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Thin Gelding

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:10 pm
by ArrowHBrand
I have a 4 y/o paint gelding that I just can't seem to put weight on. He's super thin, his hips and withers are prominent, and he just looks like crap. He's fed 3 lbs. of horse feed and a bale of brohm a day. The vet's been out and put him on an aggressive worming schedule and we are only half way through it, but I want to tap into others' experiences. Any suggestions?

We bought him as a yearling and come to find out he had Potomac Fever as a weanling and about died. Also we gelded him last spring when he was 3 that took a while for him to recover from. Before we gelded him he looked amazing! I hope the vet didn't damage some internal soft tissue!

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:25 pm
by Hippie Rancher
what is the "horse feed" you are giving 3 lbs of? That sounds low for feeds I am familiar with. I am also not familiar with brome, so perhaps I am not one to give advice here. But if he can eat a whole BALE of hay a day, either they are small bales or it is not very nutritious.???

I would give a poor keeper alfalfa free choice and maybe push some "senior" formula feed (10 lbs or more per day - but work up to it over 10 days to two weeks) on him to see if the weight comes up. Did your vet run any samples to see what worms he thinks are present? Seems he went downhill after the castrating - did he run a fever at that time? Possible infection that he still isn't over?

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:14 pm
by ArrowHBrand
Brome is a type of grass hay and the bales are heavy, tightly compacted. Our other horses are on half that ration and no feed. They stand around all winter so there's no use in pushing feed to our horses and we don't believe in feeding alfalfa or free choice to our horses. Our bred mare just gets 10lbs. of feed and hay a day.
Our vet is going to test after this period of worming is over. He did have an infection when he was gelded, but that was last June and he was fine after that.

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:25 am
by msscamp
ArrowHBrand wrote:I have a 4 y/o paint gelding that I just can't seem to put weight on. He's super thin, his hips and withers are prominent, and he just looks like crap. He's fed 3 lbs. of horse feed and a bale of brohm a day. The vet's been out and put him on an aggressive worming schedule and we are only half way through it, but I want to tap into others' experiences. Any suggestions?



I'm assuming you've checked his teeth, and tested the hay for protein content. He might have encysted(sp?) worms, could just be a very hard keeper, might have other issues that you're not aware of. How is his temperament? Is he in with other horses? What about mineral? Given the circumstances, I think I would switch him to alfalfa/grass hay in addition to the feed, and see how he did on that. If no improvement, I believe I would be talking to my vet about blood tests for illness/disease/long term effects.

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:16 pm
by ArrowHBrand
msscamp wrote:
ArrowHBrand wrote:I have a 4 y/o paint gelding that I just can't seem to put weight on. He's super thin, his hips and withers are prominent, and he just looks like crap. He's fed 3 lbs. of horse feed and a bale of brohm a day. The vet's been out and put him on an aggressive worming schedule and we are only half way through it, but I want to tap into others' experiences. Any suggestions?



I'm assuming you've checked his teeth, and tested the hay for protein content. He might have encysted(sp?) worms, could just be a very hard keeper, might have other issues that you're not aware of. How is his temperament? Is he in with other horses? What about mineral? Given the circumstances, I think I would switch him to alfalfa/grass hay in addition to the feed, and see how he did on that. If no improvement, I believe I would be talking to my vet about blood tests for illness/disease/long term effects.


Yes his teeth are good and he has a great appetite, comes right up and eats heartily, nothing drops out of his mouth. His temperment is great a real passive horse since he was gelded and aims to please. He's by himself so he doesn't get pushed out but he can touch other horses over the fence. Thanks for your help!

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:12 am
by kscowboy
A bale of brome a day should have him fat as a tick. with his Hx of Potomac i would want some blood tests done to see what is going on with him. What does his manure look like and has the vet actually done a parasite test. to give you some reference we maintain a very well conditioned herd and feed about 8-10 inches of brome twice a day thru our winter months without any supplements. thats about a third bale per day per horse or about 20 pounds.

If he is truly eating that much he is not absorbing it at all. something is wrong and just adding feed is not going to fix it.

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:11 pm
by dianab
You might try some pro-biotics. Many horses loose weight after fighting an infection because the antibiotics destroy the gut bugs that help digest their feed. Most get their gut balance back on their own, but if they don't they will gradually loose weight and become hard keepers. Good news is you can turn it around with pro-biotics fed as directed for a while.

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:47 pm
by TJAdix
First, I would get the blood test. Then, depending on the size of your horse and the grain you are feeding. The amount of grain does sound a bit under from what we would feed a 1200 lbs horse at our training facility. We feed a 16% grain 2x daily (12 lbs grain, 2xdaily) plus 15 lbs(hay) 2 x daily of brome hay. Make sure your brome hay is excellent and never been rained on....no mold. I'm in Kansas and we had a bad year last year along with Iowa for rain on brome hay. If your brome wasnt' put up before the rain hit then your protien content is just as low as prairie hay. Other factors are is the horse hurting for example does he need an adjustment. Horses that are hurting are not going to gain weight. You may need to researsch a good chiro in your area. We adjust horses here in training and even the ones that are on the road every weekend for shows. Just like us they too need help every once in a while. Good luck and keep us posted on your horse! :cboy:

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:17 pm
by ArrowHBrand
Quick update on my skinny gelding, he's fat and happy again! I maintained his feeding schedule through the end of the winter and after his round of wormings, he's back to his old self again. Levi is on pasture now and doing extrememly well, he looks great! Thank you all for your comments and advice, it's much appreciated! :cboy:

Re: Thin Gelding

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:10 am
by marven
Great Post about Thin gelding.
A thin, bony, gangly two-year-old gelding named Exterminator made his debut in a six-furlong maiden race.
Thanks.

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