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My hard keeper is not anymore, help?

This is a discussion on My hard keeper is not anymore, help? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        03-28-2013, 10:44 AM
      #11
    Trained
    As long as she's inside cut the oil to half, the alfalfa also. The belly is mainly caused by not moving and eating so-so hay. Good hay doesn't give this kind of belly. BUT....good news is, it'll go away once she has better forage and moves.
    I don't find her to fat either. Just the belly. You could switch to alfalfa/ timothy or alfalfa/ orchard pellets and give her more of these, to fill her up with low bulk fiber, and hope she eats less of the bulky hay. If you do that, an once of oil a meal will be fine.
         
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        03-28-2013, 10:45 AM
      #12
    Green Broke
    I don't want her to really lose weight since when she starts working she will need some reserves there but I also don't want her getting bigger. Her topline is the hardest part. She has gotten some nice bulges above her shoulders but still has that dip in her wither and along the spine.

    I push those spots on her butt to make her lift her back but she HATES that and has started to not lift her back. It's so hard to properly work her with the snow and now that it's melting it's to slippery to do much at all.
         
        03-28-2013, 10:50 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    As long as she's inside cut the oil to half, the alfalfa also. The belly is mainly caused by not moving and eating so-so hay. Good hay doesn't give this kind of belly. BUT....good news is, it'll go away once she has better forage and moves.
    I don't find her to fat either. Just the belly. You could switch to alfalfa/ timothy or alfalfa/ orchard pellets and give her more of these, to fill her up with low bulk fiber, and hope she eats less of the bulky hay. If you do that, an once of oil a meal will be fine.
    I can't get better hay :( I can't afford to buy her hay and pay normal board. I won't get a discount either if I buy my own. Her paddock mate is owned by the BM and hopefully we can convince the BO to buy better hay. No better forage to come that I see. She doesn't go to pasture but stays on hay year round.

    I hate it really. I don't mind if she increased board so she could buy better hay but I know half the people would piss and moan because quite frankly they are morons. The more I think about the hay the more pissed I get. The hay dealer told the BO that is was awesome hay so she bought it, I feel like that is taking a used car salesman for his word.
         
        03-28-2013, 10:57 AM
      #14
    Foal
    I don't find her fat either. She simply needs to be worked to get some muscle tone. I would try to get her out and lunge her. Also, deserthorsewoman wasn't suggesting you go out and buy new hay. She was suggesting you get hay pellets. You can get them at TSC, and really they don't cost all that much. Right now, if anything, she has what you could call a hay belly. But the best medicine for her is to be worked. She needs muscle tone.
    deserthorsewoman likes this.
         
        03-28-2013, 11:11 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Exactly. Get, instead of alfalfa pellets, orchard alfalfa or timothy alfalfa pellets, and give her a bit more of those, and, as long as she's not working and cooped up, less oil. That should keep her from eating much of the crappy stuff which gives her that belly.
         
        03-28-2013, 11:12 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Sadly she does get lunged. We rode all winter as long as it was above 0 and not too much ice. It's just the last 2-3 weeks that her work has stopped due to the weather. If I could get a break on board I would go out and buy different hay. I know I can find it, the BO just isn't willing to pay for it. And she won't raise board because that will piss off a bunch of people there.

    The closest TSC is about an hour out of my way each direction. I get my alfalfa pellets from the local feed store. I can't really feed her more pellets as they need to be soaked and (surprise, more broken stuff) the hydrant in the barn is broken, frozen, whatever no one has come to find the problem, so the person who feeds in morning feeds her out of generosity so I'm not making her haul water from one of the paddocks.

    Her belly is out of control, she honestly looks preggo in person. She is eating about 30lbs per day of the hay. We pick through and find the best bales of what we have to give her. I'm just happy she is eating this stuff, the other stuff that we just got rid of she wouldn't touch.
         
        03-28-2013, 11:15 AM
      #17
    Trained
    Well, then you'll have to live with the belly. It'll go away. See it that way: everything and everybody is prettier in summer
         
        03-28-2013, 11:17 AM
      #18
    Green Broke
    Quickest way to make it go away? Summer is avoiding us this year it seems :( She's been naked this week so now she is spotted grey lol.
         
        03-28-2013, 11:25 AM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Exercise will make it go away. You can't take a horse that has been standing around doing nada and throw them into immediate heavy work though. If her knee is healed, start walking her, halter + lunge line and walk her like a giant dog. It's easier for her to find her footing without a rider plus you'll be on the ground to also navigate her away from slippery patches.

    Walks aren't going to rid her of the hay belly or cause a significant increase in muscle but they will get her going so you'll be able to exercise her better once the weather clears up. They're also good to keep her joints moving since she's older for less stocking up/stiffness. Plus as a bonus, walking is good exercise for you so you'll transition back into riding easier too!
    Wallaby and deserthorsewoman like this.
         
        03-28-2013, 11:27 AM
      #20
    Trained
    Work
    You have a serious case of the winter blues, hun. Used to hit me every year around this time. Winter seemingly endless, the first sunny days messed up by all the mud, horses out of shape, me out of shape. It'll get better, trust me
    I had high hopes coming to Cali, and now three days of rain and an inch of mud get me all bent out of shape
         

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