Putting my Horse on a Diet

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Putting my Horse on a Diet

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  • How to put your horse on a diet
  • How to put horses on diets

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    02-02-2010, 02:53 PM
Putting my Horse on a Diet

My TB mare, Venus, is a very easy keeper. She is the horse I use for my jumping, but a lot of exercise doesn't seem enough to keep enough weight off of her (She tends to get a BIG pot-belly).

She is in a 12 acre pasture 24/7. She gets A LOT of forage everyday (green grass and has the option of eating from a round bale). I only feed her a pound of Golden Performer 14% a day (1/2 a pound twice a day) as well as one flake of coastal hay twice a day. I only ride her for about 1 hour and 30 minutes three times a week at the most, but her exercise will increase once I have more time.

I've read that forage is 70-80% of a horse's diet, and that green grass contains a lot of fat and sugar and can cause obesity in some horses.

Will keeping her in a stall at night help her to lose weight since she can't eat grass all night? If I take away the round bale, will that help by taking away another source of forage? Should I feed her even less feed, or does she need the extra calories since she's exercising?

I would love to get some advice because this is the first time of tried to diet a horse!

Thank you!
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    02-07-2010, 08:18 PM
Anyone? Please?!
    02-07-2010, 08:25 PM
Green Broke
Well, of course removing the round bale would remove a source of caloric intake - if she is into eating off of it. Hay allows for lazy eating wheras grazing requires *some* movement and more effort. And, yes, restricting her at night would also reduce her intake. You could also consider use of a grazing muzzle or a dry lot, if available.....if it is your property, you could create a dry lot.
If her current diet and work load is allowing her to maintain a hefty weight, she will not be harmed by a decrease in calories.
I am curious as to using the coastal flakes in addition to the round bale and free grazing.
    02-07-2010, 08:39 PM
Agreed ^^^^

Taking the round bale and not giving her that opportunity to eat whenever, even out of boredom will most likely be your biggest defense in the weight problem.
    02-07-2010, 09:08 PM
Do you need to give him the extra hay and grain? I would think the round bales and grazing would be enough.

Or you could remove the round bale and just give the flakes ... My horses get ridden 4-5 times a week and they only get hay in the am and pm and then about 2 quarts of Strategy like 2-3 times a week ...

It just seems like your pony gets alot of food for only being ridden 3 days a week. I could see that much if you rode like 5-6 days a week hard.
    02-08-2010, 03:36 AM
Green Broke
Well I don't think you need to be feeding your horse that much especially since she is an easy keeper.
My horse is an easykeeper as well. She was in a pasture and could eat during the day on what grass was there and she would have 2 flakes and her vitamins.
I have her in a stall now and I only feed her 1 flake(it's a big flake and I split it in half for one morning and one evening serving)and I also mix in some grain with her vitamins because she won't take them otherwise.
I ride everyday to almost everyday.
She seems to be slimming down at a good pace..not too fast but not too slow.

I would recommend putting her in a stall at night and feed her less. She doesn't need all the food you were giving her. Hope that helps!

Goodluck with her diet.
    02-09-2010, 01:05 AM
Becareful with turning her in at night the grass has the most sugar in the morning. If you have an easy keeper definitely she does not need 14% feed. I would find a feed or vitamin made for easy keepers. I feed my horses M30 by McCauley Brothers feed based in KY but you should check out their website and look at that as a basis on what type of grain to feed your horse. It is a feed made to give essential nutrients but not pack on the pounds. Definitely remove either the round bale or extra flakes. Is she on a proper deworming schedule? Also you may want to check with your vet to make sure she doesn't have a thyroid or metabolic problem.
    02-09-2010, 11:42 AM
Try to look at LMF feeds as well - they have an easy keeper one.

Welcome to a LMF Feeds

I beleive it is this one:
    02-09-2010, 11:59 AM
Green Broke
I would take away the round bale and cut out the grain. Instead of grain, give her 1 lb of hay pellets with some vitamins mixed in (to round out her diet), and put out a mineral salt block. Also make sure she's on a good deworming program or do a fecal test for parasites. A bloated belly can be a sign of parasites.

You don't HAVE to feed any kind of grain or horse feed. My horses have been on a feed-free diet for two years now and are healthier than they ever have been. I feed grass hay (they don't have any grazing) with 1.5-3 lbs of Alfalfa pellets. I mix in a good vitamin supplement, like GrandVite, SmartVite Grass, or Select II.
    02-09-2010, 12:03 PM
Green Broke
Another option wouild be ADM's Metabolic Minerals. You feed just 1 lb a day and the horse gets all of the vitamins and minerals they need, including minerals for horses that are insulin resistant. It's a grain-free and molasses-free formula, especially for "easy keepers".
StaySTRONG low starch mineral feed supplement

You can buy it online if you do not have a local ADM dealer. The price is very reasonable, $13.90 plus shipping for a 40-day supply.

Locate a dealer:

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