Obese horse won't lose weight? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Obese horse won't lose weight?

Ok, so I've had my horse for 4 years. When I hot him he was already overwieght because he had been used as a trail horse. He had 24/7 grazing and free hay. Now that I own him he gets 1 1/2 pads of hay in the morning and 1 1/2 pads at night during the fall and winter, and 10 hours of grazing in the spring and summer. I use him as a gaming horse but I'm normally so busy I only get to ride him in the summer and fall. Either way, he hasn't lost a pound since I've had him and he has like, no muscle mass. I've tried the trotting and lunging and stuff but he won't lose any fat or gain a single muscle. I really need some help. Any suggestions would be really helpful =)
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by reve4sasoolappa View Post
Ok, so I've had my horse for 4 years. When I hot him he was already overwieght because he had been used as a trail horse. He had 24/7 grazing and free hay. Now that I own him he gets 1 1/2 pads of hay in the morning and 1 1/2 pads at night during the fall and winter, and 10 hours of grazing in the spring and summer. I use him as a gaming horse but I'm normally so busy I only get to ride him in the summer and fall. Either way, he hasn't lost a pound since I've had him and he has like, no muscle mass. I've tried the trotting and lunging and stuff but he won't lose any fat or gain a single muscle. I really need some help. Any suggestions would be really helpful =)
Have you had his labs checked to see if he's insulin resistant? That can make it difficult for a horse to lose weight.

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post #3 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 02:56 PM
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What has his exercise schedule been like? How long have they lasted?
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 05:22 PM
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Cut down his grazing time or get him a grazing muzzle and increase his exercise.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-09-2012, 01:18 AM
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If he's been obese long term, chances are he's insulin resistant. He may also have lost weight, but has 'fat pads' due to IR that won't budge & make it hard to tell. Regarding fat pads, there is evidence to suggest feeding extra magnesium in the diet can help dissolve them. Check out safergrass.org

Without knowing the size of your horse & the weight of the 'pads' of hay, can't say whether it's appropriate for him, but horses should have at least 1.5% of their bodyweight daily in forage. If you find that is a good amount for him, you could also soak it in clean water for an hour or few & drain, before feeding to leach out excess sugars, if it's 'good' hay.

A good nutritional supplement is also helpful to balance the diet too.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-09-2012, 01:53 AM
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If he doesn't have some medical condition such as was mentioned above and is just a super easy keeper...you have to work at it on a consistant basis. My mare is beyond an easy keeper - I weigh her food...every last morsel! I kept/keep record, and tailored a diet to ensure that she gets all the nutrients she needs, gets the amount of food she needs to maintain, and excercise to keep her "fit". She will never be lean. You have to begin by knowing exactly what his intake is now...and go from there. You say "1.5 pads", I am assuming that is like 1.5 flakes? The density of bales can vary significantly due to the cut, the baler, etc.,. If you don't weight it - you have zero base line and no way to ensure consistancy. Obviousely consistant excercise is going to help slim him down as well as build muscel, but a super easy keeper is still going to need less than his "middle of the road metabolism" pasture pal - all things held the same (e.g., same amount of excercise). Easy keepers take a lot of work.

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post #7 of 12 Old 06-09-2012, 01:17 PM
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does this horse live by himself or with another horse ?
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-10-2012, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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idk if he is insulin resistent. I'll try weighing his hay/grazing muzzle. If that doesn't do anything, I'll have the vet check. Thanks everyone =)
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-11-2012, 12:15 PM
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My boy gets chunky on air. I feed him just 1/2 pound daily of formulated, low-starch feed called Triple Crown Lite. It's function is to help my gelding to better metabolise what he does eat (hay + limited grazing). In just a month, his fat pockets have redistributed and diminished dramatically. He only needed to lose about 80 lbs, but this combined with regular (hard) exercise has worked better than anything else. His coat has even popped with dapples for the first time since I've owned him (this is our 2nd summer).
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-11-2012, 12:39 PM
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Maximus before we started his new program... pouchy bum, heavy belly and you can't see the line-backer shoulder pads.



Max after two months on the new feed. Different type ofphoto I know, but his hip is lean and smooth, his belly is gone and the shoulder pads are much reduced.



He'll always have a different and unusual blocky shape, thanks to his fjord heritage but I can at least endeavour to keep him from entering the growing ranks of IR horses - a nightmare to wade through!
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