Lazy horse problems?

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Lazy horse problems?

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    02-07-2013, 10:12 AM
Lazy horse problems?

So my mare used to be really hyper and would bolt and pick up her trot and canter right away with no problem.
We then changed barns and they put her on a no sugar diet, which I thought would just stop her from bolting and having way too much energy.
We then changed barns again and they also put her on a no sugar diet and she's gotten worse to the point where she just lazily walks around, throws fits when I ask her to speed up her trot, and wont even pick up a canter unless its for a short while and slow.
Problem is, this horse is a jumper and a western gaming horse so we can't have her being lazy.
I would like to change her feed to something else but not sure what?
Right now she's on Essential KŪ Horse Supplement | Tribute Equine Nutrition
The owner of the barn has many different types of feeds other than this and we work with her to come up with our own diet, I really just want to change her feed to help her gain her energy back.
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    02-07-2013, 10:18 AM
Is she overall lethargic, or just unwilling under saddle? If it's just while you're riding her I'd say there's something hurting her, not that she's suddenly become lazy.

No horse needs excess sugar. If you have to give it to them to ramp them up, you're changing their essential nature and temperament artificially. It's not good for anyone, horses included, to be on a sugar high.
    02-07-2013, 10:20 AM
Shes basically lazy overall, and has had a full check and nothing is hurting her.
    02-08-2013, 09:10 PM
That is a good feed with 14% NSC (low sugar/starch) and high protein. I assume your horse is not overweight or underweight? If she is underweight, then lack of energy would be from lack of calories, not lack of sugar. If she is overweight, that makes a horse have low energy too.

It is unhealthy for horses to have high NSC levels in their feed. So that is not the answer to your problem. I have some very high energy horses that had no change in their energy level when I switched them to low NSC diets. Sugar does not give horses long-term energy. That comes from calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Since she was a high energy horse in the past, I would assume something is bothering her. It may be your saddle fit, bitting and/or mouth issues, sore back or sore feet. She may have bonded to horses she is turned out with and is displaying unwillingness to work because of separation anxiety.

There are so many reasons this horse may have become unwilling to work. You need to be a detective in order to figure it out. Are you drilling her too much and making her bored? Are you rewarding her appropriately and giving her time to rest? Are you over training her so her muscles are sore? Does she have a new farrier and her feet are sore? Is your riding balanced and kind?

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