Feed for weak 5 year old still growing..? Where to start

J1993

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5 August 2013
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Lancashire
So my horse has been out for 3 months having a break from adult life! Here are her details..

16.2
Still growing and has a lot of filling out to do
Mare
Can be stressy in the stable
Super calm, chilled to ride and happy with ridden energy levels.
Warmblood
Loses weight easily
Daily turnout from mid Oct. Currently out overnight.
Currently on Hay but quality can be mixed.
Hoping we get some haylage in winter (forage included on livery so works out a lot of £ to buy my own).

So she was on Topspec balancer, fibre beet and linseed. She is very picky with her hay/haylage and will sometimes hardly eat much.. because of this she then drops weight so fast as she is always lean! In the field in winter there is some grazing (but same field all winter!!) to nibble on and she goes out 8-4. I really don't want to reduce her winter turnout to keep her weight on.

Shes been back a few days and she isn't on any feed just yet but I can't decide whether to keep her on what she was on last year or whether to look for other options.. whilst away she had grown upwards again but would still say she could put on a few kilos!

I've been recommended pink mash, thunderbrooks, gain but I have no idea where to start there is so much to choose, just want to support her growth and muscle development without pumping her full of rubbish.
 

TGM

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I presume you have had her teeth checked if she is picky with her hay/haylage. Often dental problems can reduce forage intake and therefore result in weight loss. If her teeth are totally OK, then I would concentrate on sourcing the best quality hay or haylage for her so she actually eats it all up. At the end of the day, if you are having to make up for the lack of forage intake by increasing/changing the hard feed it is going to work out pretty expensive!
 

TPO

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I really rate Pink Mash. It's not the highest calorie feed but my simplistic mind figures that it must be helping the hindgut enabling them to get more from all other feed and forage. I've had great results with approx 6 horses and know others that have too.

I would also feed a high spec vit/min balancer. My go to is Progressive Earth Pro Balance but there are others from that supplier and the likes of Forage Plus.

I've had good success with micronised linseed or copra if they've needed more.

Also recently had a lot of success with Baileys no.21 Ease & Excel.

But to start with I'd keep it simple, for me that would be Pink Mash, pro balance, salt, Dengie Meadow Grass and micronised linseed then review in a months time. Horses tend to dip a bit with season/coat change too so sometimes need a bit of help.
 

TPO

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Ooo yes grassnuts are great too.

I went to a talk a trillion years ago by a vet about feeding oil (it was through the Arab Horse Society) and he was very anti "mugs of oil". Horses aren't designed for it and yes it is calorific so puts in calories but ultimately not great for the digestive system 🤷🏼‍♀️

Although I guess horses aren't designed for eating half of the stuff that we shovel into them!!
 

J1993

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Lancashire
Yes teeth perfect and checked every 6 months. She is fussy with hay and haylage, but to be honest the quality is very much up and down which is annoying so I always have back up small bagged haylage just in case it's a bad batch!

I will have a look at some of the suggestions.. thank you!

Planning to get back on in a week or two.. would just like feed sorted!
 

Trouper

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I think I would also want to consider how well she is absorbing the nutrients from the food she is eating. I know some worm analysis people can give you information how much undigested food is being passed and wasted and, if she can be a bit stressy at times, I might want to consider something like EquiShure as a hind gut supplement.
 

Hack4fun

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29 April 2017
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What is her condition score? Unless it is too low, in which case seek professional advice, then ad lib haylage and a balancer fed according to the manufacturer's instruction. If she has enough energy levels when ridden then she is doing OK. Taking professional advice will save you money in feed bills too.
 
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