Feed for an overweight horse?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Feed for an overweight horse??

So my mare is extremely out of shape and overweight after having two years off. I've started riding her lightly again, but am working up to being able to work harder. Im keeping her off the large pasture this summer, and plan on keeping her in a dirt pen most of the time, letting her out on grass (about 10 acres with 4 other horses) for maybe 4 hours a day. I plan on feeding her 3 flakes of good grass hay twice daily in her pen, and a grain mix in the morning. I don't know what kind of feed to buy for her though that is good for my fat horse? Does anyone have an recommendations? She will also be getting farriers choice with her grain and hoffmans mineral, and a salt lick. Does this sound like an ok plan for her? Do I need to feed more or less? I really just want to get her healthy again :/
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:38 PM
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How heavy are your flakes? Ours are around 5 pounds each, which would mean you're planning on feeding 30 pounds per day of good grass hay, plus 4 hours of grazing. It sounds like too much to me if you're looking for weight loss. A lot depends on the weight of your flakes of course, as well as the optimal weight of your horse.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:41 PM
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Consider putting her on a ration balancer (e.g. Triple Crown 30% Supplement, Triple Crown Lite, Nutrena Empower Balance, or Purina Enrich 32) or vitamin (e.g. SmartVite) instead of grain- they're lower calorie alternatives to grain.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm am not sure what the hay weighs, I have to buy it still, but I'll be sure to weigh it. How many pounds should she get?? I really have no idea, I've never put a horse on a diet before lol. I'm not 100% sure how heavy she is, but I used a weight tape on her and she was to big for it, and the tape goes up to 1200lbs. She's 15hh
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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And thank you verona1016, I'll have to read up more on those!
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:46 PM
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I can't say for sure how much she should really get, though a general rule of thumb is 1-2% of the horse's ideal body weight. I know for us, we generally give about 2 flakes twice a day (so about 20 lbs total). I would recommend getting a cloth measuring tape from the local craft store so you can measure her and see whether she's losing or gaining, as that will give you a better idea, but I would think two flakes twice a day would be a good starting point and then adjust from there based on what your tape says.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:49 PM
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Limiting the hay a bit more is also a good point. 1.5-2% of the horse's ideal bodyweight per day in forage is the recommendation.

My 15hh, 1000 lb horse gets 4 flakes from a small square bale daily- the flake size can vary a little bit, but it usually averages out to ~20 lbs total.

A slow feeder net is a great idea when limiting hay, as it keeps them eating longer which is better for them mentally and physically. I fill one up for my horse whenever I see him, but unfortunately the feeders where I board won't fill it up for me
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 04:59 PM
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I'd move her off the grain completely. If she's in pasture put a muzzle on. And I agree with calico - how big are those flakes? Mine get about 2-3 twice/day and you won't see any ribs (and they are in work several times/week).

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Shouldn't she get some grass though? I've never muzzled my horse before...
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