Exercise Questions

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Exercise Questions

This is a discussion on Exercise Questions within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse exercise question

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    11-30-2009, 07:20 PM
Exclamation Exercise Questions

I just bought a 5 year old pony today. And he is very fat. I have a round pen and was planning on exercising him. But I didn't want to exercise him too much too fast. Would trotting for 10 min. Twice a day be too much? Or could I do more and work up 3 min. Each day? And how much should I feed him. A flake in the morning and one at night? Thanks
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    11-30-2009, 07:38 PM
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Lacey was super fat when I first got her so for the first month or so I'd work her until she was breathing hard, take a break until she was breathing normally then work her again until she was breathing hard, cool her off and let her be done for the day. I did that everyday for 2 months and by the end of the 2 months she was a perfect weight.

I'm not sure if that's really a good way to do it but it worked for Lacey!

I'm not sure about feeding so I'll leave that for someone who knows what they're doing. =)
    11-30-2009, 09:20 PM

Exercise; Depends. As for how much is too much exercise generally, just watch & listen to the signs. Always warm up & cool down, and don't go so far that he's sweating or blowing massively. Build up gradually from whatever seems to be reasonably comfortable for him.

Domestic horses rarely get enough exercise for optimum health and even if you're exercising him a number of times daily, most of his life will likely still be rather sedentary. An option that may be appropriate for you, to change this pattern & get him exercising more on his own is implementing the 'paddock paradise' setup. You can google it for info & examples, and you can make a compromised setup if a full track doesn't suit you.

Be wary about round pen/lunging, as this is hard on their joints. Make sure they're big circles & change direction often. Doing it on a hill, or leading/driving/riding up & down hills would be helpful if possible. The other thing with lunging for exercise is that it tends to 'turn them off' as it's boring & repetitive. I'd try to make sure things are relatively positive & interesting for him - add obstacles, go places - do it on the move, add rewards, etc.

As for feed, even if the horse is fat, he still needs free access to low-grade roughage, to keep his digestive system functioning healthily. I think 1.5% of their bodyweight daily is about the amount they need. I'd be putting it in a double or a small holed hay net or such, to make him work for it & not able to waste or gorge on it. He will need a good quality complete supplement to ensure he's getting correct nutrition, and I'd avoid the grain-based options.
    12-01-2009, 06:23 PM
Ok thanks guys.

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