Asking this for a friend....
Her horse, an 11 year old Paint has just been diagnosed with insulin resistance. The vet did not feel blood tests were necessary, but he seemed pretty positive that that was what was wrong with him.
Originally she was worried because he has a big belly....she'd joke and say he's pregnant and so on, but she asked an equine nutritionist and she said that he was in perfect weight and the belly was from "low quality hay"...and she just had the vet out for fall shots and she asked him what he thought of her horse's weight and what could be causing the belly. All in all the vet said he wasn't too over weight, definitely fat but wasn't in the "warning!!" range. He said weight wise he's ok with the weight he is now, but he shouldn't gain any, and would be better if he lost some weight.
The vet also said to put him on a low carb/no sugar diet as much as possible. He is going to get no grain, as he takes his vitamin supplement (powered) straight (this horse will take anything and act like it's a treat), and she is planning on using a grazing muzzle so he can not only loose weight and keep out of alot of high sugared grass, but also to slow down his eating.
But her problem is her barn feeds using round bales in the winter, and he "puts his gears into park and shoves his face in". She doesn't particually want to use the grazing muzzle during winter and she's going to get the sugar/starch levels of the hay, but she doesn't want him to bulk up alot and gain more weight.
She lives in NY, and she says her winter is going to be very harsh this winter.
Any suggests that I can pass along to her? She is definitely doing her research on this, and is worried about her horse and his health.
Would it be wise to muzzle during the winter? What other diet stuff can she do?
She is going to be using no horse treats...all treats that he's going to get are carrots. She does Parelli with her horse, and her horse's horsenality is Left Brain Introvert, which is the "what's in it for me" horse, and his motivation is food.
Thanks for everyone who gives input. I know she'll appreciate it!