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There is no excuse for thin horses!

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  • Thin horses
  • If a TB ribs ate showing is it to skinny

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    04-11-2010, 09:28 AM
  #11
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderhooves    
I have to disagree, and agree.
Agree becaue it's true.
Disagree becasue some horses are JUST HARD to keep weight on, even if you spen hundereds on getting hay,soil, and bodily tests done. Even if their rugged and not super old. Like TB;s. Some can be EXTREMELY hard keepers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
yep I agree with you !!

My sisters mare is a tb & a HARD keeper. Fat for her is when you can barely see her ribs. She gets the best food you can buy & as much of it as she will eat. She is not unhealthy, that is just her body type. Much like some people who others think are anorexic, but that is just how their body functions.
I agree as well. Some horses make it easy to keep them in good weight (neither too thin nor too fat). Some horses are just tricky that way. Really balancing a diet for a horse in an art, IMHO. My guy tends toward being too heavy, something that scares me more than skinny sometimes, what with the "down the road" problems that that can play into (Insulin resistance, founder propensity, etc.). My sis' QH tends to go skinny over the winter (a bit worse than usual this year, as he had a nasty injury last fall that required stall rest for a long time), and does better when there's good grass available in general. I see it in cattle, too. Some look gorgeous all summer, fat and shiny, but in the winter with all-you-can-eat hay they still need than new summer grass to start bringing the pounds back. Our winters can be hell, though.

Yes, horse owners should strive to keep our horses in good weight/condition. No argument. But, there are horses that make that balance difficult, and to say that there is bar none no excuse to see a couple of ribs is a bit harsh, IMO.
     
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    04-11-2010, 09:52 AM
  #12
Green Broke
Sorry but your attitude bugs me. There are MANY reasons for a horse to be thin that have nothing to do with abuse. Let's see here...there's rescued, hard keepers (esp thoroughbreds), old age, the list goes on and on. The place that I work at has horses that are used for hippotherapy. They are also 30 flippin' years old.Do you really expect them to keep the weight of a normal horse???
     
    04-11-2010, 10:06 AM
  #13
Trained
Nelson has had a rough spell, and he was skinny for a few months. On that note, he's always been a very hard keeper because he is a TB, and his level of stress is high, even when he doesn't show it.

Alot of skinny horses have ulcers, unknown to the owner. While the owners could be pumping food into their horses, with no luck. Other horses have high metabolisim systems, like TB's and even when the owner is giving them the feed amounts they think they need, the horses can just burn it off quickly showing no change in weight.

Many horses have digestive issues, without the owners knowing, and horses cannot gain weight until those digestive issues are addressed.

I'm not disagreeing that those who have horses and neglect them, due to ignorance or due to other reasons, should get punished - along with every owner out there of any animal species, whether it be a dog, cat, hamster and the list goes on.......these are lives in our hands and we have the power to do our best for them as we should.

But there are people out there who have horses who have issues, and try their very hardest to give their horses what they need.

Horses who are getting the groceries, and aren't gaining weight as well as others would, are hard cases. I am spending over $100 a month on feed, Purina Senior and Purina Ultium. Plus $65 a month on a round bale, plus $110 a month on suppliments *digestive and ulcer*, plus Coco Soya oil - and Nelson is just now putting weight on, and he is still ribby.

He's been scoped twice, both stomache and farther than his stomache, to reveal ulcers in both. And he is 21 this month. He is a choker, and he just went through a near death colic.

What would you do if he were yours?
     
    04-11-2010, 10:25 AM
  #14
Green Broke
You have a good point, but you are failing to acknowledge a few things. As several people have mentioned, there are often outside circumstances that cause horses to be a little ribby that do not stem from neglect or lack of care. Illness can do a number on your horse, no matter how much you feed, or how well you care for them and it takes time to regain that, as MIEventer mentions above. You can't just throw a lot of feed at them all at once to make up for it. Aside from illness, there's also conditional factors in the horses lives that can cause temporary thinness. My mare is a tiny bit ribby right now - she just grew and gave birth to an enormous foal. My yearling colt is a bit ribby right now, because he's a gangling, gawky yearling that is going through an enormous growth spurt. Seeing a little rib doesn't automatically make a horse unhealthy. But at the same time when you are talking about severely underweight, with protruding spine, hipbones, a TRULY emaciated horse, yes there is no excuse if the horse has been in someone's care for more than a few months.

But by the same token, and from your "no-tolerance" standpoint especially, a fat, obese horse is just as unhealthy as a thin one, and in some ways more prone to long term damage. Why aren't you complaining about those ones?

People have gotten used to the image of the fat, flabby, overweight horse as an reflection of shining health, and it's just frankly incorrect. Horses are athletes, (well, some of them are anyways!) and their physique should reflect that. Seeing a little rib on a horse doesn't mean it's unhealthy. I've not seen a picture of ANY horse members posting on here that I would consider emaciated.
     
    04-11-2010, 10:31 AM
  #15
Green Broke
I have to agree as far as theres no excuse for emaciated, starving horses.

I do also have to agree with everyone else though that there are situations when seeing a little rib is understandable. One of my thoroughbreds is a ridiculously hard keeper, but I manage. However he's just had an episode of major colic. Guess who's showing a little rib right now? And I spoke to the vet about it today and he said it is perfectly understandable in his situation.

So therefore, I agree, but I disagree at the same time. :)
     
    04-11-2010, 10:34 AM
  #16
Trained
Great post Indyhorse, you make some very valid points, and I appreciate that.

You are right about overly weight horses. I've heard in the horse world that the weight leads to stress on their joints, knees, hocks, ankles which leads to joint issues down the road.

