Different Winter Weight Question
   

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Different Winter Weight Question

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  • My horse is really skinny this winter

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  • 1 Post By Cinnys Whinny
  • 2 Post By jaydee

 
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    11-06-2013, 08:40 PM
  #1
Foal
Different Winter Weight Question

Hi

First post on this forum lots of interesting reading already

I have a question I have not been able to find an answer to.

I have a 7 year old Canadian Warmblood Mare riding dressage.

Now I currently live in northern Alberta where -40 in winter is normal. That being said I ride in a heated barn but -18 to -20 is my cutoff temp for riding. This makes for a quiet December, January and February.

My made is an easy keeper I wouldn't say she is very overweight but there is a little more "protection" then there should be. Part of this is from a few horses gorging themselves a little in August, we are on a tougher training regiment in preparation for moving up a level. It seems to be hard to get her to lose weight even with hard work. My problem is I want her to this little bit of weight over winter but I like the idea of her being a bigger to stay warm. Is there anything I can do that would keep her warm uncomfortable and I miss her too skinny just keep a little bit of extra weight off especially over the times I can't ride. I also don't like the idea of her standing in a paddock all winter I would prefer her to be in pasture with the other horses and I know she would prefer that too.

Is there anything I can do or should I just forget about it and start fresh in late winter or early spring

Thanks!

Lee
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    11-06-2013, 08:46 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Personally, I wouldn't worry about it until February or March. I like my horse a little tubby during winter. Plus, some horses just naturally hold on to weight in the winter, it's their bodies way of protection from before they were domesticated. My horse packs on the pounds in November even without added feed and he keeps it no matter how hard I work him or how often. But when the days start getting longer again he sheds it off pretty quickly with no changes in diet. Even if I stop working him he will still LOSE his winter blubber.

So I say, just be patient, don't worry about it until spring and if it still doesn't come off, then make changes.
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    11-06-2013, 10:55 PM
  #3
Banned
Having extra weight on a horse for winter isn't going to keep them warmer. The eating of hay keeps them warm. My horses are going into winter on the skinny side we have already had 20s for lows....nobodys cold plenty of hay to eat for them.
     
    11-07-2013, 08:45 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
Personally, I wouldn't worry about it until February or March. I like my horse a little tubby during winter. Plus, some horses just naturally hold on to weight in the winter, it's their bodies way of protection from before they were domesticated. My horse packs on the pounds in November even without added feed and he keeps it no matter how hard I work him or how often. But when the days start getting longer again he sheds it off pretty quickly with no changes in diet. Even if I stop working him he will still LOSE his winter blubber.

So I say, just be patient, don't worry about it until spring and if it still doesn't come off, then make changes.
Thanks. That's what I was leaning towards, just thought I'd ask

Lee
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    11-07-2013, 12:24 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit88    
Having extra weight on a horse for winter isn't going to keep them warmer. The eating of hay keeps them warm. My horses are going into winter on the skinny side we have already had 20s for lows....nobodys cold plenty of hay to eat for them.
This is true and I did not say it was for warmth. If the horse catches a cold or other illness in the winter it tends to make them drop weight drastically. If they are already a little pudgy for winter it won't make a difference but if they are already lean, it could put them underweight and at risk for further illness or for infection to set in.

I had a friend with an Arabian back in the 80's when I lived in California. Handsome stallion, perfect weight etc. He ended up with Pneumonia one December and lost around 150 pounds. He ended up emaciated and was sick all the way through May with other secondary issues caused by being so underweight. The vet said if he had a little more weight put on him before winter the weight loss wouldn't have made him so much worse. Ever since then, I've always erred towards a little pudgy in the winter, especially now that I am in Nebraska.
     
    11-07-2013, 12:37 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
This is true and I did not say it was for warmth. If the horse catches a cold or other illness in the winter it tends to make them drop weight drastically. If they are already a little pudgy for winter it won't make a difference but if they are already lean, it could put them underweight and at risk for further illness or for infection to set in.

I had a friend with an Arabian back in the 80's when I lived in California. Handsome stallion, perfect weight etc. He ended up with Pneumonia one December and lost around 150 pounds. He ended up emaciated and was sick all the way through May with other secondary issues caused by being so underweight. The vet said if he had a little more weight put on him before winter the weight loss wouldn't have made him so much worse. Ever since then, I've always erred towards a little pudgy in the winter, especially now that I am in Nebraska.

I see your point..... not really my choice for my horses going into winter skinny. One had been really sick reason for being skinny.....other horse is a hard keeper. Can't seem to get them up on weight working on it but its slow going.

Not a bad thing to have a little extra weight for winter.....we get pretty cold weather 20 to 40 below so skinny isn't good.
     
    11-07-2013, 12:38 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Fat does actually provide a natural insulating layer that helps a horse keep warm, in the natural state horses get fat through the summer months and that layer will help them survive the winter months of cold weather when they also have much less food.
A horse burns up calories to keep warm which is why it needs more food in the winter to retain body weight
     

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