fibre beet and alpha.
It's fine no problem, thank you for your help! She is definitely looking better than she did, but will add in some grass nuts and up the daytime hay if needs be.


Charnwood will deliver micronised linseed.
Thank you :)

OP - when feeding an underweight horse bucket feed the 2 key pieces of info you need to consider are 1. What the DE level is (digestible energy aka calories/conditioning value) and 2. What weight of the product you are feeding.

Your top chop lite is 7.5 DE. This is what people might use to give a bit of bulk to a fatty/laminitic. By feeding this all you are doing is filling up feed space with low value food.

In comparison Spillers conditioning fibre is 11 DE and Alfa A is 12.5 DE. So if you are going for a chop then go for a higher feed value.

That said, I’m not massively convinced that feeding chop by the scoop to an underweight horse who is already ad-lib on hay has huge value and you are better off looking towards more concentrated calories.
She was on spillers conditioning fibre in the past so it could be a good idea to change to this. Thanks for explaining that.

I would try and get hold of micronised linseed and increase up to 2 mugs a day, you could try just a basic grass chaff I feed graze on its so much better than a chopped straw chaff.

My Arabs can't have alfalfa or anything with molasses it blows there brain fortunately mine are good doers, but when one of mine was young I struggled to keep weight on him as a lot of feed sent him nuts, I just kept it simple feeding as much hay as he would eat I would put a huge trug of hay out everyday, he had 2 feeds of grass chaff unmolassed sugar beet and micronised linseed and he did slowly put on weight and kept it on.

I have also started feeding the thunderbrook hay cobs soaked, it might be a good way of giving your horse extra fibre if they are not keen on eating loads of hay, you could put a big bucket of them in her stable alongside her hay ration.
Thank you I will take all of this into consideration, that's a big help!
 

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ihatework

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Photos can be deceptive, and the angles aren’t great but my initial impression is that you are overstating her ‘lean-ness’.

For a rising 5yo (who will still be growing and filling out) coming out of winter I wouldn’t be overly concerned. I’d estimate she is 2.5/5 on a condition score. Grass and time will sort that out.
 

amymay

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The pics aren’t great but I have to say that my initial thoughts are that she does look a little lean.
 

Pinkvboots

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I have fed mine Copra I had to add it really slowly as they wouldn't eat it at first but then they seemed to really love it, I don't think it fizzed them up I just feed micronised linseed as it's higher in oil content but Copra is good for weight gain I would give it a try if it's easier to source.
 
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Photos can be deceptive, and the angles aren’t great but my initial impression is that you are overstating her ‘lean-ness’.

For a rising 5yo (who will still be growing and filling out) coming out of winter I wouldn’t be overly concerned. I’d estimate she is 2.5/5 on a condition score. Grass and time will sort that out.
Would you recommenced just sticking to what I am feeding?

The pics aren’t great but I have to say that my initial thoughts are that she does look a little lean.
That's what I thought but then I didn't know if I was being over cautious. I will try and get some better photos. Would you say swap the chaff and change for the micronised linseed? or stick with what i've got and add in some grass nuts?

I have fed mine Copra I had to add it really slowly as they wouldn't eat it at first but then they seemed to really love it, I don't think it fizzed them up I just feed micronised linseed as it's higher in oil content but Copra is good for weight gain I would give it a try if it's easier to source.
Yes it's quite potent isn't it.I'm going to see if my local feed store can order me any in as even though they don't stock it, may be worth asking if they can get hold of it somehow if not i'll buy online if it has the higher oil content.
 

windand rain

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She looks ok to me too to be honest I would be morre worried if she was coming into Spring much fatter. We are all too used to seeing blubbery fat horses borderline obese as desirable when at this time of year we should be able to at least feel ribs if not see them when on they bend round a corner. Health wise as long as she is getting forage and a balance of vitamins and minerals to grow she will be fine. All my ponies are fed varying amounts of micronised linseed, alfalfa or grass chaff and soaked grass nuts. The oldies get pink mash as it keeps tummies from getting runny and makes them use their food better
 

TPO

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Just as the others have said the photo's aren't great for body scoring. If you could get some of her stood square on level ground with her head up (just normal position/not grazing) and the same angles you've take - front on, side on and behind that would be really helpful.

