Getting "fatty boy" off the couch

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Getting "fatty boy" off the couch

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  • How do you get a fat guy off the couch
  • Fatty boy

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    10-16-2011, 10:03 PM
Getting "fatty boy" off the couch

I have a horse that has spent much of his time in the pastures and, well, has the tummy to show it. I am very new to the equine scene and am picking it up fast. Long story short I never intended to have horses but now that I have these guys I am won over. I have an experienced rider who is going to start my fat haflinger with some light riding. He has been trained in the past but not ridden for many years. He has been transitioned off of sweet feed, and is on Pro-Bios because he has been gassy and poops like a cow. Is there anything I should be overly concerned about health wise as we make this transition from expensive lawn ornament to working horse.

I also have a rescue TWH with ringbone. He will possibly be getting a little light work as well. The ringbone worries be big time. I have no plans to jump or anything crazy like that with him. The question is how much he will be able to do safely and what extra precautions should be taken?

I trust the person I have working with them to do the right thing. I just want to pull from a larger base of knowledge and be proactive about caring for my horses.
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    10-16-2011, 10:29 PM
I would suggest getting a grazing muzzle for your boy. I had one for my gets fat off air Arabian and it trimmed him down in no time with regular exercise as well. That way you don't have to restrict his outside time.
I don't have personal experience with ringbone but I know there are folks here who have. So they should be able to give some good advice.
Imjeakous you have a halflinger. I've always wanted one =)
    10-17-2011, 08:57 AM
The grazing muzzle is a great idea! I think I am going to wait till the spring though, the grass is going to start dying down soon, and I have already made a bit of changes to his feed this fall. Also he will probably loose some weight over the winter with his extra work out. But I can already envision the "sad pony" face that he is going to give me when I put that thing on.
    10-17-2011, 06:33 PM
I'm still getting the 'perplexed, frustrated' face with my boy, as I've just gone the grazing muzzle route & he hasn't worked out how to eat through it! The pony is fine, as are all other horses that I've dealt with with grazing muzzles, but any tricks to help my boy learn would be appreciated!

Anyway, OP, yes, good thing to get him off the junk food, as the grass is probably more than enough for him anyway. A good supplement would be helpful, to give him what's missing in the grass. Lots of gentle exercise, building up gradually from only about half an hour or so, if he's really fat & struggling. If he's a 'lumpy bum' - got lumpy hard fat deposits & cresty neck, evidence suggests extra magnesium will help break it down. Take a look at & Dr Kellon's site, among others, for some good info on diet, dieting & nutrition. If the horse has been long-term obese, he may well(probably mildly at least) be laminitic, and is one site with heaps of info that should get you started there.

As for the ringbone, it depends where it is. If it's non articular, it may not effect him much, if at all, but if it's in the joint, this tends to be quite painful for them until it all ossifies & the joint fuses. Getting/keeping his feet functioning as well & naturally as possible(foreign to a lot of gaited & show horses) should help generally, tho it depends on what stage it's at, etc.
    10-17-2011, 06:55 PM
He is a haflinger so his breed is a little hefty to begin with so really he isn't way over weight, just a few pounds too many. He just looks a lot worse than he is because of that wide frame and is often standing next to a TWH. He is primarily grass fed but he gets a little grain to go with his supplements.

The TWH developed ring bone from heavy chains hence the fact that he is a rescue. He will often canter around the pasture so I don't think he is in any sort of pain. I just don't know what the extra weight of a rider will do. I'll just have to look through his vet files to see if I can learn more about where it is.
    10-17-2011, 11:14 PM
Hopefully it's non articular then & won't effect him much. Did he come with xrays? Have you spoken to/consulted an equine vet about it?
    10-18-2011, 09:31 AM
No, he did not come with x-rays. I have talked to the equine vet about it and he never really gave me a straight answer.

Me-"how much is the ringbone going to affect him if he starts to get a light work load"
Vet-"he seems to be doing good now"
Me-"yah, I haven't been riding him, will that be a bad idea?"
Vet-"He's doing well keep up with what your doing now."
Me-"should I put him on any additional supplements if he is getting ridden?"
Vet-"if what your doing is working then why change it?"

I've got to admit it was a little frustrating I don't know if he was avoiding the question, just didn't understand it, or was distracted by something. I guess I just need to trust my horse, he is usually good about letting me know he is in pain. Last week I was walking past the fence to the pasture and he came up, looked at me then picked is foot up and nuzzled it. I thought it was odd so I took a look at his hoof and he had a small rock stuck in it.
    10-18-2011, 10:16 PM
Perhaps the vet didn't know or didn't want to speculate further without xrays at least. It can also be one of those 'suck it & see' type things. If you're aware & listen to & consider your horse, I'd just do what you want, within reason & play it by ear.
    10-18-2011, 11:28 PM
I felt the same way when my trainer first told me to get the muzzle. I felt so guilty, but they are able to eat out of it. Just watch bc my gelding would always play how can I get the muzzle off=) he may try to outsmart the thing.
Yeah spring would definitely be a good time to start. That's when the grass is richest and most likely to add to that belly. Btw could we get a pic of your guy? I bet he's adorable

haflinger, light work load, ringbone, twh

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