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16 month old Belgian Yearling feeding
My son purchased this colt in April when the colt was 10 months old.
He was actually a bag of bones but the length of his hair and how matted it was you couldn't tell.

He came from the notorious Sugar Creek Auction in Ohio.

Long story short, I got him where he is now after hock surgery and gaining over 200lbs.
His shoulders are still bony but I'm not sure if I can/should up his grain or not.
I had cut it back to once a day for fear of over graining.
I had him tested for PSSM and he's negative.

Any draft owners out there?
Opinions on his size/condition ?


Safe Choice
14% protein/7% fat

Sweet feed
1.5 lbs
12% protein/3% fat

Oats (just started today)
9.5% protein/4% fat

Just ended the 2lbs soaked alfalfa.

[Image: grio.jpg]

[Image: e7j0.jpg]
When we got him just 6 months ago.
He was 16 hands then.
His hind left is the one that had surgery and had a test tube of bone shards removed. His other hock was ok, not blown.

[Image: o467.jpg]
Hi buckinfun! Welcome to [de]!
Your colt is looking great! Big difference from when you brought him home. It's obvious your feeding program is working well. I don't think I would change much. 200# gain in 6 months is plenty fast, in my opinion. And it looks like his front end is probably going to come into a growth spurt to catch up with his back end soon. That's the way our Belgian did, alternating spurts in front and back. Kept her kinda gangly looking for a while, but it all evens out in the end. Probably the only other thing I might do is add in a ration balancer. We supplement about a cup twice a day to each of our horses with Purina's Enrich Plus, which is a 32% protein ration balancer which makes sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need. And, of course, plenty of good quality hay or pasture, which I'm sure you are already doing.

Keep up the good work! Also, look forward to hearing more about your horse experiences. Do you have other horses? What kinds of riding, etc do you do?

We're in west/central Indiana and have 7 horses and a donkey and like to do trail riding, horse camping, taking lessons, chasing cows, and just having all kinds of fun horsing around!
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

I have 3 other horses, AQHA, besides the Belgian Colt (Tyrion).
I used to have 2 others too but they went to great homes. One was a starved Mustang that I saved from my neighbors. Sad case. Almost died (I have pics)
I live in eastern NC, moved down here from NH.
I don't ride often. The cost of gas to get to trails holds me back.
Would love to train all of my guys to the cart.

I have this thing for saving the starved ones, Cats, dogs, horses, it doesn't matter.

Anyhow, my issue with Tyrion is his joints so wanted input from other draft horse owners or people educated with Draft growth/dangers.
I have no experience with Drafties, only what my friend told me of her own and reading.

Here is why I am second guessing myself.
Had his hock fixed but it's still ghastly swollen. Feels like a water balloon.
Vet says it will always be like that.
His other hock is looking a little swollen but I could be jumping the gun.

THEN...I noticed his front left fetlock is squishy swollen. It's been that way for awhile now. Not lame. No change in size.
That made me he getting too much grain? Am I forcing him to 'grow' too fast by trying to keep weight on him with the grain?
Should it just be hay and soaked alfalfa instead,will that fix it?

I'm killing myself here! LOL
I didn't want people that were guessing. I wanted people experienced with Drafts or knew of their growth/nutrition.

BEFORE surgery on hocks
[Image: f3f7.jpg]

Removed shards from Left Hock
[Image: xjad.jpg]

5 Months After Surgery
[Image: sa39.jpg]

[Image: 3h96.jpg]

Swelling front left Fetlock
[Image: xg3i.jpg]

Ideally I'd like to keep him on Safechoice and maybe add Omegatin til he's filled out but I need to be sure about his joints.
He is never without good clean hay (although it is bermuda being I'm down in the south)

I don't have a stick so I 'taped' him at 16.1 at the wither and 16.3 at the hip.
Typical youngin...all outta whack! LOL
How is this size for a 16 month old Belgian? Too much? Too little? Average?
I was born in Wabash, some family in Peru, Indiana Big Grin
I don't have drafts either but can tell you've done an amazing job with him. I feed Platinum Performance for my Joe's joints per vet recommendation.

I Googled "feeding draft horses" and found several links. One was a PDF file from Washington State University. I skimmed through it and there is some info on feeding. Here is the link:

You might check with your vet if you've not already done so but not all vets are nutritionalists.

We do have at least one drafty owner on the board so maybe she can jump in when she gets time.

Good luck! Please keep us posted.
Karen ~ Trails  
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

yeah, had the nutritionist at NC State discuss it with me at the time of his surgery. She said he was ok on my regimen.
I think I'm just second guessing myself...but that it a warning?
My vet is at Congress so I'm a fish outta water right now.

thanks for the link!
I agree that the swelling is a concern. Is it a recent condition? It almost looks like there is some swelling in it in the "before" picture. Of course, it's hard to tell since the fetlock is flexed and he's sort of hairy! Are Belgians predisposed to joint problems? It seems odd that he'd have such issues so young unless he was injured or it's a genetic issue.

I hope you can get some answers! What is his name?
Karen ~ Trails  
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

Yeah... he's diagnosed with OCD at State. His right cannon didn't harden up fast enough after birth so as he grew it compounded.
His right isn't like that, just the blown out pieces of bone they feel was so severe due to stress/trauma.

His front fetlocks were fine at that time. *sigh*
I had hoped he banged it when I turned him and my filly out together and they were running around. That's when I noticed it. Hosed it, gave him bute...waited for swelling to go down but nope. Same.
I think it's OCD.

I talked with some of his 'fans' today that also have Drafts and one gal actually also breeds Great Danes.
They are all in agreement that he needs to go on low protein, like Danes.
High protein messes up their joints.

So...cutting back all the grain to just oats and Veg oil. Then will have his fetlock xrayed to see if he needs surgery on that one too *yikes..another 3 grand I am not happy to hear about*

Thanks all for reading and your input.

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