Impossible weight loss

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Impossible weight loss

This is a discussion on Impossible weight loss within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
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    04-13-2011, 10:29 PM
Thumbs down Impossible weight loss

So Diesel is out to pasture with a bunch of cattle, a donkey, and one other gelding. They have free choice hay which just is not sitting well with Diesel. He is basically obese. He sits in front of the hay bale all day just munching. I don't even think he stops to breathe (though he will waddle over to see if you brought him cookies).

The problem is, I can't really take him off of free choice since it is always out for the cattle. I don't have an option of stalling/dry lotting/etc either

How on earth can I get him to lose weight?

Would a grazing muzzle even help at all? He's out on about 50 acres so the idea of him in a halter at all kind of freaks me out but if I went this route it would definitely be with a breakaway halter. I've never used one before though and so don't know if this would help since it isn't technically 'grazing'.

Are there any tricks I haven't thought about or am I just out of luck? Unfortunately it is not my property so I don't have many options about putting up a roundpen or anything like that...
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    04-14-2011, 12:57 PM
No one? :(

Anyone at least have any experience with grazing muzzles they could share?
    04-14-2011, 01:14 PM
How long as he been out there? When you first give them free choice hay they typically do eat 24/7. That will go on through the first bale or two than they back off and eat a more normal amount. You can wrap the bale with some type of netting or fencing material that will limit how much he can pull out with each mouthful. You're also heading into winter and you'd rather have him a little on the chucky side.
    04-14-2011, 01:16 PM
Sorry, I am currently with my horse in Montana, USA. We're heading out of winter and he has been on free choice all winter. I sort of figured that he would stop gorging himself after awhile, but he hasn't seemed to.

I never thought of the netting....
I don't know anything about cattle but would they be able to get enough to eat through the webbing do you think? Or would it not matter
    04-14-2011, 01:50 PM
We used a grazing muzzle on a mare last summer. She was a percheron/stb cross and was used to being in the barn 24/7. We got her in winter and she didn't abuse the hay but when the grass come out she really put on some weight. She already has a slight road founder so we were concerned. We also had no stall or paddock so we tried the grazing muzzle. She did great and it worked great. She was able to eat all day, drink fine, but not gorge herself. She did manage a healthy weight and the vet said that she looked great. It did have a breakaway feature on it. She did loose it once, it was a draft size and a little heavy and the adjustment slipped some and it came off her head. But she was at our house and we did see her often. We found it very useful and helpful, she was able to maintain a healthy weight and still be out to pasture, and she acclimated just fine to it. Good luck with your boy.
    04-14-2011, 02:02 PM
That's great.

Did you use one of the nylon ones or the metal?
    04-14-2011, 02:06 PM
I like the metal g razzing muzzles. I used a padded break away with my old one. The nylon ones get kind of gross so I would go with metal. I never saw nylon being used out of a stall
    04-14-2011, 02:07 PM
It was nylon. Not sure how well it would work with hay. But it will get him out moving and grazing though.
    04-14-2011, 02:10 PM
I was thinking the metal too just because I worry about him drinking with the nylon and then it freezing/getting all messed up or something.

Thanks so much :)
    04-15-2011, 04:01 PM
Green Broke
The cows would eat through the netting.

I would try a grazing muzzle, and ride him more. Make sure he's on no grain/feed, or just enough to give him any supplements you feed and a vitamin.

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