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The general rule of thumb is a little often. A horse's stomach is only about 1 to 3 gallons in size and therefore, they should be fed, a little, very frequently.
The rough rule of thumb is 3% of the horse's total body weight. Feed according to the rule of thumb but monitor the condition....making sure that the hip area is well covered with flesh and the ribs and shoulders as well.
Though you must beware (especially with some breeds) of overfeeding, there are just as many breeds that require alot more than the normal rule of thumb!!
The horse MUST HAVE CLEAN WATER AVAILABLE TO IT AT ALL TIMES!
The factors that effect that ratio are:
easy keeper vs poor keeper of weight;
amount of exercise daily;
placid temperment vs nervous (hot);
type of hays given: (alfalfa or timothy or local hay);
type of grains fed: complete, natural grain or extruded grains;
gestating or lactating mare;
whether or not pasture is available;
stabled, blanketed or out in weather.
If you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to ask.
I need your advice. I have recently acquired a five year old registered paint that I have difficulty getting up to his desired weight. His ribs show under the right light and he does not have much fat on them. His turnout pasture is not gtreat and I give him 2 lbs of 14% grain, which includes Vitamin E and Selenium, and a cup of Flax seed, all twice a day.
What can I give him to gain the weight he should have. I am thinking in terms of a hay supplement as the quality of natural hay is a given.? Thanks.