Irritated with weight issues... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Texas
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Irritated with weight issues...

I went on vacation! YEAH! But then when I picked up my horses from my trainers (boarded their during the vacation)...she kind of snivelled at me a bit about my horses getting "so little to eat" and "they just grazed ALL the time." My only beef with my trainer is that she keeps her horses to fat in my opinion. When my own older horse boarded there he almost got acute laminitis. He's not skinny but I can't let him get fat because he has Insulin Resistance and is prone to laminitis. I've tried explaining this many a times as tactfully as one can explain that to one's trainer, but it never soaks in. Then I get an email from one of my other horse acquaintances who takes lessons there saying "Good to see Aggie again! He's so skinny though! Is he ok?" Ugh. Rant.


The one with the fly mask is the older picture when boarding at my trainers. Yes he is fatter...but he is pudgy and neck cresty.

Am I crazy for thinking my horse looks better now?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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Your horse looks great now. He doesn't look terrible in the older pic, but yes a little pudgy & neck cresty. People have a tendency to like to see a fatter horse than is healthy (like a 6-7 on the BCS) when the ideal is a 4.5-5 on the BCS scale. It may help to give them a copy of the BCS score sheet so they can see what the actual scores are... Good luck though, I run into that problem with my dog all the time! "omigod, your dog is soooo skinny! Is he sick??" me: "No, this is what a lab is supposed to look like." I'm a little rude about it now.... after 8 years of being annoyed by morons who think the perfect weight is a dog with an inch of fat on it's ribs.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:50 PM
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IMHO, he looks just fine they way he is now.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:53 PM
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Looks way better in the first picture. Second picture is of a chunky monkey. We made a big mistake with our 35 year old POA. She was a rescue that had a body score 1.5-2 when we got her and we just about killed her with kindness. It took about a year to get off 75-90 pounds. She foundered pretty bad but putting her on 1-800-call-jenny diet and a good farrier she's doing great.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario
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my Horse Wizard when i first got him he weigh almost 1200 pounds and he is a Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse so he is only supposed to weigh around 1000 pounds excersizing and a health diet should help any horse saty a a substantal weigh.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 01:14 PM
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The top picture shows a better looking horse. Stick to your guns and don't put any more weight on him. I like Tigerstripe's idea of taking a copy of the BCS scale with you to show her.

People are getting so overweight themselves that they want everyone and everything to be that way. It's not healthy and it's our responsibility to keep our pets and livestock in proper condition.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-25-2009, 04:13 PM
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He looks MUCH better now! Horses are NOT supposed to be so fleshy. Just like human atheles, they do better when they are "fit". You should easily be able to feel their ribs when you touch their sides. Even seeing them a little when they stretch around one way isn't bad. Your horse's muscle tone is a lot better now and he just looks more "healthy". Before, he looked like he was about to founder...
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-25-2009, 04:40 PM
Join Date: May 2009
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I get REALLY riled up about horse weight. There is a *HUGE* difference between the right weight and too skinny, and there is a really easy way to tell if your horse is the right weight, too fat, or too skinny and it has nothing to do with how much rib you can see.

On a fit horse, you should be able to just barely see the rib cage when they flex, and it's not a death sentence if you can see the shadow of them when they're standing there.

But the most important and reliable area to detect the health of a horse's weight, in my opinion, is over the hips, where the flank and the spine connect. On a too skinny horse, this area will be pointy, as the hip-bones will jut out. The skinnier the horse, the pointier the bones. On a fit horse, this area will be rounded or nearly flat depending on age and condition of the back, but either way you won't see pointy angled bones jutting out. And on a too fat horse, this area will appear swollen with the spine sunken in between the hips.

I cannot stand people that get all upset because a horse's ribs can be seen. Not glaringly sticking out, mind you, just seen. Like if they can detect that the horse has ribs, period, they are too skinny. Not the case. And weight is super important, especially for pastured horses, in preventing founder.

There was a neighbor near my old ranch that used to call the humane society on us every two months or so because some horses had ribs showing, which led the barn owner to overfeed them to stop that lady from calling her in, which led to colic and other nasty things.

Ugh, this really gets me all angry, haha.... I just don't like people accusing me of not taking care of my animals.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-25-2009, 05:02 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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I think he looks great in the first pic.

Nobody says anything about my horses weight, but I get a bit of criticism with my dogs, people will tell me they are way too thin (they are labradors). Most labs are too heavy, and I compete with mine so keep them a bit on the thin side, but you don't see ribs (but you can feel them).

I agree with a previous poster that a lot of the world is over-sized and just think our animals should be too.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-25-2009, 06:48 PM
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He looks downright unhealthy to me in the last pic. Looks similar to what my boy did when I bought him, and he had to lose about 100kg before he was even comfortable cantering. I agree with all the others, the problem is just as bad in dogs. I own a kelpie, a breed designed to work sheep and run ALL day. She comes on 3/4/5 hour rides with me. She is lithe, fit and strong, and I always get comments on how thin she is. I just ignore them. Labs and Retreivers are the worst I see around here. People seem to think they are supposed to be 10/20kg overweight.

I constantly battle with my dad over our horses weight. He is a farmer so is very paranoid over skinny animals (long term drought in oz). Every time I get my horses to a weight I am really happy with, he starts feeding them more! he doesn't get them obese, but fatter than I would like.

It's all a matter of education, and realising what is best for the horse, not what is best for the person.

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