Easy keepers

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Easy keepers

This is a discussion on Easy keepers within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    08-11-2012, 12:27 PM
Easy keepers

I have two horses, both super easy keepers (aka fat), my Fjord and my sister's Paint. The paint was just moved up here this week because of the drought where my sister lives and the mare has not been on grass for a couple of months. I am pulling them both off of pasture for at least 15 hours of the day since I am worried about her foundering. Should I be giving them hay in their stall as well as the grass they have been getting. I am not new to horses but am very new to their care since I boarded for years. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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    08-11-2012, 12:48 PM
Horses are meant to b eating most of the day. They should have hay in their stall. Hang up a small hole hay feeder if you're worried about them eating too fast.
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    08-11-2012, 01:50 PM
^^^ Yes...for best digestive health it is best to always have some type of forage available.
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    08-11-2012, 02:11 PM
Slap grazing muzzles on them and leave them out on pasture. So much healthier, all around.
    08-11-2012, 02:38 PM
Green Broke
During the time they're on pasture, yes grazing muzzles. Pasture is good because they're moving-moving-moving

I like these because the nostril holes are big and let the horse have plenty of air.
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle <>

And Chick's just so happens to sell the cheapest slow-feed hay nets, while you've got your credit card out -

Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Slow Feed Small Mesh Hay Bag <>

The grazing muzzles do need to come off for at least 8 hours to give the horse a break.

Check for rub marks. Until my two metabolic guys got calloused up, I bought Dr. Scholl's moleskins (for your feet:) and cut pieces to put on the muzzles where they rubbed each horse. They have to be changed every day but eventually the horse will build up a callous and you won't need to use them anymore.

Horses produce digestive acid 24/7 so yes, they need to be grazing as much as possible, including "grazing" on hay. That's why the previous poster suggested the slow feeder nets; takes the Fatties longer to get the hay out

Good luck and thank you for being this conscientious
    08-11-2012, 04:35 PM
You cannot keep hay in front of a super easy keeper and expect them not to gain weight.......it doesn't happen in my world.

My advice to you is to allow only enough pasture grazing to maintain but preferably loose weight if they are fat.

I feed a decent quality hay that I have had tested and feed only the minerals that are missing in a cup of wet beet pulp for me that is just selenium plus a vitamin E supplement in capsule form.

I have lush green pastures in the summer......horse go out for two hours in the am and two hours in the pm.......with about 2 to 4 lbs for late night.

In the winter the easy keeper gets about 16 to 20 lbs depending on whether and what her condition looks like.....the hay is divided in to four meals.

Super Nova
    08-11-2012, 06:39 PM
Green Broke
<sigh>, I need to modify what I said, since I it isn't totally what I meant

I did not mean to keep unlimitied amounts of hay in front of the easy keepers constantly.

As Super Nova commented, they need a limited amount but when that limited amount is put in a slow feeder they can "keep grazing" longer because it takes them longer to get the hay. That gives those ever-flowing acidic digestive juices something to process

My EMS horse has turned into a hard keeper and has hind gut ulcers. He gets as much hay as he wants and invariably has plenty left over by morning. Sometimes he is quietly munching when I walk in the barn, in the early AM, sometimes he's at his stall door waiting for his ulcer meds.

My insulin resistant horse rarely takes a break from eating. He gets 10 - 12 lbs nightly in a slow feeder net. By early morning he generally has a few scraps left and is nickering "feed me" when I walk in the barn. I have managed to get enough weight off him that I can finally see his ribs when he stands a certain way.
    08-11-2012, 08:03 PM

Thanks everyone! I have ordered the hay net and grazing muzzles. I appreciate evenings responses. I will get them down to a decent weight yet. My Fjord has a drafty body anyway, but there is a difference between drafty and chunky.
    08-11-2012, 08:09 PM
I know what you mean. People always think my FjordX is fat until they look at his top line, if they even know what that is... Other than his stubborn shoulder pads, he really can't afford to lose much but still looks like a BRICK. Certainly no wasp-waisted Fjords out there!
    08-13-2012, 10:46 PM
Ole my Fjord is definitely drafty. It's tough sometimes to figure out what his ideal weight should be. But right now you could not tell he had ribs no mTter how hard you pressed, so bring on that grazing muzzle!

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