She isn't looking anywhere near as bad as I was expecting and is pretty much spot on for this time of year. We've (generic) become so conditioned to seeing well covered horses (fat...) all year round and the marketing department for feed companies are doing a sterling job that we feel bad if we're not pumping food in - there's even food/supplements for fat horses these days! Horses are supposed to lose weight during the winter and it's thought this actually helps their metabolism by doing so. This time of year with the changing seasons/casting coats etc can take a bit out of a horse and more so a young, growing horse.

It's a tricky time of year because they've gone a winter with nothing in the grass and they are hungry for grass (some go off hay to go and nibble any shoots they can find instead) but the grass isn't quite through yet. However with the warm temps we've been having the grass will be through in no time if it keeps up.

I wouldn't be rushing to make any massive changes with the grass being so close. What is the grazing like with you? How many acres is she out on? How many others is she out with? Do you know what type of grass it is? Will she move to a new field for spring/summer? if yes has that field been rested/reseeded/fertilised at all? If they are moving to fresh grazing when do they move fields?

How much of your current feed do you have left?

We're all learning as we go so don't feel bad. You posted before and as a result of the replies you changed to adlib hay. You've posted now and learnt that lite chaff maybe wasn't the best option but you'll learn from that. You might find that when the grass comes through that lite chaff is your best option for this time of year.

So yeah, in short I'd be a bit reluctant to make any changes right now given the time of year. I expect horses so go back a little at this time and with coats changing. They pick up quickly on new growth grass and given she's young and I presume being brought back into work you don't want her feeling too well/fresh off the back of a bucket feed.

Not a very concise answer...more a wait and see. Better pictures would help and even if you don't post them get in the habit of taking those pictures every 2-4wks just to keep your eye in as it can be hard to tell when looking at them every day.
 

TGM

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I've got to agree with the others that from those photos (which aren't taken at the best angles!) she doesn't seem unhealthily underweight. If she was going into winter looking like that I would be worried in case she lost more. However, for this time of year when the grass is about to come through, she looks OK, especially when you bear in mind she is out of work so lacking muscle.

Personally, if she was mine I would increase the hay during the day whilst the grass is still poor and swap the lite chaff for some sort of higher calorie fibre feed - a grass chaff, soaked grass nuts or beet or similar - whatever you can get hold of easily. Take IHW's advice about checking the MJDE/kg though - this is the calorie count of the feed and obviously higher calorie feeds will put more weight on, all other factors being equal.

As for the linseed, is it Marriages Cooked Linseed? If so, it is actually micronised linseed if you read further down the bag. Is it a fine meal, almost a powder?
 
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She looks ok to me too to be honest I would be morre worried if she was coming into Spring much fatter. We are all too used to seeing blubbery fat horses borderline obese as desirable when at this time of year we should be able to at least feel ribs if not see them when on they bend round a corner. Health wise as long as she is getting forage and a balance of vitamins and minerals to grow she will be fine. All my ponies are fed varying amounts of micronised linseed, alfalfa or grass chaff and soaked grass nuts. The oldies get pink mash as it keeps tummies from getting runny and makes them use their food better
That's great thank you, i'm glad majority are saying she does look ok. Yes I completely understand and agree there are a lot of the over weight horses out there and maybe I was over worrying a little. Ok I will keep that all in mind. Thanks again :)

Just as the others have said the photo's aren't great for body scoring. If you could get some of her stood square on level ground with her head up (just normal position/not grazing) and the same angles you've take - front on, side on and behind that would be really helpful.

