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My older horse is on plain kansas prairie grass right now and not eating too much.
What is the best feed if that's even it to keep him from losing any weight? I know a vague question but just wondered if anyone had any suggestions.
 

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There is no right answer to this question. I have an older pony. He's missing teeth, and I tried several different feeds B4 finding one that he'd eat.

I'd look for one that's a complete feed. If you can get him to eat any chopped hay, or hay pellets, that would be a plus. My old guy eats Sentinel Senior. He used to eat hay pellets, then decided that he no longer liked them. I tried him on chopped hay. He ate that for a few days, then turned his nose up at it. Beet pulp might work, but that's also something my old guy turns his nose up at.
 

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My older mare liked a hot bran mash - just hot water mixed in with rice bran and allowed to get nice and warm and mushy. Try a little at first and see what he thinks.
 

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You have to be very careful feeding Bran, especially mashes because they really provide no nutrition to the horse and actually will leach minerals out of their bodies.

Horses seem to like bran mashes, especially when mixed with apples or carrots, but beyond being a diuretic, there is no food value. PEOPLE love the smell, idea of gving horse such a "treat" in cold weather. Horse then loses even more moisture from body, when he may not be drinking enough to begin with in the cold weather. Bran fed with any regularity, often, causes horse body to lose important minerals and liquids he needs.

If you wish to feed warm treats, get some wet beet pulp made up, which WILL provide more liquids, food value to horse. AND even fed daily, it benefits the horses as a forage feed. You can certainly add cut apples, cut carrots, grain, to wet, hot, beet pulp making it an even more appealing food for the horse.

Is there any reason your horse can't have hay? At this time, most grass is not that nutritious, not growing, so horse needs other forage food to fill his digestive system. Various kinds of hay will be the most helpful in creating body heat as it is processed in the digestive process. You will keep a horse warmer in winter by feeding quantities of hay, over grain rations.

Horse also NEEDS to be drinking water, not just eating snow, so tank or buckets have to be liquid for best health results. If horse doesn't drink much, he is likely to dehydrate and often develop colic, a general term for digestive problems, as he tries to process his dry foods.
 

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In May we got a horse that was extremely under weight. We were advised to feed Purina Senior. Also added rice bran and beet pulp. He has gained and no longer has ribs showing and has filled out in his haunches. Also lots of hay. We don't use round bales in the pasture because of the waste. We feed individually and make sure he gets extra. Make sure there is lots of clean water available. Have you checked his teeth to see if they need to be floated? Our boy is only about 12 yrs old but he had a molar that was so long he couldn't chew, that is why he was underweight and his former owned never checked.

Ken
 

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First, be sure he is free of parasites. Use a real worm medication. Second, get his teeth looked at by someone that really knows what he is doing. Horses teeth develop points that tear into the horse's mouth, making eating painful. Third, slowly increase the quality of his feed. If you are rich, buy lots of bags of Horse feed. It comes in pellets and cubes, in shiny colorful bags. If you aren't rich, get the mill to mix you some feed. About half cracked corn, 20% oats, 20% soybean meal, vitamin mineral mix and enough molasses to keep the stuff mixed up. If you are on the non-GMO bandwagon, replace the corn with oats.
Old horses, like old people don't digest as well and get chilly. A thin horse will suffer without a blanket in bad weather. Get an insulated horse blanket.
 

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First, be sure he is free of parasites. Use a real worm medication. Second, get his teeth looked at by someone that really knows what he is doing. Horses teeth develop points that tear into the horse's mouth, making eating painful. Third, slowly increase the quality of his feed. If you are rich, buy lots of bags of Horse feed. It comes in pellets and cubes, in shiny colorful bags. If you aren't rich, get the mill to mix you some feed. About half cracked corn, 20% oats, 20% soybean meal, vitamin mineral mix and enough molasses to keep the stuff mixed up. If you are on the non-GMO bandwagon, replace the corn with oats.
Old horses, like old people don't digest as well and get chilly. A thin horse will suffer without a blanket in bad weather. Get an insulated horse blanket.
I'm actually a fan of having my own feed mixed at the mill. That's what the other horses that live here get and what the above mentioned horse ate most of his life but there came a day when that just wasn't working for him any more. So...it was either try something else or have him put down before he was totally emaciated. I chose trying the shiny, colorful bags over euthanasia because I love that horse, he did whatever I asked of him for many years, and other than a weight issue and general old age stiffness there wasn't a thing else wrong with him. I can't argue that it's more expensive but it does work. At 29 he probably doesn't have a lot of time left but I'm going to enjoy each and every day I still have left with him and in the end I'm going to miss him and not the money I spent keeping him healthy.
 

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How old is the horse? What kind?
Do you feed hay in addition to grass?

Is he not eating, or eating but losing weight? That's sort of an important detail that needs to be known.

I agree with the other poster that suggested the pasture may be lacking in nutrients this time of year...so it's filler, keeps them busy, but many horses need more.

If your horse can eat hay (and WILL eat hay), I would start by giving some good hay in the pasture and seeing if he eats it. At the end of pasture season, my horses will eat hay -- but if the grass is still good, they will ignore it.

If the horse is eating hay and still needing weight, then it may be time to add grain/concentrates. Personally, I'd go with a pre-mixed Senior feed, because they tend to be palatable and the ingredient mixture is usually consistent. I personally love Triple Crown Senior, but currently feed Nutrena Safe Choice Senior.

Good luck.
 

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If the horse is eating hay and still needing weight, then it may be time to add grain/concentrates. Personally, I'd go with a pre-mixed Senior feed, because they tend to be palatable and the ingredient mixture is usually consistent. I personally love Triple Crown Senior, but currently feed Nutrena Safe Choice Senior.

Good luck.
I totally agree...Triple Crown Senior is my go to preference for Senior feed. I have also used Nutrena Senior. Both are good. If your horse has mouth issues, either of these feeds are easily broken down when wet.

I use Maxi-Glo pelleted Rice Bran as a boost as well. I have several TB's on it daily, one cup a day, and they maintain very good weight and body condition. Two of those horses are seniors, both look great.
 
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