Changes in Body Condition of Young (4yrs) Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-04-2013, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kentucky
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Changes in Body Condition of Young (4yrs) Horse

Is it normal for a young horse's body condition to fluctuate as they hit growth spurts?

Our 4 year old gelding is looking lanky, but I swear he's taller every time I look at him. He has sort of an awkward teenager look going, especially around his hips and hind legs, and a touch about his ribs. He's a grade Hackney or Hackney cross (so I was told, got him for personality not breed).

If that's not normal, what would you recommend adding to his diet?

He's pasture-kept and we put out hay that's shared between all of the horses and goats, so I can't really say for sure how much he's getting other than it's as much as he wants.
Work wise, he's not currently being ridden. Just easing him back into some groundwork after about 6-8 months as a lawn ornament with the previous owner and over the winter.
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-04-2013, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Latvia
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You should try to ensure even feeding all through their youth, to discourage growth spurs, but have slow, even growth. In the 1st year the horse will grow the most from foal to yearling, but later is should grow a lot slower as growth spurs ( sudden rapid growth) is in no way good for it.
as long as he has some forage balancer it should be ok to just eat as much grass as he wants... unless you are going into heavier work he doesnt need supplements, just ad lib forage.
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