Also, the fact that just because you see some rib, doesn't make them unhealthy. Look at Eventing Horses in the Mid to Upper Levels where they condition to the extreme to beable to ride the sport - most show ribs, but they are definitely not unhealthy. The ribs show due to how conditioned they are and how high their metabolism systems are - while yet, they have muscle and are vey physically fit.

~~~~

I wish I had pictures of Nelson's condition during January, Feb, and March. I wish I took pictures of his condition then and his progression.

But here he is today. These pics were just taken yesterday before we headed to an Eventing Clinic for the day:



     
    04-11-2010, 10:58 AM
  #17
Foal
I agree mostly with the OP.

It's not the fact that horses may get a little thin that I find inexcusable. There are many situations that lead up to such a result that have very little to do with what the horse is actually taking in food-wise. There's always circumstance, there's cause-and-effect, as there is with everything. What I find inexcusable is when people try to justify themselves regarding their clearly underweight horse like they're trying to fish for some reason why they can't bring it back to a healthy weight. With that kind of mindset, the horse is probably going to get worse or just not improve (I stress the probably, though, since sometimes the justification is just a result of being defensive of the situation, not complete and utter 'not caring').

But then again, I'm also the type of person who dislikes excuses and/or the all-too-common "oh I can't" or "it's a lot harder in my case" antics. If the horse is thin, it needs some weight, and if it's difficult keeping weight on them, it becomes a matter of finding out how to do so (such as using outside sources like your vet). Either way the owner should be pretty avidly working on a solution. If not, it's then and there it becomes inexcusable. And no, of course it's not going to turn over night and the horse will be sparkly perfect and at a good weight at the crack of dawn the next day. Weight gain takes a lot of time. I know that, you know that, they know that. But it is possible, and if anything is even the slightest bit possible, making up excuses as to why it can't be done is just going to put blocks in their own road, not to mention negatively affect their horse.
     
    04-11-2010, 11:15 AM
  #18
Foal
I disagree. We had a premature Arabian Gelding who was abused for a couple years. When we got him, we trained him and tried to put weight on him but he just wouldn't keep it. We had he teeth done, a few pulled, every year, once or twice. He received one scoop of grain, and 1/2 a bale everyday. He almost always had access to a round bale. We didn't ride him a lot, and you could still see every bone in his body.
We also had two off-track thoroughbred mares. One, who is 24, and my dad's baby who is 12. The eldest, Wings, was terrible to put weight on. We rode her a few easy times every month, and for one week at the county fair. She had 1/2 bale every day, and in the summer she got a scoop of grain. Almost always she had access to a round bale. Even now, at a retirement home, where she hasn't seen a saddle in 8months, still is a skinny horse. My dad's horse, Chicky, is ridden a few times every week. She gets beet pulp 2 times a day, full access to a round bale, 2 scoops of grain, and another 1/2 a bale. Her teeth are fine, she's healthy. And guess what? She's still underweight. We have tried to get all 3 of these horses to a normal weight for 7 to 8 years now.
Now you tell me that we didn't try and spend a ton of money to keep our healthy horses fat.
     
    04-11-2010, 11:17 AM
  #19
Green Broke
MIEventer ~ Nelson looks great! I hadn't seen recent photos of him. I wouldn't consider him underweight at this point at all. He still has some rebuilding of the lost muscle to do along his topline, but that has nothing to do with feeding and just takes time with a recovering horse. I'm impressed with how good he looks right now!

The thing is, people get used to the appearance of some breeds as well, and you can't apply a QH build to a TB, for example, and I've seen so many people tell TB or Arab people their horses are too skinny, when they aren't, they are just built differently and not meant to be "fat". People anamorphize way too much with horses.

My yearling is showing a good bit of rib right now, but if you look at the rest of him instead of focusing on just the ribs, he is well muscled, there is even a "channel" along his topline and over his rump. He could use a little more weight, but he's growing and changing fast right now and he'd be ribby no matter what he ate unless I purposefully packed a bunch of fat-based poundage on him - and on an undeveloped, growing skeletal frame, that would be very unhealthy for him long term and not doing him any favors.

     
    04-11-2010, 11:28 AM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryJay    
I disagree. We had a premature Arabian Gelding who was abused for a couple years. When we got him, we trained him and tried to put weight on him but he just wouldn't keep it. We had he teeth done, a few pulled, every year, once or twice. He received one scoop of grain, and 1/2 a bale everyday. He almost always had access to a round bale. We didn't ride him a lot, and you could still see every bone in his body.
We also had two off-track thoroughbred mares. One, who is 24, and my dad's baby who is 12. The eldest, Wings, was terrible to put weight on. We rode her a few easy times every month, and for one week at the county fair. She had 1/2 bale every day, and in the summer she got a scoop of grain. Almost always she had access to a round bale. Even now, at a retirement home, where she hasn't seen a saddle in 8months, still is a skinny horse. My dad's horse, Chicky, is ridden a few times every week. She gets beet pulp 2 times a day, full access to a round bale, 2 scoops of grain, and another 1/2 a bale. Her teeth are fine, she's healthy. And guess what? She's still underweight. We have tried to get all 3 of these horses to a normal weight for 7 to 8 years now.
Now you tell me that we didn't try and spend a ton of money to keep our healthy horses fat.
I don't buy that.. I've kept hard keeper TB's in good weight. I'd be looking into the quality of your feed and hay, and also, probios is cheap.

For healthy horses, regardless of breed, there's always some way to keep them nutritionally sound. Look into different feeds and a better hay source. Obviously your current plan isn't working if it's been 7-8 years
     

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