Monday, December 17, 2018

Eat My Money

After a week my eyes seem to be mostly back in order, thank fuck. They had consistently just hurt throughout the day, and my right one still seems a bit wonky, but I'm blind in that eye anyway so it can do it's own thing.

Fortunately that means I can return to blogging!

Unfortunately I don't really have anything exciting to blog about.

Fortunately I still have a couple posts chilling in my drafts folder!

pretty much have done nothing with this creature but take his picture and dope
along bareback. not even on the same day. 

Much like my last post dredged up from drafts, this one follows the line of experimentation with little thought and zero science put into it. Because that's what I bring to the horse world. Find insightful, researched posts elsewhere.

Opie came off the track in good weight. He was obviously racehorse fit, but he didn't have that drawn, tucked up look that a lot of Thoroughbreds can be seen with. When I brought him to his new home, he went right on ulcer meds, tons of gorgeous hay, a relatively low grain diet, and got introduced to turnout his second full day of being there. He came from a nice barn and had a good transition into his new one.

one day you'll be a white beluga whale like momo

But he was also only four years old and midget sized, and while he never really went through that ugly transitional phase from racehorse to riding horse where all the old muscles disappear before any of the new ones come in and transform them into beautiful butterflies, he did go through some awkward AF growth spurts where he look a little unthrifty for my taste--my taste being round rolly poly hippos.

I didn't really want to up his grain to anything over the 3 quarts he was already getting twice a day so I went down the supplement rabbit hole instead. Honestly it's one of my favorite places to explore.

First up I tried Bobby's old combo of Cool Calories and TriAmino. This eventually got Bobby fat even with his genetically gifted monstrous rib cage and just generally awful looking body parts. It did okay for Opie, and I kept him on it for the entirety of the winter and into the spring. He didn't necessarily look skinny, but he was definitely holding more muscle than weight and still looked like a young racehorse at our first show.

meh. didn't help that he was being an anxious fruit loop at the trailer all morning.

While at that show, I was talking to a trainer who recommended Purina Amplify for extra weight. I'd vaguely heard of it before, so did an online search and found that my local feed store could order it for me. I dropped the Cool Calories but kept the TriAmino for another month or two and fed the Amplify throughout the summer. Again, Opie did fine on it. Nothing drastic, but he was still going through stages where he'd look just how I wanted him and shoot up or out into a growth spurt and look not at all how I wanted him.

two months of amplify

The Amplify turned out to be a giant pain in the ass to order through my feed store, and since I wasn't seeing anything jaw dropping as far as its effects, I quit on that and went in search of something else.

I finally decided to try a tub of DAC Bloom. It was supposed to last a month, but even with the extra large portion I was feeding, it lasted me a solid month and a half. That was a good deal, it was easy to get through Big Dee's, but it smelled and looked weird. It's essentially supposed to be Cool Calories with added minerals, and it kind of has that Cool Calories texture, but in yellow with bits and pieces in it. Opie wasn't a huge fan and it usually took him both feedings to clean it out of his bucket. Plus the more I read about--after buying it, as one does--it seemed like to have it really make a difference you needed to also feed MOAR DAC PRODUCTS. Which was not going to happen.

three months of amplify. some days he looked like a tank like this, other days
he looked scrawny still. 

I would casually scroll through the ever popular weight gain threads on OTTB Connect and kept seeing people suggest Nutrena Empower Boost. (Along with lots of bat shit crazy things, but that comes with the territory.) My local feed store theoretically carried it, but after all the fuckery with the Amplify I wasn't eager to deal with them again. The Tractor Supply by the barn didn't carry it at all, the one by my grocery store carried it but never had it in stock, but of course the one that I never go to for anything always had it in supply. I grabbed a bag once the DAC Bloom finally ran out, and added it to Dopie's twice a day two quarts of Carb Guard.

It's basically fancy rice bran. It also has a bit of an off-putting odor to it, but Opie doesn't seem to mind it in the least. He cleans it right up every meal every time. And, most importantly to me, it gave me instant gratification. It started to fill Opie out right away, and he's holding his roundness.

Each 40lb bag costs me $34 and I buy it every two weeks. Feeding two pounds a day, it obviously lasts a bit longer than that, but my organizational OCD is satisfied to buy it at the same time I get dog food. I just chuck the extra bag on the shelf with the rest of the barn's grain until I need to refill his tub. It's definitely the most expensive option I tried, but I'm super happy with the results and will keep him on it for the foreseeable future.

He turns six next month so I'm crossing my fingers he's done with growing and will hold all his calories this summer.

i would like to see this beefer all next year please.

Does anyone else have to feed supplemental weight gainz to their horses? Do you also like to spend money on things without doing more than cursory reading? I would recommend it. Life lessons learned an all that.

35 comments:

  1. Empower boost has also made the biggest difference for Boat! It helped him gain the ~100lbs he needed when I bought him, and now is a good topper to keep the weight on, especially in the winter!

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    1. I'm so happy with how it finally put on that finishing touch!

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  2. The thing that has consistently put weight on mine is actually just really good alfalfa. I don’t have to feed much, but a flake or two a day beefs them up and seems to keep their tummies happier thanks to the calcium carbonate. Another thing I love is Purina Super Sport. While not a weight gain supplement, it is an amino acid supplement that aids in muscle growth and recovery. The studies have yielded really impressive results and my horses have definitely put on more muscle.

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    1. He's definitely not lacking in alfalfa in his diet. Our hay is loaded with it. I've never heard of the Super Sport before--I'll give it a look!

