Smokey, while a registered American Quarter Horse, is actually an Appendix American Quarter Horse, because his sire is a Thoroughbred. The Quarter Horse Breed was established in 1947, and, to a large extent, the first QH's were Thoroughbreds, so this isn't such a stretch. Quarter Horses today tend to be very stout, strong horses. Smokey is tall and lean, more like his sire must have been.
Keeping weight on him has always been a bit of challenge. To aid in this, he gets a daily ration of grain. For the past few years, he's been on a product known as Enhance Daily, manufactured by Arkat. With a 24% fact content, it has been amazing. Combined with a helping of rice bran, it has aided in keeping 'ol Mojo healthy.
Sadly, Arkat has discontinued this product. Combined with a hard working summer, he has suddenly experienced some weight loss, and his ribs were beginning to show. To combat this he is on extra rations of alfalfa, close to half a bale per day (he's not complaining). We located a product called Moorglo, which at 18% fat, is darn close to what he was receiving before. It may be wishful thinking, but I believe there has been a perceptible improvement. Combined with nightly blanketing (horses expend energy to stay warm when it is cold), I'm hoping we can get ahead of this problem before the weather turns cold.
One of the hazards of older horses, I guess. Amongst the many things my horse has taught me, I know quite a great deal about the equine digestive system.
I'll keep you posted on his progress.