Friday, February 5, 2010

Packing on the pounds

I mentioned a few entries back that Lucy did not gain the weight I would have expected her to. After I had her weighed that second time and the numbers didn't look great, I revamped her feeding program. Lucky for her, her grain rations have been increased gradually over the past two weeks, and that combined with quality hay and a weight builder supplement has her looking (and feeling) very good. We plan on weighing her again soon and I am hoping that the scale will show an improvement to match how awesome she's looking.

I respect that she is a young, athletic thoroughbred and before I ride her I try to let her run in the indoor. I call this self-preservation. Lately she has really been putting on impressive shows with some seriously high bucks. Watching her go is like listening to a symphony. When she trots with that big floaty stride, I imagine the string instruments with their rich, smooth tone. Then she gets to the corner of the indoor, her eyes glinting mischievously, and all of a sudden spins and takes off across the arena, and in my mind I hear quick, deep glints of notes as if it were a chase scene in a movie. For the finale, she launches her front end into the air and as she comes back down, snaps her hind quarters up over her head (that would be the drums) and as the cymbals crash, she kicks out with her inside hind leg, all the while continuing forward with her front legs. She's pretty coordinated.


  1. Hi Kate! I've just started following your blog as I've recently adopted an OTTB of my own. I'm having some trouble putting weight on my guy, and I'm interested to see what you fed Lucy to get her looking so great. Thanks!

    1. hi Katie, where are you located? I feed Poulin's Fibre Max, a 14% fat, 17% NSC, 12% protein grain (, but I know that grain isn't available everywhere. I supplement with Purina Amplify, a 24% rice bran-based product. I also top-dress with canola oil, which has lots of "cool" calories per tablespoon - she gets about a cup with dinner.

      Also with dinner she gets 3 quarts of soaked alfalfa cubes, which can make a horse hot but they also have a high calcium content, which neutralizes stomach acid and helps prevent a reoccurance of ulcers.

      Speaking of ulcers, they can really prevent a horse from putting on weight, so if this is a chronic problem, definitely keep that in mind. Also make sure your horse is wormed properly.

      It's a battle to find the right balance of energy and fat with hot horses who are hard keepers. If Poulin isn't distributed by you, try to find a grain with the lowest NSC (basically carbs, which deliver lots of "hot" calories) count. A high count is in the mid 20's and up. A good count for a hot TB is below 20. I can feed Lucy quite a bit of the Fibre Max without really increasing her energy, just her fat intake, so that is really helpful.

      Also I've found that I have to constantly be upping some things, and there are some points during the year when I can decrease what she's getting. It all depends on the weather and her activity level.

      Hopefully that helps!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!