Originally Posted by Wallaby
Just start working her and it'll be fine. I would seriously hesitate touching anything about her food until after you start working her. This is from standing around doing nothing, once her energy requirements go back up, you'll be playing catch-up once again if you lessen her feed now.
I'm not sure what sort of "image" you're expecting from her but she may just be a thicker built Arab who's finally getting "there". My mare was narrow as all get out when I got her (obese though) then she lost weight and got even narrower so I assumed she was just one of "those". However, once I started getting her into more slow-long work and feeding her better (quality hay, high protein because she gets a potbelly when she doesn't get enough protein, etc), she seriously muscled up. She suddenly became this wiiiideeeee muscular machine. And I thought she was going to stay narrow! Hahaha
Of course, thinking that this may be a step in her fitness doesn't really include her belly but that's all probably due to the hay she's eating. The rest of her looks perfect. Finally not too skinny (imho, she's always been too skinny before this).
My other thought is that since she was starved for so long, it has probably taken quite a while for her body to build back up it's internal stores. If I remember correctly, she's only been out of starvation "mode" for about a year and half, so it stands to reason that her body may be finally catching up and finally able to get some fat on her bones. It does take about that long for some muscles in the body to rebuild after loss.
Yes she was always too skinny and it took some time to find what really worked for her. I would love for her to be one of the thicker arabs, as I'm 5'8" and she's only 14.1 lol. I didn't worry too much about her muscle before because she had to get healthy before she could build muscle. It has been about a little over a year and half since she was rescued.
Protein - how do I know if she is getting enough for her? Her stall does not smell at all. And the only way I know if they are getting too much is when they have that strong amonia smell to their pee. Her pee only has a bit of smell immediately but quickly dissipates. So could she maybe not have enough protein? Maybe she needs more alfalfa when I put her back into work? I looked into testing the hay but there is like a huge process and it's almost $60 so if someone knows an easier way than the UofM please tell me. I'm guessing the hay is pretty much worthless though. Most of it is way to stemmy.
Come to think of it the belly really got big with this new batch of hay. She had been getting really fluffy green hay, still not great, but it was better than this crap.
Oh and cheapest probiotic to feed? I can get capsules of Florajen for free. They are for humans but could I break one of those open and put in her feed? They have 10 times more good bacteria than yogurt does.