How to fatten up a thoroughbred ex-racing horse?

I have a thoroughbred ex-racing horse and can't seem to put any weight on him. His teeth have been checked by a dentist and he has been wormed and received all vaccinations. He is currently on two scoops of hard feed and a scoop of beet pulp per meal twice a day but he cannot seem to gain any weight. Any suggestions on what I should feed him to help him to gain weight? But I don't want to feed him anything that may cause aggression in him.
Thanks!

Horses are grazers, so the primary source of nutrition, should come from forage. (grasses, and/or high quality, clean hay) Everyone has preferences for the type of hay, such as alfalfa, bermuda, orchard, etc., just make sure it's clean, dust and mold free, and make sure your horse will eat it! Some horses don't like certain hays, and won't touch them. Don't count flakes of hay, go by weight of the hay. Rather than going to high fat items, such as oils, or certain feeds, with added fats, try using good nutrition, instead. Fat equates to fake nutrition, since it adds weight, without any real nutritional value. (A horse's daily requirement of fat, is less than 5%.)

There is a simple formula, for calculating how much to feed a horse, and it will work if you want one to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain it's weight, and it's based on feeding to a "goal body weight", or the weight you want the horse to weigh.

Based on a horse's workload, and it's general ability to maintain weight, a horse should be fed between 1 1/2% and 2 1/2% of it's goal body weight, in feedstuffs. (grass, hay, and grain/concentrates) It's best to start with 2% of it's goal weight, and you can re-evaluate the effectiveness, after 21 days, and make adjustments, if needed.

If you don't have access to a livestock scale, use a weight tape, they are accurate, within 10 to 15 pounds, and keep a record of the horse's weight, for reference.

Example: thin horse, who currently weighs 850 pounds, who should weigh 1000 pounds. This horse will be fed a total of 2%, or 20 pounds of feedstuffs, every 24 hours, for the first 21 days. If you feel a need to use grain, feed a minimal amount, of 2 pounds, 2 times per day, of the best quality feed. I prefer pelleted feed, it digests better than whole grains. Feed 8 pounds, of clean, high quality hay, 2 times per day.

At the 21 day mark, evaluate how the horse is doing, and make any adjustments, up or down, as needed. Slow gain, is healthy gain, and avoids health problems, such as founder and colic.

  1. tartanarmygirl
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 12:39 am

    whats his racing name just out of interest??

    anyway, are you doing much work with him? I know that the racehorses when they have their summer or winter breaks, the trainers just put them in the field and they grow fat pretty quickly, so if he isnt doing much work at this time of year, ask the vet if its ok just to put him in the field for a few weeks.

    anyway good luck with him :)
    References :
    friend owns racehorses, go to visit the horses throughout the year in training and in the winter breaks when theyre in a field.

  2. C Sunshine
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 12:45 am

    HERE'S A COUPLE OF SITES THAT SUGGEST corn oil.
    Don't know, but hope this helps:

    Corn oil, and if you need an extra boost, I've heard cocosoya oil is great.
    SOURCE:
    http://www.horseadvice.com/horse/messages/3/117559.htm..l

    "…The same researchers subsequently compared alfalfa hay with an alfalfa hay combined with corn oil8. The addition of corn oil reduced the amount of hay needed to be fed at comparable estimated digestible energy intakes. While the addition of corn oil had no harmful effects, the investigators still recommended the alfalfa hay without corn oil. More hay was fed without the addition of corn oil, which increased the intake of minerals contained in the hay."

    "Regardless of diet composition, the researchers emphasized the need for small, frequent allotments of food being offered in the initial refeeding period. They recommended that horses can be fed as much as they will eat of an alfalfa hay diet after 10 days to two weeks. Although some weight gain can be expected after one month of care, they suggested that three to five months will be necessary for the horses to return to normal body weight."
    SOURCE:
    http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-3273/
    References :

  3. ♥Jennifer♥
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 1:17 am

    beet pulp is good. What type of hard feed is it? If itn not a senior type of feed you could add that too. Soy beans work good. They are a good sorce of fat. Rice bran is too. Serve that wet just like the beet pulp. There are weight builder supplements out there too. You can get soy beans and rice bran at feed mills.

