I picked up a new mare last Saturday, and she's sweet and sane, but after sitting in a pasture for 18 months, not being ridden because her owner couldn't ride due to physical medical issues and just loved and spoiled her (and her pasture mates) to no end, she is FAT! He was giving alfalfa rich hay, (2 full bales a day for three horses) Skittles, Apple Jacks, etc. Holy cow is she a chunky monkey. When we saddle her, I have to walk around to the other side and get her fat roll out of the way so the cinch can fit nicely behind her front legs. I cannot even feel her ribs, and she has so much back fat her back looks like a butt crack :)
I've been riding her daily, about 30 minutes a day at mostly a walk. Very occasionally I will ask her to trot a little, but she can't do it for long and it almost sounds like she's getting winded at a trot. Now I know it's not fair to compare human and equine fitness levels, but I remember how I was when I first started running and was overweight, so I'm hoping that she's just out of shape winded and trotting with a rider is cardio intensive. She doesn't sound "wheezy" and isn't coughing and is rather willing to try. The previous owner was very honest and has kept in touch and has never had any health issues with her. I have not pushed her under saddle, just asked her to try and do the best she can since we're working on a slow reconditioning plan.
So I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone else has experienced this with an BBM (Big Beautiful Mare!) or if I should have other concerns.