Last Updated on August 11, 2022
One of the biggest worries with a senior horse or a rescue horse is weight gain. Thankfully, there are many “senior” feeds that are designed to help horses put on weight. So, what is the best senior horse feed for weight gain? Your horse doesn’t have to be considered a senior to be on a senior branded horse feed. My horse is in his low teens, and he eats senior feed to help with his weight!
In this article, I will be reviewing some of the best feeds for weight gain on the market. They are all “senior” feeds, as senior horses frequently struggle with holding their weight. But, these feeds can be used on any horse for which they are appropriate. Always consult your vet or trainer before feeding your horse something new!
Some of the top weight-gaining feeds in the market right now are Tribute Senior Sport, Triple Crown Senior, Purina Equine Senior, and Buckeye Nutrition Safe ‘N Easy Senior. I will be discussing ingredients, characteristics, and pros and cons of these feeds.
Types of Best Senior Horse Feed For Weight Gain
Tribute Senior Sport
Tribute Senior Sport is most appropriate for horses who are just entering the age where they may be considered a senior, or horses that are returning to work after some time off. These are horses that are still in a regular exercise program, hence the “sport” in the name.
Tribute Senior Sport is intended to fuel a healthy, calm performance while encouraging vitamin balance and weight gain. Its ingredients work to give a newly senior horse regular energy levels, a healthy digestive tract, strong immune and muscular systems, and manageable weight gain.
The ingredients that help in this process are fiber, Vitamin E, amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants. The fiber assists in maintaining energy levels and giving the horse a healthy digestive tract. Vitamin E gives the horse a strong immune and muscular system. And, the amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants help in the horse’s weight gain.
Tribute Senior Sport is good for a newly senior horse looking to gain or maintain weight and continue performing at the levels it had when it was younger. It is also suitable for horses that have taken some time off, perhaps for an injury, and that may need a weight or energy boost o help them get back into work.
Tribute is a reputable brand in the grain industry and makes products that horse-owners trust. It can be pricey, depending on where you purchase your grain, but it will provide your horse with all he needs to be healthy.
|Healthy ingredients||Best for newly senior horses|
|Encourages weight gain|
Best Senior Horse Feed For Weight Gain: Triple Crown Senior
Triple Crown Senior is the perfect feed for senior horses in all stages of their senior years, and for horses in any kind of recovery, looking to gain weight. It is a grain-free feed designed to help under-weight horses gain and maintain healthy weights. It is designed specifically for senior horses but also recommended for rescue horses that may be starving or malnourished or horses in recovery.
Triple Crown Senior has several characteristics that make it suitable for senior horses, rescue horses, and horses in recovery looking for weight gain. One of these is the ingredients. Triple Crown Senior is made with lots of fiber and high-fat content. Both of these things encourage weight gain and healthy digestive systems.
Another enticing characteristic of Triple Crown Senior is that it can be ground into a mash instead of pellets. Frequently, senior horses cannot chew properly or digest hard pellets very well. Adding water to Triple Crown Senior will transform it into an easy to digest mash that almost all horses can swallow and digest with ease.
It can also be a horse’s only source of food. Some senior horses get cut off from grass or hay (i.e.- forage) due to various dietary and physical restrictions. So, there must be viable replacements for these elements of their diet. Triple Crown Senior accounts for this and can be used as the only element of a horse’s diet.
Triple Crown Senior can be expensive, but it is well worth the cost for the benefit it will bring your senior horse. Most of its ingredients are good for all horses, though it is beet-pulp based and has low starch and sugar levels. While this is good for some horses, it is not good for all of them. Be sure to consult with your vet before switching your horse’s grain, to ensure that all ingredients will benefit his diet.
|Good for all types of senior horses||Expensive|
|Can be a full diet for horses unable to eat hay or grass||Beet-pulp based (good for some horses, but not all)|
|Can be mixed with water to make a mash for horses unable to chew||Low starch and sugar (good for some horses, but not all)|
|Encourages weight gain|
Best Senior Horse Feed For Weight Gain: Purina Equine Senior
Purina Equine Senior comes from one of the most trustworthy animal feed companies in the world. Purina’s Equine Senior formula has been developed over the course of 20 years and combines both reliable Purina nutritional staples with new nutritional technologies.
Similar to Triple Crown Senior, Purina Equine Senior can be the entirety of a horse’s diet. It has the nutrients of grass or hay built into its pellets so that horses do not need to have access to these food sources to have a healthy diet.
Purina Equine Senior also includes prebiotics and antioxidants (Vitamin C and Vitamin E) to strengthen a horse’s immune system. This can be desirable for senior horses, rescue horses, or horses in recovery.
It also has soy oil and molasses to encourage horses to eat without giving them too much sugar intake. Rescue horses may have never eaten grain before and be unsure. Horses in recovery may not yet feel comfortable enough to go back to eating regularly. And, senior horses can stick their soft noses up different things depending on the day.
