Diet For An Easy Keeper
 
 

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Diet For An Easy Keeper

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  • Easy keeper horses diet
  • Optimal diet for easy keeper horse

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  • 1 Post By udontnodixie

 
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    12-07-2012, 09:17 AM
  #1
Yearling
Diet For An Easy Keeper

I have a Paint mare who has always been a very easy keeper. When we first got her she was very fat, and had a crest like you wouldn't believe and little fat deposits randomly in her barrel-area. Her old owners told us that she literally got fat on air. But they also had very nice pastures and she hadn't been worked in a long time. When we got her home I lunged her multiple times a week and we got a grazing muzzle. She was much better, lost her crest and looked like a Paint horse should.

We got her in 2010, and up until now she has been pretty good. But looking at her lately she is one heck of a pork chop! Our grazing muzzle was destroyed by another chubby horse of ours who defied dieting, so we need to invest in a new one. Is it a good idea to have a grazing muzzle on her over winter? This mare is really fat, and last time I rode her (last week) just a few laps trotting around are small indoor arena and she was kaput. When we got her she was fat, yes, but lunging her did not leave her huffing and puffing for too long. Now, I'm not sure of lots of lunging is going to be easy on her. Should I still lunge her and slowly build up the amount of work? She was ridden lots over summer and was in decent shape, but she has sat around quite a bit with hunting season and it being cold. I took her on a few mile ride on the road and she was pretty decent, but still was huffing.

Any suggestions on how I should approach this? She is fifteen, and fat to the point where she looks pregnant. (Definitely is not, she hasn't been near a stallion in the 3 years I had her.) I have time and space where I could lunge her a couple times a week, but should I worry about getting weight off before starting her fitness level back up? Also, she is out with a herd of horses with free choice hay, so grazing muzzle is really our only option with intake control.

Any help is well appreciated!
     
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    12-07-2012, 09:26 AM
  #2
Showing
Are you feeding round bales or throwing out squares? I like the small mesh hay nets to control intake. Just stuff 'em and toss 'em like pillows altho it is better if they hang so they don't get to pawing at them. I fill a small garbage barrel, slide the net over the top, flip barrel and net and, voila, net is full. I do like to weave the excess cord down to the bottom then hand up. This prevents it from laying on the ground when empty. I also hang it as high as I can. These slow the horses right down which means it will do better on less and virtually no waste. If you go this route, hang more nets than there are horses so no on gets bullied off the feed.
     
    12-07-2012, 11:42 AM
  #3
Trained
I only ever had one super easy keeper, my current mare...got a new filly, now I have two. It is a battle. I weigh their food, all of it. No "just give them more than enough hay" for tubbies! You have to go in knowing you have to be patient, no crash diets. Decide on the amount and what to feed, weigh it, record it and establish a baseline. You can judge where to go from there. Excercise is key, but my mare, at least, doesn't just drop weight like some w excercise either. Its a slow process. Purina makes a nutritious "diet" food, my horses like it well enough. I feel it is overpriced, but, it makes them feel "treated". I also use laken lite as a "treat" and/or variety. Can't stress enough...you have to weigh every single morsel. I do not feed grain, sweet feed, or happy foods of any kind. Just high quality hay and the "extras" I mentioned, I also feed a small amount of beet pulp just for sand colic prevention. I add corn oil in the winter/spring. Of course there are times when I give a junky food treats, but in general...not.

She was on NC pasture for a while. She was a chub to begin w, but on all that lush grass she was nearing morbidly obese...she "rippled" when she walked. I thought it was grass fat and would just slide off. Didn't happen. I have had her on her current diet for a little over a year. Excercise has made her more solid, and while the weight loss has been very slow, she did lose it and is now in far better shape.
     
    12-07-2012, 12:35 PM
  #4
Trained
Im currently slimming down my blimp Arab. Carefully balanced ration, weighing the hay portion, every portion, a vit/min supplement in a handful of soaked alfalfa/Timothy pellets and half the recommended ration of Omega Horseshine. He is on drylot. I do feed the hay in slowfeeder nets, hung on fenceposts. This net makes him eat slower, so he doesn't feel hungry, and almost nothing is wasted. I also have him on Animed Remission, to melt away the fat patches. It works, they are slowly getting smaller. I longe him daily, started out with 10 minutes daily, twice a day if I have time. Start out slow and gradually add time, as she gets more fit.
If you cannot ration her hay due to the situation and feed roundbales, there are slowfeeder nets for roundbales too. It won't hurt the normal horses, it's been found to work both ways, slimming and gaining. Preferable is, in her case, several small nets spread out over the pasture, to make her move.
     
    12-07-2012, 02:38 PM
  #5
Foal
Im having the SAME problem with my apha! She's huge! I just got her from a home where she was a yard ornament and they fed her straight alfalfa and alfalfa pellets and 4 way! She has a huge crest and she's shapped like a barrel! She's about 16.1 so she's got the height to be a big mare but I want to see her lose hopfully 100-150 pounds. Im going to start her off with a hay net and start weigh her hay. I have her on timothy and orchard now and some tim pellets and diet feed. Purina weight control and pennifield balancer. Im going to put her on the animed remission as well. I was told to also put her on some msm to help her out and she's getting pyshllium and electrolytes,
deserthorsewoman likes this.
     
    12-07-2012, 03:42 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by udontnodixie    
im having the SAME problem with my apha! She's huge! I just got her from a home where she was a yard ornament and they fed her straight alfalfa and alfalfa pellets and 4 way! She has a huge crest and she's shapped like a barrel! She's about 16.1 so she's got the height to be a big mare but I want to see her lose hopfully 100-150 pounds. Im going to start her off with a hay net and start weigh her hay. I have her on timothy and orchard now and some tim pellets and diet feed. Purina weight control and pennifield balancer. Im going to put her on the animed remission as well. I was told to also put her on some msm to help her out and she's getting pyshllium and electrolytes,
Haynet: excellent
Timothy/ orchard: good
Timothy pellets: good
Balancer and WC: either is excellent, both not needed
MSM: why?
Electrolytes: only needed when really hot and if she's sweating a lot, otherwise not needed, plain salt is fine
Psyllium: fine

Trying to save you some money here
     
    12-07-2012, 04:31 PM
  #7
Trained
Everyone has their own way of looking at things, but if I could get my hands on high quality timothy w/o having to mortgage the house, I'd be ecstatic! To me, it is excellent - and "excellent - plus" for the tubs.

I didn't know they sold timothy pellets - is there a brand name, or are they from your local co-op?
     
    12-07-2012, 08:39 PM
  #8
Trained
TSC, they sell the Standlee Timothy, not sure if pellets or cubes( was just there today and looked straight at them, but can't remember now, duh...)
     

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