Last weekend we had some fabulous warm weather. I got a long over due ride and the horses enjoyed basking in the sun, rolling in the mud and not wearing their blankets.
However, when I removed Freedom’s blanket, I noticed he’d gotten a bit ribby. It’s hard for him to hold his weight in the winter, which is one reason why I keep him blanketed much of the time (I don’t want him shivering off the weight). But he definitely needs more calories. Boy, do I wish someone would say that to me!
You’d think I didn’t feed him. It’s not that he doesn’t eat. I stuff him with food. Twice a day he gets:
- 3 quarts of Triple Crown Senior
- Soaked alfalfa/timothy cubes
- A quart of hay stretcher
- Free choice hay
He gets more than twice as as much as Zelda, who has a metabolism more like mine. We are air ferns.
I was traveling a bit over the holidays and wasn’t there to add a fat supplement to Freedom’s feed. I think that’s what caused him to drop some weight. Now, I’ve upped his soaked cubes, and added Purina Amplify, which is a pelleted supplement that is 30% fat from rice bran, flax seed and vegetable oils. It is like horse crack. He would walk through fire to eat it, and it also has added vitamin E, which he is borderline deficient in. While I’ve fed Freedom oil in the past, it’s difficult to manage the large containers when it’s so cold out and I vividly remember the mess that it makes.
Most people feeding Amplify see an improvement in a couple of weeks. I fed it a few years back and as I recall, it worked well for him then.
Zelda and I are watching him jealously. No one ever tells us to eat more fat. As a treat, to give her coat a bit of bloom, I’m giving her a cup of Amplify. I’m sure she’d give Freedom the stink eye if she knew how much more he gets.