How much more weight needs to come off? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-19-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,968
• Horses: 8
How much more weight needs to come off?

As most of you know, when I got Claymore, he was very obese. Not just on the chubby side, but seriously fat and unhealthy. Check out his new slimmer physique! Updated pictures of Claymore

I know he still needs to lose some, but I'm not sure how much is weight needing to be lost, and how much is conditioning/muscle needing gained. When I got him, we couldn't tape him accurately because the weight tape wouldn't fit all the way around his girth line - we had to measure the difference and do a little math to place him at about 1750 lbs. (and I know weight tapes are not terribly accurate anyways.) He was on a strict diet all last summer, fall, and through the winter, as well as regular wormings, teeth floated, etc. He was also being worked daily last summer and fall, but not ridden a lot at all, maybe once a week this winter. Just starting to ride him daily again. But I taped him today, and the tape actually fit around him - 1350 lbs according to the tape. (again, I know not an overall accurate measurement but still a decent indication of weight lost.)

So I need help trying to come up with an appropriate "goal" weight with him. He's a big horse, but not super tall - 16.2 hh, but as you can see in the pictures built very stocky. I'm thinking I should be aiming for around 1250 lbs with some flexibility of course for muscle gained. What do you guys think?

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-21-2010, 08:41 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
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I wouldn't aim at a certain weight. As you said, those tapes are not very accurate. I would instead use the Henneke Body Condition scoring system to get him between a 5 and 6 on the scale. Use the chart to check each part of his body and give each one a "score", then average them for his total score. Do this once a week, or month, on the same day, at the same time of day. Use a chart or journal to keep track of his progress.

Henneke Body Scoring - Habitat for Horses - Equine Protection Organization - Horse Rescue, Rehabilitation, Horse Education and Adoptions

A good one you can print:
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-22-2010, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: knee deep in spring mud
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Claymore is 'uber' cute! Doesn't look bad at all : ). He could start walking (business walk, 10 minutes twice a day to start, increase by the week, and not the paddock walk he does on his own, move him) for weight control and don't hesitate to trailride when you can..

Agreed: not so much to worry what he weighs but what he carries: fat or muscle. He is at a great weight to start conditioning what he has on him and the fat will turn into muscle. He is a big boned (love his feet!) horse and even in good weight/fitness might appear heavy. How healthy the 'heavy' is can be regulated by a proper diet and exercise. Just like for all of us : )

Difficult to condition a horse that is thin AND keep good weight on them. My personal opinion, of course, but I find it much easier and probably better for the horse to work winter flesh into summer muscle instead of trying to put muscle AND flesh on a leanbean. So you are already ahead in the game!

He really is a stunning boy : )

Last edited by foreignmusic; 03-22-2010 at 06:43 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-22-2010, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the barn whenever possible.
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No comments about his weight, but I did want to say I think he's one of the most stunning horses I've ever seen. I love Claymore! :)

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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