She isn't looking anywhere near as bad as I was expecting and is pretty much spot on for this time of year. We've (generic) become so conditioned to seeing well covered horses (fat...) all year round and the marketing department for feed companies are doing a sterling job that we feel bad if we're not pumping food in - there's even food/supplements for fat horses these days! Horses are supposed to lose weight during the winter and it's thought this actually helps their metabolism by doing so. This time of year with the changing seasons/casting coats etc can take a bit out of a horse and more so a young, growing horse.

It's a tricky time of year because they've gone a winter with nothing in the grass and they are hungry for grass (some go off hay to go and nibble any shoots they can find instead) but the grass isn't quite through yet. However with the warm temps we've been having the grass will be through in no time if it keeps up.

I wouldn't be rushing to make any massive changes with the grass being so close. What is the grazing like with you? How many acres is she out on? How many others is she out with? Do you know what type of grass it is? Will she move to a new field for spring/summer? if yes has that field been rested/reseeded/fertilised at all? If they are moving to fresh grazing when do they move fields?

How much of your current feed do you have left?

We're all learning as we go so don't feel bad. You posted before and as a result of the replies you changed to adlib hay. You've posted now and learnt that lite chaff maybe wasn't the best option but you'll learn from that. You might find that when the grass comes through that lite chaff is your best option for this time of year.

So yeah, in short I'd be a bit reluctant to make any changes right now given the time of year. I expect horses so go back a little at this time and with coats changing. They pick up quickly on new growth grass and given she's young and I presume being brought back into work you don't want her feeling too well/fresh off the back of a bucket feed.

Not a very concise answer...more a wait and see. Better pictures would help and even if you don't post them get in the habit of taking those pictures every 2-4wks just to keep your eye in as it can be hard to tell when looking at them every day.
I will make sure to get some more photos tomorrow showing her how you have explained. Yay slight panic over I think we can definitely over worry sometimes and I may have been more concerned than I needed to be but this has all really helped!

That all makes sense yes, it's good to have that background knowledge of it all. I appreciated you explaining all that.

We've got about 4 acres split into 4 paddocks with one of them being slightly bigger but this was the winter paddock. My second one we have only recently got she's now in the winter paddock and Dil has gone into the first paddock (which wasn't too long) I was going to rotate them either this weekend or next. The next 2 paddocks have grown up quite a lot, I wouldn't say it's amazing grass and I couldn't tell you exact analysis but it doesn't look crap. The furthest paddock we had to mow as it got out of hand and i'd say this grass has come through the best because of it, other than that hasn't had any other maintenance. We was planning to keep rotating every 3 weeks or so. I'd say the bottom 5" +

I'd say i've got enough feed for the next 10/14 days which is why I thought if I needed to change anything to start looking at doing it now.

Yes I have definitely learnt from this and it is much appreciated sharing your knowledge. Yes she will be brought into work again very soon. No this has all helped massively thank you I will get into the habbit of carrying on taking the pictures as well :)

I've got to agree with the others that from those photos (which aren't taken at the best angles!) she doesn't seem unhealthily underweight. If she was going into winter looking like that I would be worried in case she lost more. However, for this time of year when the grass is about to come through, she looks OK, especially when you bear in mind she is out of work so lacking muscle.

Personally, if she was mine I would increase the hay during the day whilst the grass is still poor and swap the lite chaff for some sort of higher calorie fibre feed - a grass chaff, soaked grass nuts or beet or similar - whatever you can get hold of easily. Take IHW's advice about checking the MJDE/kg though - this is the calorie count of the feed and obviously higher calorie feeds will put more weight on, all other factors being equal.

As for the linseed, is it Marriages Cooked Linseed? If so, it is actually micronised linseed if you read further down the bag. Is it a fine meal, almost a powder?
That's great thank you, I think changing the chaff is definitely the right step I'm going to do some research on different ones tonight. Yes that's it I recognise the name now it is the marriages one it's like a fine powder. I didn't realised that was still micronised I had read the bag and could only see cooked linseed so that is helpful to know.
 
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