Weight critique? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 09-16-2009, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Weight critique?

So I was looking at Miss Lacey today and she seems a little skinny to me... What do you think?

It was mostly because her last two or three ribs are very easy to feel and when she trots you can see those three or so very well... Should I be asking my trainer to get a little bit more weight on her (I think she may be just getting the grass in her pasture and 3 or 4 flakes a day, no grain)?

Last Saturday:



Side views from today:







Also, does her back seem to be getting swayed? Or do you figure that's just her conformation?

Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 09-16-2009 at 05:56 PM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-16-2009, 06:15 PM
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Why do you have to ask your trainer about your horses health? How old is she? Give that horse some grain. She is a good looking horse, need a few more scoops out of the grain bin.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-16-2009, 06:38 PM
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I agreed with binkyhoo, She needs some grain. Being a domesticated horse she cannot get all her nutrients from just grass or hay. How long has she been off grain? If it's been awhile make sure to slowly introduce her back to it so she doesn't get sick. I don't know a lot about conformation but she does look slightly sway back to me. Try doing TTOUCH back lifts. Which is where using the fingertips with nails being used in a quick press and release motion near the mid line of the belly starting behind the front legs until she lifts her back. Be sure to start gently at first to avoid being kicked. This is from Linda Tellington-Jones book.

Hope this helped :)
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-16-2009, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by binkyhoo View Post
Why do you have to ask your trainer about your horses health? How old is she? Give that horse some grain. She is a good looking horse, need a few more scoops out of the grain bin.
She's half owned by my trainer, I'm only her half owner (I had been doing a kinda lease to own sorta thing and I decided that it wouldn't be financially responsible for me to take on full ownership but that half ownership is a better option for the time being). I will for sure talk to her about getting Lacey some grain. She's 24, so pretty much an old lady. =)

Fireflies- I'll try those! What if she won't lift her back? She loves to have her belly touched so I'm not positive she won't just lean into my fingernails. Lol!
I'm not completely positive she's even off grain, I just think she might be. If she is off grain she's only been off of it for a month or so.

Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-16-2009, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkyhoo View Post
Why do you have to ask your trainer about your horses health? How old is she? Give that horse some grain. She is a good looking horse, need a few more scoops out of the grain bin.
Blindly throwing a horse some grain is a stupid, stupid thing to do. Grain increases risk for colic and in general isn't great for a horse. And by the way, a wild horse's stomach works EXACTLY the same way as a domestic horse's stomach FireFlies. I think her weight looks pretty good, I would say ask your vet about vitamin/nutrition supplements. If she continues to drop weight than you can ask your vet about a hard keeper feed. And yes I think she may have some swayback, notice how her barrel is starting to flatten and bulge out at the top. Also, I have to ask, are your horse's hooves/legs okay? The way she is standing, especially in the last picture, looks like she's gone through many years of work.

Last edited by roro; 09-16-2009 at 10:22 PM.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-17-2009, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by roro View Post
And yes I think she may have some swayback, notice how her barrel is starting to flatten and bulge out at the top. Also, I have to ask, are your horse's hooves/legs okay? The way she is standing, especially in the last picture, looks like she's gone through many years of work.
I do see that! I knew there was something that was different about her back from normal horses with curvy backs but I just couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was. Should I be padding her differently when I ride and stuff? Maybe I should just make a new post about that...

Her legs/hooves should be ok. She has been very badly trimmed (not making her lame or anything, just leaving them super long then trimming then back etc) over the last year and I just took over her hoof stuff and switched her over to a pretty good barefoot farrier. She only had her first trim last week though so she's a work in progress. She was also severely overweight for her entire life up until a year ago so maybe that could contribute to her "overworked" stance? This is actually the first year that she's actually been in any sort of work in the last 3-4 years. I don't work her hard either, just lunging for 20 minutes then riding for 15-30 only walk/trot at this point, only two or three times a week. I only canter her undersaddle maybe twice a month for less than 10 minutes each time.

Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-17-2009, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
I do see that! I knew there was something that was different about her back from normal horses with curvy backs but I just couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was. Should I be padding her differently when I ride and stuff? Maybe I should just make a new post about that...

Her legs/hooves should be ok. She has been very badly trimmed (not making her lame or anything, just leaving them super long then trimming then back etc) over the last year and I just took over her hoof stuff and switched her over to a pretty good barefoot farrier. She only had her first trim last week though so she's a work in progress. She was also severely overweight for her entire life up until a year ago so maybe that could contribute to her "overworked" stance? This is actually the first year that she's actually been in any sort of work in the last 3-4 years. I don't work her hard either, just lunging for 20 minutes then riding for 15-30 only walk/trot at this point, only two or three times a week. I only canter her undersaddle maybe twice a month for less than 10 minutes each time.
Yes, being overweight for a long period of time can definitely affect the legs. I thought it was unusual because she didn't look like she had any major conformational or hoof issues, but if she had to carry extra weight for a long time it would stress the legs some and she would become used to standing in that way. The best thing to do with a horse that has swayback is strengthen her abdominal muscles, which are the muscles on the bottom of the barrel. As they grow stronger with proper work, her back may lift up some. Massage therapists also can work on a horse and help with this, to in case she has any back soreness.
A link for some abdominal strengthening exercises for horses: (I know it says for gaited horses but it applies to all horses)
Flex
you can find more abdominal strengthening on other sites as well.

Last edited by roro; 09-17-2009 at 02:07 AM.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-17-2009, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by roro View Post
And by the way, a wild horse's stomach works EXACTLY the same way as a domestic horse's stomach FireFlies.
I wasn't saying that a wild horse's stomach worked any differently than a domestic horse's, just that they have evolved enough to get all they need from grazing.
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-17-2009, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FireFlies View Post
I wasn't saying that a wild horse's stomach worked any differently than a domestic horse's, just that they have evolved enough to get all they need from grazing.
Nobody "evolved" to get all they need for grazing. Horses were always that way, long before humankind even existed. They are not designed to be kept in stalls and trained all day, so they need vitamin supplements etc if the hay in the area is low quality. I have a horse that is worked twice a day 3 days a week and once a day the other times (with an off day) that is doing marvelously with just hay, water, digestive probiotics, and Northwest Supplement (vitamins that the NW hay is deficient in) and a salt block. No horse needs grain.
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-17-2009, 12:19 PM
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Roro is correct. Sometimes when I see questions about a horses weight, often people suggest giving more or different grain. But generally, it is not grain that puts weight on, its the hay

As for the abdominal strengthening exercises, I do those to my horse too. They were suggested to me by my equine chiropractor (Grady being off the track, he needs to get realigned sometimes). She did tell me however, only to do a couple on each side at a time. Lifting the abdominal muscles like that is hard for work a horse!

And finally, someone once told me that if a horse is a little ribby but with a heavy belly (similarly to your horse), that means they could have worms. Is that true? Could be a question for another thread, but I thought I'd ask!!

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
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