I’ve already called my vet and waiting on them to get back to me but in the meantime I’m just freaking out a lil’ bit.
My QH mare has lost some weight in the past few months (I bought her in November), and I’m fairly sure it’s because her workload has increased and she’s still being fed kind of the bare minimum QH diet, but wanted to see if maybe I’m overreacting.
My BO has agreed to increase her hay immediately, but I still haven’t heard back specifically how much hay (weight-wise) she’s supposed to be getting vs. how much my BO is planning to raise it.
She currently gets:
- 1 lb Nutrena Topline balancer per day
- Smarthoof (not replacing this when it runs out bc I think it’s not rly doing much)
- Mega Cell
- 4 flakes per day of alfalfa/orchard mix (again, not sure of the supposed weight but I did order a hay scale and plan to do a lil’ investigating of my own as soon as I get that)
- out 24/7 on pretty short, cropped pasture that is more mud than grass
I ordered Omega Horse Shine to replace the Mega Cell and was thinking I might add a tiny bit of grain in addition to her ration balancer.
My options for grain are unfortunately limited to Nutrena Safe Choice Perform or Safe Choice Senior - I’ve heard lots of negative things about this feed but it’s what I have to work with and I’m not allowed to bring in my own grain. I asked my BO about adding just like a pound or two of the senior per day, mainly because it’s the lower starch option, but she thinks that is a bad idea and I guess is concerned it will make my horse too fat, and wants to just increase the hay first.
Some other things to note:
- She’s super sensitive on her belly and sides, pins her ears if you even just lightly touch her sides. she has had both saddles fitted and had a chiro adjustment a couple weeks ago, so I’m p sure it’s her gut!
- her poop has been a cow pat consistency on and off for the past couple of months, not full-on diarrhea but definitely not solid enough either - maybe not enough fiber?
- she’s been dewormed and had her poop re-checked afterwards to find that she is worm-free, but they found a “moderate” amount of sand in her poop - which also tells me she’s probably not getting enough hay
- her coat looks pretty rough to me but it’s kinda hard to tell because it’s her long winter coat and I haven’t had her long enough to really know the difference.
- she is now being worked little harder on the flat and has started to jump a little bit, and I’m pretty sure it’s more work than she’s really been asked to do for quite awhile, definitely in the past year.
I will probably order some omeprazole just to see if that helps, but I feel like the underlying problem is that she’s just not getting enough nutrition now that she’s in full work and being ridden 5 days a week!
I’ve also done a FeedXL diet analysis and it said on her current diet she’s getting only 78% of her daily digestible energy requirements. Is it totally stupid to add like 1-2 pounds of senior feed per day to her diet in addition to her ration balancer?
I just feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to fatten up a quarter horse so we’re definitely not doing something right if I can see ALL of her ribs quite prominently.
Photos below - and note that yes she does get her hay served to her in a feeder, and in the last photos she had just dumped all of it out on the ground herself, but we do actively try to keep her from eating it off the ground
From the past week: