Help!! Is this a grass belly or is he fat?

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Help!! Is this a grass belly or is he fat?

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  • My horse has a big grass belly
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    09-25-2011, 01:58 AM
Help!! Is this a grass belly or is he fat?

We rescued this horse today. He has lived in a pasture for 2 years without any human attention. He is very sweet. My farrier is coming monday to work on his feet cause they are bad. I need advice on how to do something with his belly.

Thank you
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    09-25-2011, 02:40 AM
Green Broke
I've attended a few Purina nutrition workshops and they always say you don't judge the weight by the belly. Horses don't carry fat in their bellies the way we do. You go by the amount of flesh/fat covering certain areas of their bodies (not including the belly). If you Google "horses body condition scoring" I'm sure you will get all kinds of great information.

But, to answer you question, yes, he looks way fat. I can see it in his butt, top line, shoulders, you name it, it's there. I like to keep my horses a bit on the plump side, but this guy is fat even by my standards.

He's really pretty by the way!
    09-25-2011, 03:22 AM
Thank you. How do I get some weight off of him ?
    09-25-2011, 04:25 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by akittrell    
thank you. How do I get some weight off of him ?
If he is on pasture, a grazing muzzle would help.

Or keep him on "dry lot" (off pasture) part of the day to cut back on his grass intake. You could still give him a little grass hay just so he has something to nibble.

I don't have pasture at all (I feed hay all the time) so I don't know as much about maintaining horses on pasture, but hopefully some other folks will chime in too.

The danger of him getting too fat, particularly on pasture, is that he can get founder/laminitis. So it really would be good to keep his weight under control if you can.

(I assume he is on pasture because of the pictures, if he's not, let us know what you are feeding. But he certainly doesn't need any grain in his diet).
    09-25-2011, 04:54 AM
Green Broke
Sorry I m no help but I think he is a beautiful colour!
    09-25-2011, 05:41 AM
Yes, that horse is quite fat... unless the 'grass belly' has leaked... onto it's rump, back, shoulders, etc! Same thing works for them as for us to lose weight - eat less & exercise more. Horses are 'trickle feeders' tho, meaning they need near constant small amounts going thru their system, so it's very unhealthy to make them go hungry. Rather slowing consumption, as suggested with a grazing muzzle or other form of slow feeder for hay, &/or feeding hay that's been soaked for at least an hour in fresh water & then drained, to leach out the sugar. See for more info on diet as it relates to health. Horses suffer insulin resistance, similar to type 2 diabetes in people, from the same unhealthy diet & lifestyle. I'm betting her feet look bad because of this too, as laminitis is one product of IR in horses.
    09-25-2011, 06:27 AM
Green Broke
Also just because a horse has a healthy sheen to their coat is not the only indicator to their health. There is a horse just down the road that is quiet fat you can see the fat deposits all over its withers and rump and the huge cresty neck. It also has a beautiful shiney coat but that is no healthy horse.
    09-25-2011, 01:38 PM
This horse is clearly fat, no doubt. It's definitely on the wrong side of the fence though.
    09-27-2011, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the replies. We will be moving him to our land in a few days. I have a grass muzzle ordered. Should we find him grain?
    09-27-2011, 01:12 PM
Originally Posted by akittrell    
Thanks for the replies. We will be moving him to our land in a few days. I have a grass muzzle ordered. Should we find him grain?
This guy looks like a real "easy keeper" on just pasture so I would not feed him grain. Either put him on a dry lot and control how much hay he gets or put a grazing muzzle on him and then let him graze. If he's broke to saddle, lots of miles at the flat walk and a little trot will get him fitted up quickly. If he's not saddle broke then some lunging time would be in order.

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