Trying to tell if my Pony is overweight?
 
 

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Trying to tell if my Pony is overweight?

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  • Signs of an overweight young horse
  • fat horse showing ribs

 
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    07-13-2012, 01:22 AM
  #1
Weanling
Trying to tell if my Pony is overweight?

My haflinger mare is 3 years old, 12.2-12.3 hh and is around 600-700lbs if I remember right from last time we wormed her(also the last time we weighed her) She is currently on 24/7 pasture with the occasional hay and gets no grain. I'm trying to get her in shape for a show in a month. I'm not sure how much she is supposed to weigh or how overweight she is(if she is, which I'm pretty sure she is)

What do you think?



     
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    07-13-2012, 02:16 AM
  #2
Trained
Yep, she looks chunky to me. While Haffies are 'heavy' types, so when a 'good' weight still look rather thickset compared to more 'normal' build horses, the same sort of guidelines apply. Look up body condition scorring for tips. But generally, if you can't feel the ribs easily, if there are fat pockets or filled in areas around flank, hip & above elbow, if there is a deep crease down the topline & rump & if there are fat deposits around the tailhead, these are signs your horse is likely more than a touch over weight. Especially with a young horse, that you want to set up for a long, healthy life, it's best to keep their weight down.
     
    07-13-2012, 11:33 AM
  #3
Showing
Frankly, she looks quite fat to me from those pics. How lush the grass is? You may consider using grazing muzzle on.
     
    07-13-2012, 11:52 AM
  #4
Foal
Yeah she is a little chunky. You can Put your hand Higher than where the girth woul go and gently apply pressure as you move your hand to her flank. If you can feel slight indentions from the ribs she is a decent weight, but if not, yeah she is a little chunky.
I also think a grazing muzzle would be a wise decision.
     
    07-13-2012, 12:18 PM
  #5
Showing
I agree with Val. She's definitely overweight. You can see the crease on her rump and fatty deposits at her tail head. I think a grazing muzzle would be a good decision and conditioning work.

Here's a link to a good publication about the Henneke system for body scoring. There are some photo examples as well.

http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AnimalSciences/pubs/asc145.pdf
     
    07-13-2012, 12:55 PM
  #6
Weanling
The pasture is all but dead. No rain=no pasture. Most of what is still green are the weeds that the horses don't touch. And I can't leave anything on her in the pasture, she rubs herself bloody (doesn't matter if it's a halter, fly mask, grazing muzzle, etc) I've been working to exercise her trying to get her weight down.
     
    07-13-2012, 07:25 PM
  #7
Trained
What else does she get to eat? How big is the pasture? I also suspect looking at her, that it's not a recent addition, but that perhaps she got fat before the pasture was eaten down & now she's getting enough to maintain it. In that case, lots more exercise *may* do the trick - & more exercise is a good thing anyway, except for high impact & lunging type stuff on immature joints & bones. (She's also landing toe first on that footing, so I'd address that too)

Unfortunately overgrazed, drought- or otherwise stressed grass is actually higher sugar than healthy stuff. I'd consider that diet as well as exercise is likely necessary. You may have to just greatly reduce her grazing & feed her hay instead, that if you're not sure is low NSC, may need to be soaked for a couple of hours & drained before feeding, to leach out some of the sugars.
     

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