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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

March 22, 2009

A question about maintaining weight without a "hot' horse

I'm having a little bit of difficulty maintaining Phebes weight. She is "okay" in that I can feel ribs but not see them. But her topline has no nice little divet along the spine like you see with a horse in good flesh. No spiney protrusions at all, just not that little "extra" fat that I prefer to see on the topline of a horse. She also has a tucked appearance in her flanks (right behind the rib cage). I'm not thinking it is a hydration issue because she has no skin tenting, her cap refill is excellent, etc. Her feed ration consists of 1/3 bale of mixed grass hay daily. A few pounds of beet pulp, six pounds of Nutrena feed (split into two rations) and a cup of Manna pro horse fat supplement. I'm really giving her about the max she can hold in two feedings. I'm leary of the performance feeds because she reacts very badly to high NSC feeds. These make her very hot, very nervous, and too flighty. The lower NSC feeds have done a lot for her overall behavior. Any tips on getting a little extra weight on her without making her hot? Do fit horses just look this way? ~E.G.


  1. I think she looks just fabulous!!

  2. EG- Judging from the pic below on your previous post, she looks like she is in good flesh to me. I would say keep up with what your doing.

  3. Corn Oil! Feeding corn oil will not only add extra weight to a horse but will also improve coat and hair condition which gives a bright shiny glow. People will argue all day on how much to feed but I feed about a cup a day until I get the weight I am looking for and then back off and just "top dress" the feed after. Not to mention its so much cheaper then buying the "weight builder" garbage companies market to you.

  4. If that is a current photo of her below, then I'd say she's at a good weight.

    Michelle Detmer

  5. I second the corn oil. Beet pulp and corn oil is what I use for my hard keepers.

    I think she looks fine. In my experience not all horses wil get that fat top line. My Arab does, my standardbred has a "steeple" shaped back and there is always a prominant spine. She would probably be TOO fat is she had a crease. Just my experience.