Any weight gain tricks for a rescue old horse?

I rescued an older Appendix mare (she’s 24) in October. She’s 15.1 and was 901lbs. She is now 970lbs. She’s been being fed 9lbs of hay a day on top 12hrs of pasture turnout (with turnout blanket) with 3-5lbs of grain. The grain includes Beet Pulp, Rice Bran, Haystack Special Blend, and Equilux Wellness with NW Horse Supplement and A scoop of weight gain supplement. Before we got her the owners had her teeth floated in September so I’ve ruled bad teeth out. I know it’s practically the middle of winter so she’ll take her time gaining weight but just wondering if there was any other tricks or options out there. Thanks!!

Judy and the Beast

Hay cubes can help very much with chewing. Old horses often cannot chew. Oil is also a good additive. Additional swelled beet pulp is in that same category, a product that does not need much chewing to get down. PS. If vet is coming out have them do a worm count and recheck what the owner did with teeth.


I have always said about weight on horses " Hard come,easy go." A horse can loose weight fast and gain it back slow. Have the teeth checked, a wellness exam by your Vet. Light exercise will help if the horse is sound, but you don't want to have weight gained to fast. And an over weight old horse is hard on some of them. Keep the horse warm, not to hot of food. Some old horse are just hard keepers. Good Luck!


teeth floated, wormed, then I'd feed some alfalfa hay, this is very rich so start with just a small section of flake everyday and build up to a flake 2 times a day. Sometimes older horses just do not gain weight regardless of what they're fed. If this alfalfa doesn't begin to put weight on her, then she may fall into this category. And be sure she gets some mild exercise every day also. That helps build up her muscles and keeps her circulation going, important to prevent founder.


At the barn I work at, we give triple crown senior feed to all the horses that arent at the weight they should be. We currently have a rescue horse there that came really underweight, he seems to be gaining weight at a good pace.


Get her dewormed, for sure. And get the vet to check her for evidence of Cushing's disease and other metabolic issues which may be causing weight loss and making her a hard keeper. I'd also have an equine DENTIST ( not necessarily a vet) look at the mare, too. Yes, she's had her teeth floated, but there may be other issues with her mouth and teeth that the floating didn't or couldn't address, such as hooks or issues with the way she bites down. Have you looked at her manure lately? Is she passing unchewed kernels of corn, or unchewed oats in it? If so, then that's a warning sign of significant DENTAL issues.


Yes, get her de-wormed.


So her teeth have been taken care off, that's the first step. You don't want to over load her stomach so I would call my Vet and ask him/her about feeding. Not just for weight gain but for vitamins as well.

Patti B

my gelding is 27 and my mare is 20 they both get a bucket every night with 3/4 coffee can oat hay pellets, heaping cup rice bran, and one cup 4 way totally soaked and soupy along with their hay and a coffee can of equine sr from star milling they both look great.