Molasses and soy oil keep the taste of the feed sweet and the texture of the feed soft to encourage even the pickiest of eaters to take a few bites. The right ingredients will encourage even the hardest keepers to try new things.
It is also beet-pulp based, which helps with digestion. Added flaxseed, rice bran, and vegetables are what most strongly encourages weight gain and maintenance, though all discussed ingredients will encourage healthy weight gain.
Purina Equine Senior can be pricey, but the cost will always be dependent on who you purchase your grain and feeds from (companies vs. independent sellers, and so on). The benefits that Purina Equine Senior will give a senior horse, a horse in recovery or rescue horse far outweigh the price. It will encourage them to gain weight, have a healthy digestive tract, and boost their immune system.
|High in fiber- easy to digest||Expensive|
|Includes Prebiotics to boost immune system|
|Encourages weight gain|
Best Senior Horse Feed For Weight Gain: Buckeye Nutrition Safe ‘N Easy Senior
Buckeye Nutrition’s Safe ‘N Easy Senior feed has some similarities and some differences when compared to the other three. One of the biggest cons of Safe ‘N Easy Senior is that it cannot be the only element of a horse’s diet. It is intended to be fed with some type of forage, such as hay or grass. If a senior or injured horse cannot consume hay or grass, this could be an issue.
Another con is that it is not intended to be mixed with water to create a mash. Horses with bad teeth that cannot chew pellets may need a mash to be able to swallow. While Safe ‘N Easy Senior does come in very soft pellets, these can sometimes still be hard for senior horses to swallow.
But, there are also many good things about Safe ‘N Easy Senior. The pellets are apple scented and flavored, which can entice an appetite out of horses that may be reluctant to eat. It includes many prebiotics and probiotics that will help boost the immune system of a senior horse or a horse in recovery.
Most important it includes many ingredients that encourage weight gain. These are soybean oil, stabilized milled flaxseed, and dried beet pulp. Buckeye Safe ‘N Easy Senior could be right for a horse that is still able to chew pellets and eat other forage but is looking to put on some weight.
|Soft, easy to chew pellets||Needs to be fed with forage (hay or grass)|
|Apple flavor- entices horses to eat||Not intended to mix into a mash|
|Prebiotics and probiotics to boost immune system|
There will always be a different solution for every horse. Different feeds and supplements will be suitable for my horse, and alternative feeds and supplements will be suitable for your horse. But, being informed is always the correct first step to making the right choices for your horse’s health and well-being.
I hope this article helped you learn about the best feeds for weight gain on the market today! If it did, please share this article, and comment to share your experiences with these feeds or with other weight-gaining feeds and supplements!
How can I make my horse gain weight fast?
For a horse to gain weight quicker, you need to feed him a high-fat and high-carbs diet. The horse’s diet should be composed of about 80% grass hay and 20% forage. The forage should contain a high proportion of carbohydrates, such as sugar cane, sugar beet, sorghum, or barley. The higher the proportion of carbohydrates in the diet, the faster your horse will gain weight. Additionally, you can feed your horse a commercial horse feed containing a high proportion of fat. Commercial feeds can also contain added vitamins and minerals to provide your horse with all the nutrients he needs.
However, it is important to keep the weight gain under control by making sure your horse does not gain pounds too fast. Too much weight gain will put more pressure on the horse’s legs, spine and heart. If the weight gain becomes excessive, your horse may develop a condition called laminitis.
What horse feed has the highest fat content?
Rice bran might be the best choice for horses that are fed a high-fat diet. Rice bran contains approximately 18% of fat, about 5% of protein and more than 25% of dietary fiber. The fiber content is largely insoluble. It also contains many other nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E, B1, B2, and B6.
Another option to promote weight gain in horses is flax seeds. Flax seeds contain up to 40% fat and are considered a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These healthy fats help boost the metabolism, fight inflammation and improve the overall health of the horse.
Does beet pulp help horses gain weight?
Yes. Beet pulp is energetically rich food as it contains approximately 1,000 kcals per pound. Beet pulp is considered a good source of fiber and calcium. It's also high in vitamins A and C, and iron. It has more protein than most other common grains, and is considered a prebiotic, meaning it is beneficial to the microbes in the horse's gut.
Beet pulp can be fed alone or with hay, grain, molasses, or any other feed supplements. It is best fed in small amounts so that the horse doesn't become overly full. It is usually fed to horses during the winter months.
How long does it take a thin horse to gain weight?
The rate at which a horse gains weight is determined by a number of factors, such as how badly malnourished he was, and what are the reasons for this condition. If previously badly underweight, it can take up to 10 months for a horse to return to their ideal weight. However, the weight gain is very variable and differs from case to case.
Horses that don't have serious underlying health problems and are being fed regularly and have had access to good quality hay and feed supplements that promote weight gain, can recover in a relatively short period of time.
If you suspect your horse is underweight, you need to contact your vet or the nearest equine clinic to schedule an appointment and figure out what is the reason for it. Your vet will be able to advise on the best diet for your horse on the basis of the horse's condition.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.