My thoroughbred ex-racer Duke is 17hh and 17 years old this year I only recently bought him in summer and for the past five years his previous owner had left him in a field with no exercise on a very poor quality feed leaving him in a really sorry state with all of his bones visible and no muscle tone whatsoever. I initially had him on a diet of prep 14 and conditioning cubes from bluegrass and he has put on some weight going from 480kg to approximately 525kg. Since the first of November he has been on a diet of hay, haylage, sugar beet, dengie's alfalfa a-oil, vegetable oil and vitamin supplements. He has been wormed and is going in to get his teeth done soon as those also hadn't been done for five years despite the previous owner's statements about him.
From his November diet he has gone to around 580kg but he seems to be gaining weight in the strangest way if he was to be cut down the middle his chest, neck and half of his ribs look perfect in really good condition, however the other half of his ribs back to his rump look skinny. His legs front and back are in good condition and his hooves are in good order despite his having collapsed heels when I first got his he also has an incredibly shiny coat and had endless energy and never seems to tire.
Is it natural for a horse to gain weight in such an odd way spreading from the front to the back? Or does his neglect for 5 years mean he has a lot of catching up to be done to be completely conditioned?
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