Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It seems like it is coming from every direction.

After my initial evaluation of the new saddle I had my hopes way up.  And if it could stop raining around here for more than a few minutes I could possibly some day get to ride again.  But Monday in the few minute break from rain I threw on the saddle and jumped on to get a better evaluation in.  I almost didn't want to come on here and talk about it and honestly it took me 2 days to get over the disappointment but sadly that 3 finger space almost disappeared when I got on.  I should not have gotten my hopes up but it really did look good.  So I determined that if this saddle didn't fit perfectly then we were going to resort to shim pads.  So that is where we are.  I have a Lamicell pad that I can use for now that is what I have used up until now to keep saddles off his withers.  So I will continue to use that until I can save up for a shim pad.  Frustrated and disappointed but not surprised.  Another problem is that I still have not been able to really ride in it because my girths are too long.   Again frustrated I have this saddle yet still cannot ride.  I wish I could just zip out to the nearest tack store and pick up a girth but considering there is no tack store in 50 mile radius it is just not that simple.  And that the fuel it would cost me to get to the nearest tack store as it would for a girth.  I am just frustrated and want to ride in the nicest saddle that I have ever been able to ride in and it is sitting in my laundry tack room and I can't ride in it...grrrr.

I have been wanting to post about this next issue is my ever skinny horse.  WTH??!!  why can't I get weight on my horse?  I feel though that I am living the definition of insanity.  You know the one that goes something like "repeating the same actions and expecting different results".  That would drive the sanest of us crazy and God knows I am not all there to begin with.  So since my knowledge of a hard to keep scrawny thoroughbred is next to nil, I have relied on the help and experience of others.  That approach has been well ummmm, well, I am here talking about how it is failing right?  Yeah it has gone just that well.  So I was told to feed purina equine senior and free choice hay.  Since weight gain doesn't happen over night I have taken the watch and see approach.  When I didn't see enough gain I would increase the amount of feed.  hmmmm see where this is going?  Kind of like a dog chasing it's tale.  So I am out on a mission to find a solution for my underweight love.  So here is my next plan of action and I am up for opinions but please I really would appreciate opinions that you have seen work first hand.  I really don't want to go through more guesses.  I plan to have the vet out but I asked him last year about it and he never really gave me any solid answers(I am not the happiest with my vet but he is the only equine vet near by).  So back to my plan of action.  I am currently in the process of changing him over to Strategy, I am also trying to find a local place that carries the ADM mineral buckets.  Along with a fecal test.  I was also told to feed alfalfa cubes and beet pulp and even some rice bran.  So that is where I know to start.  I really want to find a solution to this problem that we continue to struggle to fix.

And I am not going to even get started on the money frustrations.  It seems everyone wants our money and not to mention fuel prices, ugh.


  1. Horse nutrition always puzzles me, so I'm not going to offer an opinion, only sympathy. Every time I try to research it I end up confused. I know from when Rogo was growing though that getting weight on can be very frustrating.
    Sorry you aren't getting any ride time in. The wet weather is keeping me off my horse too.

  2. I really feel your frustration on both the saddle and Steady's diet. I guess it's just a matter of finding something that works for your horse. Does he plump back up when the green grass comes back in? That will probably help him, too. :) I know I spent all winter pouring equine senior and alfalfa cubes down my boy's throat so that he didn't get ribby. And he could still use a few more pounds. What would we do if our horses didn't drive us a little (more) crazy?

  3. This is coming from working at a barn with 40 horses, anytime our horses drop weight we increase the alfalfa hay after we have their teeth checked and make sure that isn't an issue. We feed strategy and a grain, the hard keepers are kept on strategy and the rest are on 1 to 2 lbs of grain in the evening. The only horse we feed senior feed and rice bran is a 30 year old arab with barely any teeth. We soak his feed until it is a mush that he can slurp up.
    In hawaii alfalfa ha was hard to come by so we fed alfalfa cubes but AJ choked twice. I fed them for a short time in Texas until I found an aluminum can compressed in a cube in one bag and then a dead bird in another. Turned me off of cubes forever!
    Once the weather warms up and he's not burning so much to keep warm he may pick up some weight, too.

  4. Rice bran and/or soaked beet pulp. We've used both with great success. There are also some good higher fat/low NSC feeds - like Ultimate Finish - that work well. But be sure to have a fecal test done for worms, and also have teeth checked first. I would also do a dose of probiotics in case gut function isn't quite right.

  5. I agree with the beet pulp and as much fat as your horse will tolerate. During the really cold part of the winter I could put 2 cups of canola oil in it and Nina would scarf it down, now we are down to about a cup or less or she just picks through it if it's too oily. Probiotics are good, I feed a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast (NOT brewers yeast) which is a prebiotic, rich in vit B and stimulates their appetite. I also feed Slippery Elm bark for as an ulcer prevention. Both are inexpensive and you can get them at any health food store. A lot of TBs are very hard to get past the stage where the ribs are just covered, when you are able to do more regular work it should help also. It seems like my TBs have always been at their best weight when they were working the hardest. I don't even try to understand that.

  6. Ugh, I hear you sister!! My ottb has an odd body. He gains a hay belly dispite my workings with him but has a look of atrophie on back/shoulders, etc.
    I did start him on beet pulp this winter to ensure to not loose any more and to get water in him. I just added Flax so we'll see.
    These TB's just are calorie burners! I wish I had that talent! :)

  7. I agree with the comments about beet pulp. I love the stuff! It works great. I feed it dry, but most people soak it because they worry about choke. I just feed in a large bucket on the ground so Chrome has to eat slowly and can't swallow huge amounts. Flax is amazing. I'm not sure it does anything for weight but it is great for coat, hooves, etc. If he's getting free choice hay and still needs to add weight he may need fat. That's easiest to get through oil. I haven't had much experience with oil though so I'll let you do the research. I think some oils aren't very good for them though so definitely research before you decide which one to use. I wish I could remember which one it was but I don't know. My breeder had Chrome on rice bran too and I think it helps add fat. I'd have to check the label. Anyway you have my sympathies. I know how hard it can be to put weight on TBs.

  8. Ditto the beet pulp. Around here, you can get it in pellets or shreds, and I think the shreds are mildly cheaper. We'd just soak them for a few minutes and then mix them with whatever other grain/senior the horse was getting, and it worked great. Good luck!

    :-( Sorry about the saddle. Any change you can post pictures of it? You know, side view of it sitting on Steady without a girth, front view, type of thing? I'm really curious.

  9. My daughter's 15 yr old TB is hard to keep weight on year round, but esp dropped weight this Winter.

    Horses at our barn are on Stay Stong Metabolic Minerals (instead of grain) and Healthy Glo Nuggets - both are made by Alliance Nutrition.

    Upping the Healthy Glo really made a difference quickly in his weight, without making him 'hot'. They also gets good quality hay when in their stalls.

    So sorry to hear the saddle is now not a perfect fit - I feel your pain! I have went to ordering most horse related things, instead of driving around to tack stores - with gas prices, the shipping costs don't seem so high.


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