Is my horse getting too many carbs?
My horse seems to be holding fluids. He's peeing ok, but when I went to ride him yesterday he was kinda swollen all over. I noticed it mostly in his hind legs (fetlocks were swollen which usually means he's stocked up) but it was also all over. His sheath was swollen and so where other parts of his body I noticed right away - like his neck and hindquarters. He was bloated too. I cinched up the saddle and it was 2 notches above what it normally was. I have noticed about 2 falls ago he was getting stocked up too, but didn't notice any other swelling then. He pretty much stayed that way all winter for the last 2 yrs. He just started getting the hind fetlocks swelling again about a few weeks ago - just like the last 2 falls - but yesterday it was really bad. And I ride him MORE in the fall than in summer (no probs during the summer) so it can't be lack of exercise. He gets worked at least every other day in an arena too. When I do ride him, we ride about 3 to 5 miles as well (which is when weather permits - at LEAST twice a week in spring and fall). After I came back from my 6 mile ride yesterday, all was good - even the cinch was loose when I removed the saddle. I've moved to a new barn too and she feeds really well - too well I'm thinking. I'm thinking maybe he's getting too many carbs? This yr she just starting giving more hay too. I had her cut WAY back on his grain (sweet feed) but I'm thinking of switching him to just oats. He's an easy keeper. And now she started giving them an extra flake of hay in the evening so he's getting 2 generous flakes in AM and at PM feeding, then another flake later in the evening. She also gives him 2 carrots and a pear in his evening feed. I don't think he needs all this. Am I right? He's getting 'porky' too - especially around the middle. Should I also have her cut back on hay? I'm thinking of telling her ONE carrot an evening is enough - no pear (or apple) and just oats. And I was thinking 1.5 flakes at each feeding and a SMALL flake in evening. Could all this be causing his bloating too? She also feeds them bran once a week, a vitamin supplement once a week and flax seed every day as well as he gets biotin for his hooves (they have been always soft but this yr they cracked and were VERY dry so I've been putting hoof stuff on at least twice a week too). He looked good over the summer, tho a bit fatter than I'd like him to be. Oh, and she gives him about 4 alfalfa cubes in eve too. Could all this stuff she's feeding him be causing the bloating to be worse than usual? He's now 12 and I've had him for 6 yrs - he's a Tennessee Walker w/VERY good bloodlines so I'm surprised by all of this. He's always been SO healthy! Thanx for any suggestions!