How to get rid of a hay belly?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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How to get rid of a hay belly??

Hi! I had previously posted about my horse Charlie who had worms and a big, ribby belly... The worms are gone, the ribs aren't showing, but the big belly is still there. I also noticed that the other horse we have in the pasture is getting a big belly. As far as I can tell, they have a good amount of muscle on their top line, and as I said it's not worms. I'm not sure about the quality of the hay, but it seems nice and green. We just have round bales so they eat as much as they want, as well as a few lbs of Nutrena SafeChoice Original grain every day. We ride them regularly, out on the trail for several hours a week. They are not fat.

What can I do to get rid of the big bellies? I know that a "hay belly" is basically undigested hay, so is there some sort of supplement to make it digest faster? Or do I need to change something about their feed?

Thank you so much for any input!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 01:35 PM
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I wouldn't do anything. We are expecting a cold, snowy winter in central IL and YOU are further north than I am. You probably noticed that they are putting on good coats. They're just getting ready for the weather. Write again if you have the same problem next June.

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 01:39 PM
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Normally you need to change the feeding program. When a horse has a round bale they dont have to work for it or move. Horses out in pasture have to walk and nibble all the time so they lose a few calories with each step. With round bales they just hang out and eat and never move much.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 01:45 PM
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My pony is prone to this!! This usually works for me, cut down on the hay a bit, give them more exercise!!x
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 01:52 PM
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Also keep in mind that the "hay belly" look can also be the result of inadequate muscling along the topline and through the abdomen. This is resolved only through correct work and exercises.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much!
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