So after my last post I wanted to break down what Dutch is eating (and offer an explanation for his shitty appearance). The collected media in this post ranges from current to 8 years old.
The difference between the top 2 pictures are only 6 months apart. When he have his allergies under control without DEX he holds his weight super easily in his old boarding situation. 12 - 16 hours out with buddies on a round bale, and the remainder in his stall with good grass hay. The issue is that as he has aged his compromised hind end cannot handle 12 hours in a stall and stay sound. His grain diet was AM and PM - 1 scoop 12% .5 scoop Sentinel LS with about .25 pound beet pulp lunch.
This is the difference in what his allergies (and their meds) have on him. In the top pic he spent most of the day in a dry lot with a pretty crappy round bale, and in the bottom he was out on pasture 12 hours a day and on an orchard round bale the other 12, with the nicest alfalfa I could find in his stall with dinner. His grain was the same in each pic. When his heaves and allergies get out of control, the long term dex kills his appetite. I would watch him stand in pasture while the other horses graze and not take a bite for over an hour. He would leave 1/2 his grain in his bucket at each meal. The only things I could get him to eat was about a .5 pound of beet pulp and 2 flakes of alfalfa as a lunch each day.
His current diet is AM/PM 3 lbs Fiber plus, 1 pound Ultium, .25 pound Cavalor Senior. He is on either fescue hay in a net or a round bale 24/7, with a flake of timothy (about 5 - 7 pounds or so), he also get 2 - 4 hours of pasture time when the weather permits. So far the addition of Cavalor is decreasing the amount of grain he leaves behind. I am happy with his fat cover, it is just so slow adding muscle to his topline. He is happily sound and relatively cough free, but I am worried about what this summer will bring.
|This is the ideal: fit, sound, and limited allergic reactions.|
|This is the lesser seen land hippo.|
|This is at his final 1st level show over 2 years ago.|
|This is from the same time period here at the farm.|
Keeping him here at the farm allows me to super control his environment which meant that he stayed sound for longer. Once again this was before his heaves and allergies really began to impact his health. He was carrying about the same amount of flesh (maybe 50 lbs more) but had an awesome topline. His diet was AM/PM 1 scoop Seminole Wellness Dynasport.
|Old winter pic - circa 2013 ish|
|Last Summer 2018|
|This was the end of Feb 2019.|
|Actually eating, but you can still see the huge dips around his wither and on the top of his croup.|
The lucky thing is that his coat is soft and shiny, his feet are growing well, and he does not have fungus despite the rain. This all points to him getting good nutrition. I use FeedXL to balance his diet - humorously he needs about 120% the recommended calories and over 150% the recommended protein to gain weight. I just hope we can control his allergies and keep gaining as we head into Summer.
|This is his spaceman outfit - it works, but is way too hot once we get out of the 80's!!|