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  3. I found good luck with Elite Three products. I know a lot of people are into the hocus pocus of some products, but it really was a game changer for Annie and I! Plus, it lasts for quite a while

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    1. I've never heard of Elite Three. Off to google!

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  4. damn he looks good tho <3 as you know, it took basically heaven and earth (and some damn good pasture) to finally get charlie thru his post-track uglies.... and in the meantime i was all aboard the "try it out and see if it works" supplement train. some stuff i liked, some i didn't buy again, and then suddenly my budget blew up and now charlie gets no supplements for the winter, oops....

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    1. I really miss having good grass. That did so much for Bobby in PA. My barn feeds primo hay, but it's just not the same.

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  5. Sierra lost a ton of weight after I brought her home and I put her on Elite 3 (Evolve 5, Body Builder, 2 Pumps of Oil plus Beet Pulp) and she picked right up!

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    1. This is seriously the first time I've heard of this stuff. Looks like there are a lot of good reviews out there.

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  6. I agree about the alfalfa, I fed my older gelding both Empower Boost and Empower Balance to try to improve his topline and keep weight on him, but I have noticed the greatest improvement after adding just a flake of alfalfa daily.

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    1. The alfalfa hasn't made much of a difference for Dopie, but I'm sure getting it doesn't hurt him any.

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  7. I have an air fern so no weight gain work here but I also LOVE the supplement rabbit hole. I’m really happy with what I’ve got Katai on right now and hoping we can stay with this for awhile though :)

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    1. It is sneaky hard not to supplement surf even when you've already found something that works perfectly well.

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  8. I LOVE Empower Boost and have fed it to different horses over the years. My almost 28 year old has had it with her senior grain for a long time and it keeps her looking good. I pulled her off it two years ago when I thought she was looking too fat, but ended up having to put her back on it. Pricey but worth it!

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    1. It is on the expensive side, but having something that's easy to feed out and actually produces such noticeable results finally is so worth it.

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    2. I wholeheartedly agree! I tell my husband the same thing when I ask him to pick up a bag for me on his way home from work (as he passes the only feed store that carries it!) hahaha

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  9. I had a hard time with Jamp's weight after he foundered. He responded really well and really fast to the founder diet, which was great as far as getting the founder under control, but left him looking like he hadn't eaten in four months. Not good. He can't have anything with an NSC higher than 10% which left not many options. Long story somewhat short, he gets Empower Boost as his "grain" now and he's looking great. He gets 1.5 lbs twice a day, and we added 1 cup of the Empower topline twice a day as well. He's really looking pretty good!
    I added a little of both to Rio's feed too and I think the topline helped cover his old man ribs a bit. (has a hay belly, but his ribs show too. Worst.) Hard to say for sure though, because he's as hairy as a buffalo at the moment.

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    1. Stacie and I correct in understanding that the topline is a ration balancer versus a supplement or am I looking at the wrong thing? P doesn't need weight on his ribs but has a crappy topline (yes I know he's almost 30 and I don't care, lol) so I wondered about it.

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    2. That is correct! The boost is considered a supplement (though Jamp eats it as a feed) and the topline is a ration balancer.

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    3. That's great he looks so good on so little! I didn't know the Topline was a ration balancer. The TSC by my grocery store always has that in stock instead of Boost.

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  10. Interesting journey of trial and error but wow he looks so amazing now! I want to try something for topline on the old men but P doesn't need weight to go with the topline so I haven't really figured out where to go with it. Plus he's distracted me with loose poop problems now that the grass is gone. :(

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    Replies
    1. There's never an easy answer with your special men.

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  11. We've been liking the Empower Topline Balancer for a ration balancer. HorseGuard Super Weight Gain is great for adding weight when I need to, but I've only had to use it occasionally.

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  12. Is the Nutrena Boost the one that looks alarmingly kinda a lot like rat turds? I'm not cast aspersions on the feed in any regard other than it's most surface physical appearance! But Nutrena, could you design your feed to look a little LESS like the leavings of a major barn pest?

    (Um. I could be totally wrong, but seem to remember this from feeding a friend's horse once.)

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    1. The Amplify is the one that looks like a cross between rat poop and cat food. The Boost looks like rice bran, just with bigger nuggets.

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  13. thanks for sharing this. I've been trying to avoid the weight gain threads because spicy IS gaining weight i just think the glaciers are shrinking faster. what's made the most difference with him is treating for ulcers and magrestore - I think the magrestore only in that it's keeping him from fretting it off.

    The usual suggestions - high fat and alfalfa - have not worked well for spicy. in that they fattened him up but they also made him a twitchy ferret. Especially the alfalfa. starting him on the alfalfa is what made him go all psychotic and unrideable this fall. Maybe just coincidence.

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    1. The nervous ones are so much harder to work with. Just be calm and get fat. I mean I find it super easy to do.

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  14. Can you feed me and then call me pretty too>?

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  15. He's so gorgeous! I suspect my youngster is going to need extra once she's in work - she's getting all she can eat timothy and alfalfa plus a growing horse ration balancer and she still looks a little on the thinner side.

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    1. Hopefully she'll be easy to plump up since she's pony sized!

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  16. I feel this with my new girl Emmy who was about 300 lbs underweight when she came home. I am a lover of basic fibre so I just feed boatloads of Masterfeed roughage with rice bran and beet pulp. They also have hay 24/7. I like my TBs fat, it makes me happy :)

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