My horse is a hippo

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My horse is a hippo

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    03-21-2013, 01:02 PM
My horse is a hippo

So weve had alot of rain here lately ad its made the grass very horse got removed from her paddock and put out into the big one because hers is too wet to live in. A month or so later its still too wet but she's getting so much good grass being the typical qh she put on weight. I swear she put two times her weight on in two days that I did not see her. She literally looks like a hippo and im disgusted in it. She isnt getting any added food but im wondering what would be the best way ofgetting her weight down. I can lock her up in a grassless area as there is none. I was thinkin of letting her back into just her paddock then when she eats all the grass down again we can really focus on getting hold of her weight. I was thinking lunge her everyday too? Thou im worried if I lunge her too hard she might have a heart attack that's how fat she is atm. She looks like she's pregnant with twins! I am disgusted by how bad she is and wish id realised what was hiding under her rug but I know now and its time to step up and figure out some good dieting for her l! Tomorrow mum said we are going to have to readjust the straps on the rug for her stomach she's that fat. And no she's not pregnant just a massive grass belly. Apparently she's an extremely good doer so I've found out now... So please if youve got any hints or tips let me know
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    03-21-2013, 01:06 PM
Ever thought about a grazzing muzzle? It limits how much grass they can get, its used mainly on horses who are prone to founder. And lunging would be a good idea just watch her breathing and don't push her to much to start with.
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    03-21-2013, 01:12 PM
I agree with the grazing muzzle. You don't want your horse to founder.

Lunge the horse, but make sure you don't do too much at once, with all the weight that's been put on. Daily exercise along with the muzzle would start working - unless something is done, though, the horse will just keep getting fatter!

Just out of curiosity.... Can we have pictures of your hippo horse? :)
    03-21-2013, 11:05 PM
I got on her yesterday for first time in a month or so(lunged her quickly first) but we only did any hour of lunging/riding where I did walk trot to test out the saddle and she was dripping with sweat and at one stage breathing bit heavy which is when I gave her a break.
I feel bad about calling my baby a hippo but its best way to describe her.. I might need to invest in one of those grazing muzzles quickly

    03-21-2013, 11:27 PM
Where do you live?!?! Loving and very jealous of all that gorgeous green grass. We just had another blizzard here!
I'd say yes she is a bit pudgy, but not terrible. Id do the grazing muzzle and try to get out and give her some exercise as much as you can.
Very pretty horse by the way!
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    03-21-2013, 11:35 PM
Thankyou. I live in Queensland Australia in a little town called Bundaberg. We just had a very bad flood that wiped out the north of bundaberg, killed so many animals, a few people died, had like 5 cyclones off the coast come through I almost had to move my horse out as the floods got pretty close to the aggistment far too close for comfort. Then we had another small amount of flooding a couple weeks back and the paddocks went so soggy and green its nice...but not when you have an extremely good doer quarterhorse lol. You see where the dark grass is in the last picture I showed? That's her paddock that I have to put her back into today or tomorrow....very greeen, hasnt had a horse in there since the last floods. Still got water and mud in there.
    03-22-2013, 08:46 PM
Hi, yes, she looks chunky but not too terrible, from what you can tell in those pics. Horses can have grass bellies without being overweight too. Fitness, feed quality, worminess & hind gut acidosis(eg. Too rich/starchy feed) are common reasons for this.

I'd say that if the horse hasn't been exercised in a month, a full hour of more than walking is a bit too much, of which heavy breathing & dripping with sweat was evidence. Regular exercise(starting light) would help her greatly though.

It's possible that saddle's too big for her - make sure it doesn't put any pressure at all on her lumbar region - anywhere past her last ribs.
    03-22-2013, 11:47 PM
How do I check it fits her well. My instructor is going to take a look tomorrow. The saddle has the space between the wither and saddle when you look from the front. I hope its okay..
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    03-23-2013, 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by Tayz    
How do I check it fits her well. My instructor is going to take a look tomorrow. The saddle has the space between the wither and saddle when you look from the front. I hope its okay..
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That there is space above the spine(the gullet of the saddle) is one point. That the gullet is wide enough all the way back, to clear the spine by about 1" at least each side is also important. Lack of a gullet in the rear half of the saddle, as in Westerns, can be a real problem if the saddle doesn't otherwise fit well & the horse is well built with good topline muscling. The saddle should fit the width and angle of the horse's back - many are too narrow. Bars/forks shouldn't interfere with shoulder movement and the panels should be wide enough & sit on the horse evenly from front to back & side to side, so as to distribute the weight evenly without pressure points and over as much surface area as possible. Lastly, girth & stirrup placement and seat design will influence the way the saddle balances on the horse too.

You can google 'saddle fit' & come up with many good sites & guidelines, or you can study the info on a site such as Balance International, who have heaps of great guidelines & info on whys & wherefores.

If you think your saddle fits the horse, then to check it out you can ride her in it with a white towel or such as a saddle pad. Put her through her paces enough that she will be a little sweaty, then unsaddle & have a look at the towel. Are the sweat/dirt marks even & well distributed? Are there any dry spots or areas, which could indicate pressure points?

Edited to add... just googled & found this site specific to western saddles...
    03-23-2013, 02:07 AM
Speaking of saddle fit, I'm in the market & wondering about the Abetta ones & particularly the flex tree - anyone got experience with them they'd like to share? I'll go start another thread for it tho, so if you have, please check out the tack section of the forum??

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