How to get weight on an older horse

Discussion in 'Horses' started by Goatzrule, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    So i am starting a lease on an older horse, 16/17, he needs a lot of maintenance because his owner slacks. First thing is worming him, he hasnt been wormed in maybe a year or two, what worming schedule do you do with your horses. He gets full choice of a round bale and feed but no supplements and with his age and being in work im thinking he could use some to help his joints and keep weight on. What do you guys use? Hes a good horse and loves to work, hes a powerhouse over the jumps but needs his general maintenance kept up with.
  2. goat girls

    goat girls Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2017
    New mexcico
    go to TSC in the horse isle you'll find joint supplement and a weight product that i can't remember the names of

  3. GaGoats2017

    GaGoats2017 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    I would get his teeth checked too, to make sure he doesn't need a float.

    I know the weight gain supplement from TSC, I used to use it for my rescue horses and loved it. But I haven't used it in a few years so I can't even remember what the bucket looks like. I'm sure a good mineral would help him out too.

    Alfalfa pellets work good for getting/keeping weight on a horse, at least for me. A few of my older ones I would supplement with a good senior feed too, if the alfalfa didn't help.

    Curious to see someones worming schedule too. :)

    Congrats on your new boy! Can't wait to see pictures.
    toth boer goats and Goatzrule like this.
  4. PippasCubby

    PippasCubby Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
    E. WA
    I would start with having his teeth checked to determine if they need to be floated. Also, have your vet do a fecal to determine your worm load. Different areas will likely have a different worming protocol. We would typically worm after the first good, hard frost in the fall, and then in the springtime after the first good warm spell.

    A good grass hay with alfalfa should be a good start for keeping/adding weight. Add grains if the alfalfa doesn't help. We used "Strategy" when our horses needed more (pregnant mare, growing colt, frequent, hard riding) but it has been several years so I am not sure if there are newer better feeds currently available. 16/17 isn't that old, so he it shouldn't take too much to get him in good shape.

    Congrats on the lease!
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  5. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Active Member

    Dec 10, 2017
    Look into feeding rolled barley (11% protein). It's done amazing things for hard keepers. It doesn't burn as hot as oats and puts on muscle. Chariot horses were fed barley or fodder from barley grains. Be careful feeding alfalfa to older horses. Too much protein for the older horses can lead to bladder & kidney issues. Always make sure roughage and good quality grass hay is available at all times when pasture isn't available. As others have mentioned, a routine teeth floating / exam is ALWAYS a great place to start.
    SeventeenFarms and Goatzrule like this.
  6. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    Thanks for all the information, Im trying to create a deal with his owner now. Hes a nice horse. My instructor did mention floating, how much does that cost? I imagine his lacking weight because of his teeth/worms. 17 isnt old for a horse but for him to still be working and want to work is pretty good. He destroys his blankets, once he gets weight on does he need a blanket, he has a thick coat.
  7. goat girls

    goat girls Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2017
    New mexcico
    It costs my friend $150 for getting her MINI HORSE'S teeth floated
  8. Sparklesms

    Sparklesms Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I don't know how 'correct' this is, but as a teen I worked a couple of summers at a ranch, and in the winter they fed their old horses a splash of oil on their grain for the extra fat.
  9. Madgoat

    Madgoat Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    16 isn’t “old” for a healthy horse, you have lots of good years left with him. And I agree with the other posters who recommend teeth floating. Watch him eat. If he’s dropping a lot of grain, then he needs his teeth looked at.
    What is his breed? How often do you ride him, and what do you do when you ride?

    Upping protein isn’t always the best way to put weight on, I personally like my horses on the light side. They seem better off not toting around all that extra weight.
    toth boer goats likes this.
  10. ArborGoats

    ArborGoats Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    When I moved to Missouri I left one of the horses I had been riding for a while, I just went and rode him a couple months ago for fun. He is slowing down some, a little senile, but he can still walk/trot like a champ and he wanted to canter but I said it was a no go since no one has been working him... He turns 32 in April of 2018.

    16-17 is the end of the prime years in my opinion. I love the oldies!

    I'm gonna make bullets of things I have done in the past:
    -Teeth floating (obviously you know this) for me its in the $150 range as well both in MO and NY your area might be different
    -I have really good luck with a second cutting grass hay, more nutrition than a first cut but better long term than alfalfa
    -wheat germ oil/corn oil/vegetable oil (depends on what I had)
    -flax seeds ground up and poured on top
    -a senior feed that is easy to eat
    -bran mash/beet pulp in the winter to add calories and some fiber that is warm
    -FatCat is a weight supplement through TSC that I have had success with

    As far as joint supplements: for prevention Cosequin is really good (not cheap though - so it might be depending on how long you plan on using him)
    I like BL (Buteless) liquid as well

    Good luck!
    Madgoat likes this.
  11. Idahogoats

    Idahogoats Active Member

    Sep 5, 2016
    16 is not old. 32 to 40 is old.