Harv has never been a hard keeper, but he's not an air fern either. He has always tended to lose weight if not fed near the upper end of the range for regular feeds, and he loses weight on the lower quality feeds. And now that he has no teeth to speak of, well...
Food manufacturers to the rescue! My vet told me with the new feed formulations for older horses, no horse needs to be skinny. But you've gotta feed them right.
I've tried a lot of Senior feeds and they all seem to work "just fine" in the right quantities. That said, I have been very pleased with the Nutrena ProForce brand of Senior feed, AKA the "black bag." It is not widely available-- for a number of months I had to travel and make special arrangements to buy it. The manager of Harv's barn was impressed with it, and the barn is now using it for its senior horses. We we go in together to have it delivered. Here are the things I love about it...
- Harv likes it, but he likes almost all feed. Other horses in the barn who are pickier like it as well.
- It does not break the bank! It costs several dollars a bag less than Triple Crown or Purina, and it is a little less than other Nutrena lines.
- If you want to add water, it holds up fairly well.
- It is high fat, high fiber.
- It does not get hard in the winter -- always easy to scoop.
The ProForce line has a number of other interesting feed options: for hard keepers, for extreme athletes, and high fiber feeds. I recommend the Senior feed -- and note that Nutrena does not I exist (this is not a paid ad or paid endorsement).