Over the end of the fall and into the winter I had noticed Satin had begun to drop some weight. She is older (22 now) so this is to be expected. We began giving her extra hay, which did produce a hay belly, but did not do anything for the fact that she looked a bit ribby or that her top line wasnt as nice as it had been all summer (which was not from lack of work because she was one of the few horses in New Jersey without an indoor who kept in shape all winter). We separated her from her paddock mate at feed time. Even thought they both ate the same amount of grain her paddockmate ate it faster and would chase Satin off the end of her grain. We also tried increasing her grain from half a scoop of pellet and half a scoop of sweet feed to a full scoop of pellet and half a scoop of sweet feed. I gave this a few weeks to kick in and it still showed no real signs of improvement. I also was very on top of her blanketing this winter. I always am, but this winter I was even more diligent with checking temperatures and rotating her to the appropriate level blanket as she has a sheet, medium, and heavy weight. I did not want her wasting any excess fat on keeping warm.
When these previous efforts proved to not be successful I went to my trainer and asked her advice. When I first moved Satin to her current residence two years ago she was underweight due to issues with graining at my previous farm that lead to my move. We upped her grain and I put her on fat cat for two months and it did the trick, so I asked my trainer about various options.
She suggested Equi-Jewel. It is a rice bran pellet containing 20% fat. She feeds it to a few of her horses and they love it and it works well. She gave Satin a handful to try and she almost ate her fingers she loved it so much. As you all know I take my trainer's word as Gospel so the next day Satin started on Equi-Jewel. As usual R was right. Not only did Satin love it and gobble it up, but she I noticed a difference within two weeks. She has now been on it for six weeks and is looking better and better. She no longer looks ribby and her top line is improving as well.
I highly recommend this product. Right now Satin is getting twice a day, but once she builds up a little more she will be dropped down the once a day and then her grain will eventually be decreased to its original ration. But, anyone with older horses, hard keepers, or any other weight issues should definitely give it a try. It is only about $30 for a grain sized bag of it which lasted me about six weeks.