    Other than all the hay he can eat.
    References :

  4. Vic
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Horses are grazers, so the primary source of nutrition, should come from forage. (grasses, and/or high quality, clean hay) Everyone has preferences for the type of hay, such as alfalfa, bermuda, orchard, etc., just make sure it's clean, dust and mold free, and make sure your horse will eat it! Some horses don't like certain hays, and won't touch them. Don't count flakes of hay, go by weight of the hay. Rather than going to high fat items, such as oils, or certain feeds, with added fats, try using good nutrition, instead. Fat equates to fake nutrition, since it adds weight, without any real nutritional value. (A horse's daily requirement of fat, is less than 5%.)

    There is a simple formula, for calculating how much to feed a horse, and it will work if you want one to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain it's weight, and it's based on feeding to a "goal body weight", or the weight you want the horse to weigh.

    Based on a horse's workload, and it's general ability to maintain weight, a horse should be fed between 1 1/2% and 2 1/2% of it's goal body weight, in feedstuffs. (grass, hay, and grain/concentrates) It's best to start with 2% of it's goal weight, and you can re-evaluate the effectiveness, after 21 days, and make adjustments, if needed.

    If you don't have access to a livestock scale, use a weight tape, they are accurate, within 10 to 15 pounds, and keep a record of the horse's weight, for reference.

    Example: thin horse, who currently weighs 850 pounds, who should weigh 1000 pounds. This horse will be fed a total of 2%, or 20 pounds of feedstuffs, every 24 hours, for the first 21 days. If you feel a need to use grain, feed a minimal amount, of 2 pounds, 2 times per day, of the best quality feed. I prefer pelleted feed, it digests better than whole grains. Feed 8 pounds, of clean, high quality hay, 2 times per day.

    At the 21 day mark, evaluate how the horse is doing, and make any adjustments, up or down, as needed. Slow gain, is healthy gain, and avoids health problems, such as founder and colic.
    References :
    Dr. Eleanor Kellon-DVM & Michigan State University-Equine Studies program

  5. walking ashland
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 2:29 am

    mix the horses grain with corn oil. One of me friends had the same problem.
    References :
    horse person

  6. Joey I
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 3:03 am

    giving the horse some alf alfa mixed with grass hay will help although it make him a little hyper considering his background. senior food is really high in protein so that will work well and also adding some oil to thier feed …. thats what i would do
    References :

  7. Solo P
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 3:41 am

    High fat feed with low protein (have a look at Purina Horsemens Edge go to page and scroll down http://horse.purinamills.com/products/complete_list.asp or the Legends feed products go hear and read http://www.equussource.com/horsefeed/legends.jsp ). Mixed hay Timothy/clover. When turned out they have all the grass they want and a good clover field will make them FAT! There's also a product called Rice Bran Oil and Rice Brand in pellet form which I prefer. There are 2 brand names that I know of and cant think of either one. Google (rice brand pellets jewel)
    References :

  8. Malissa
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 5:51 am

    hey everyone i just got this ex race horse and i’m trying to find out his history, his brand is I1 but the I looks like an side ways H and the other side is 16 over 1. please help me is there any chance i can find his history or a website?

  9. joanne
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Hi
    i ha ve the same problem with my thoroughbred racehorse.Did you get a book with him when you got him.I have a mare who is believed to be by boreen but unsure of her mother she ws born in 1991 and i was told sh had a old shoulder injury.I Say she did point to point fell and was retired as a broodmare any sugestions

  10. Pam Rathsack
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I have a thoroughbred that is 29 and in perfect condition! I too had a hard time keeping his weight up. My vet recommended Calf Manna found in any horse feed store and it was miraculous. He gets 2-3 cups mixed with senior feed every morning. I could see the weight gain every day and his energy level greatly improved. He is now the beautiful horse he was when he was younger and no one can believe he is turning 30.

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