Okay, so my mare is fat. Not just a bit weighty, but FAT. Sometimes I wonder if there is any way she could actually be pregnant, her belly is that big.That would depend on whether there were any stallions around - even if it was "impossible" for them to get near her
I work at the local feed/tack shop and have spoken to my boos, who told me to "work her more and feed her less".
I work her every chance I get, keeping in mind that she's only just being bought into work after being broken in as a 6 year old and then thrown into a paddock for two years before I got her (October last year).
As far as feeding her less goes, we don't have any way to stop her from bullying the other horse out of his dinner once she's finished hers.If this means feed pan stuff, somebody is going to HAVE to stand guard until the gelding finishes eating. If this means hay, my thought would be to buy several slow feed hay nets and tie them around the paddock so both horses have a chance to "graze/move" around and it will stop her from not letting the gelding eat. She can't get to every hay net at once without forcing herself into not eating. <---hope that made sense. I'm as equally worried about the gelding losing too much weight as I am about her weighing too much; 20 years ago I rescued a horse out of the exact same situation; big fat dominant Appy mare would not let the young and little Arab gelding eat. He was so down when I bought him, it took a year to get into normal condition; he celebrated his 27th B-day on April 1st
It's coming into winter here in Australia and I suppose she'll lose a bit of weight during the winter time, but I am also working on building muscle. We do a lot of trotting to try and build up her big quarter horse bum, but somehow this is having almost no effect.
I am currently feeding her lucern hay twice a day, except two days a week one hay feed is replaced with Mitavite Xtra cool mixed with chaff. I am in the U.S. And not familiar with the starch values of Luceren or chaff, so hopefully someone from you side of the world will come in and comment as to whether those are types of forage a horse prone to weight gain should be eating. Again, my best thought is buy up several slow feeder hay nets and safely tie them around the paddock. Everyone gets to it but the down side is, when the gelding is full and wants to nap, my guess is your mare will still be eating until every morsel is gone. Isn't there anyway they can be separated? Unless he's also an air fern, he needs more she needs 1.5% to 2% of her DESIRED body weight.
Is there ANYTHING else I could be doing? Please help me!
I took this picture of her tonight.