Anyone have any idea on what to do with a horse on pasture 24/7 who is a skeleton? Piney is droping weight. Lots of it. I don't know what to do :-(
I don't have an answer for you, but Sarah over at Miles on Miles had some issues last year with her guy and was able to rectify the situation. However, I don't believe that Miles is out 24/7. I guess there is no way you could have a round bale plopped down in the field??? Always worrisome when there's weight loss. Last year, Gem looked thin to me, but I think that a lot of it was due to dehydration - I don't think he was getting enough water and this summer I making sure he does and it's made quite a difference. Perhaps Piney just needs more water?? Fingers crossed that an easy resolution is found.
You may have to figure out a way to get him supplemental hay and/or a low-carb feed - something like Ultimate Finish or also rice bran. You can feed a pasture horse using a feed bag, if there are other horses and you're concerned about feed stealing. If the grass isn't profuse, it may not be enough to keep him in weight. You may also want your vet to draw a blood panel - some things like thyroid deficiencies can result in weight loss.Good luck!
Firstly get his teeth checked out, get a fecal done to check for worms (sometimes a regular deworming program isn't enough, and worms don't only happen to neglected horses, sometimes they just happen), and just a general vet exam to see if there's any internal problem. After that's been ruled out, then you try stuff like weight supplements or rice bran or canola oil. Friend has a 17 hh OTTB who just has serious weight gain issues lol. He gets lots of oats and rice bran and lots of supplemental hay - lots - but it keeps him in good weight, especially for Prelim eventing.But I would highly recommend a vet check, because adding feed can just cover up the issue or not doing anything at all.
It's too bad you have to go for such long periods before you get to see him. I don't have any advice except for what has already been said. I hope you get it resolved easily.
Also make sure he isn't being tortured by bugs-Miles was out 24/7 and he couldn't handle it this year (last year was ok). So, he's now in a fly sheet and in a stall and night and regaining weight.Also, grass is never enough for some horses. Miles is on about 6-7 lbs of Tribute Kalm N Easy. It's a great feed. I also supplement with beet pulp and alfalfa pellets. Ahhhh, thoroughbreds....:)
Yes, beet pulp and soaked hay cubes (check w/ vet which kind) may help out and not cost you an arm and a leg!!!!