Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hard Keeper

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.

18 comments:

molly.j.13 said...

Equine digestive systems, just what the doctor ordered after a long day of work huh? Love your blog! Keep on making me smile!

Bernard said...

cool post, give us pictures please =)

Kate said...

We've had good luck with Buckeye Ultimate Finish - Dawn tends to be like Smokey - hard to keep weight on particularly over the winter. If you're up for a mess, soaked beet pulp works well too. We do feed extra hay as well. Good luck with that!

better suited for a fictional world said...

i agree with kate, beet pulp has always worked for us, too. and regular visits from the dentist.

Kate said...

Know how difficult some of those appendix horses can be. Sounds like you're on the right track. I've had some luck with a product called DAC oil. It really shines my horses up and keeps weight on them without the extra 'craziness' and edge that grain can give them. Have fun!

Deb said...

When I was at the feed store (many moons ago) I had rave reviews about a product called Omolene 300 (for broodmares and babies) or Omolene 200 (for performance horses) made by Purina. Not sure if they still make it but it might also be worth a try. When Murphy was still alive (she passed at age 26) I fed her alfalfa pellets and high pro horse pellets along with a 50/50 grass/alfala mix hay.

jill said...

We use Buckeye Ultimate Finish. A little goes a long way and it's cool calories. Also free choice hay all day. Digesting hay at night will help keep his furnace going. Pre and pro biotics can help a horse digest and use calories more effienctly as they get older.
Another thought, horses of a certain age stop erupting molars, hence their chewing ability is impaired, depending how much previous floating they've had done. Sometimes the vets take too much tooth and the grinding surface is not what it used to be. Do you have a equine dentist that can look at his mouth?
Not to float, lord don't get me started on why not to have a reg vet float your horse's teeth, but to see how much tooth he's dealing with for chewing.
Too much info, right!? *giggle*
Can you tell I've taken care of older horses for awhile? Ah, I miss my Joe sometimes.

Deb Dahlberg Rowland said...

The suggestion about the beet pulp is a good one, I have used that before with a hard keeper. Wondering about shoes. Have had a hard keeper and when we moved him to barefoot status he put weight back on.

Buck said...

Wow, BR! Your Equine Expert resources have exploded!! You should send Blogger a thank-you card. ;-)

Buckskins Rule said...

Thank you for the all the input, everyone! Buckeye products aren't available here in WA. I think they must be regional.

He's on the all you can eat alfalfa program right now, and I am mixing Pro Bios in his grain to help kick start his system.

Jill: We do have an equine dentist nearby, and I'm considering having him take a look. Based on experience, I am not a fan of having the vet float teeth, either.

Deb: Barefoot is not an option for Smokey. During the wet winter months, his soles get very soft and prone to abscess. I have to keep pads on during this period to keep him sound, so the shoes are needed.

Buck: You are so right. One of the great things about blogging. There are so many folks with more experience than myself, and, as someone once said, a person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.

light.fingers said...

Try whole barley - soaked for 24 hours. Thoroughbreds and their close derivatives usually need more grain - not pellets - grain. Barley doesn't make horses hot, but it will help to keep the weight on.

I recommend 1 scoop oaten chaff, 1 scoop lucerne chaff, 1/2 scoop bran, and 1/2 scoop barley - you can increase the volumes, but maintain the same ratio.

Rugging helps, as does a dentist once per year.

All the best!

pinkchampagne said...

Pretty horse

ecosdar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theres just life said...

I never had a horse but always wanted one. The ones I use to ride, or should I say use to take me for a ride, belonged to friends and family. Now we have the room but not the money for up keep. Oh well I guess I will just have to keep up with you to vicariously own a horse.

Jessica said...

No wonder I like Smokey!! Half TB is almost as good as full TB.

With Bar, it's helped to add rice bran though I know some will say it makes horses hot. Trust me when I say it has not made any difference in the boy as far as I can tell. And I watch closely as you know. (Okay, except for his super shiny coat.)

All-in-one helps, too, but again, people will tell you it makes them hot. (Bar says shhhhhhhhh.)

With you on the wet and need for shoes. We are getting ready to do some major paddock remodeling before (hopefully) rain hits.

Good luck!

BK said...

My BF has an appendix quarter horse, and that horse just naturally stays thin. I guess they don't worry about it too much but they're not competing on their horses or anything. Just pleasure rides and moving cattle...

gpence61 said...

"With a 24% fact content, it has been amazing. "

I know it's just a typo, but when I read that sentence, I thought "that sounds like my blog!" :-)

Keep up the good work. I envy you... I was 47 before I got on a horse and I'd love to own horses, but the lottery hasn't cooperated just yet!

Kari (Havoth) said...

I used and liked Omolene 300 also. Was good with alfalfa range cubes too.