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Rehabilitating Emaciated Horse in Spain. Help urgent !

Hey I’m posting to ask for dietary recommendations for rehabilitating an Emaciated horse in Spain.

I specify in Spain because where I am in the alpujarras, there is not such a great selection of feed available. Grain I can get most brands however concerning hay there is none. Everybody I have asked has instructed an alfalfa hay diet but I just don’t have that available. All we have is straw, which horses here do eat … And in 1 month forahaye, straw with oats still attached.
What diet can you reccomened and what feed or supplements ???

The horse is a 4 year old PRE colt, ribs are visible a mile off and has a spine like a razor blade. He’s around 15.2 hh, and of usual Andalusian build, so should be 3 times his width. No chest no bum … Nada !

Sorry for e length of the post but any help is greatly appreciated x

Can you call your local vet to talk about nutrition? An emaciated horse will need a vet check up anyway.

I’ve never heard of anyone feeding a horse straw, and feeding just grain to an emaciated horse sounds like a recipe for disaster.

While it’s not ideal, you can construct a balanced diet without hay. I can’t stress enough that you need to work with the vet and introduce the diet very slowly so the horse’s digestive system can start working again, and adjust.

Many people start with frequent very small feedings - for example, one handful 8 times per day.

You’ll want to look for a complete feed, which includes roughage - such as Triple Crown Senior. http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/products/feeds/senior-horse-feed-formula-seniorhorsefeed/ You may also want to soak it in a bit of water so it is easier to chew and digest (since his teeth may also be neglected).

Finally, you’ll want to consider supplemental roughage (other than hay). Do you have access to bagged roughage, such as alfalfa cubes, hay cubes, Dengi, chaffhaye, beet pulp, etc.?

Look for senior feeds that contain beet pulp. They are meant to be a complete feed for horses with no teeth who cannot chew.

I agree with the poster, above, who suggested Triple Crown. But if you do not have access to US brands, just look for beet pulp in the ingredients. Then soak the feed just as you would soak regular beet pulp.

What DO you have in the way of forages? What are cattle fed in the area?

I don’t think the OP wants to be questioned regarding the lack of hay in her area. This is absolutely the case in her region of Spain. My friend bought a PRE from this region last year, and her horse was on straw, and had no idea what hay was. Upon arrival in the United States, she had to be very careful when introducing hay into his diet. They all ate straw for roughage, and were on a “grain” mixture of legumes, barely, and oats. Very different from what I am used to.

In terms of providing some help, the suggestion of a complete senior feed fed in small quantities is your best option, due to the addition of beet pulp as a fiber source. Another option would be putting this horse on a ration balancer, and mix this with beet pulp, while slowly increasing the amount of beet pulp over time. This way, you can be certain vitamin and mineral requirements are being met without the horse having consume large quantities of grain. You could also try adding oil to the diet, as long as it is done gradually. Similar to a person recovering from anorexia, the body starts to shut down so an overload of food is in itself can be very dangerous. Do you have access to hay pellets? Best of luck!

OP, I’ve had to rehab more than one pony in Haiti with the same problem, no hay sources. Do work with the local vet if you have a good one. Please do give us a list of options you have available, as creative rehabbing depends on what’s available.

For my riding pony in a dry season with zero pasture we got him used to cornstalk plus a bran/corn or bran/soy mix. He didn’t seriously pick up weight though until the arrival of load of senior feed. If you search for threads started by me, you should be able to find the one that documents Hoover’s rehab.

Good luck with your boy!