Meet Honey. She's a 7yr old New Zealand Standardbred mare who is an incredibly good doer. As you can tell by this pic above taken yesterday, she's had a great spring/start of summer and could do with losing A LOT of weight. I'll try not to go into huge detail, I am aware this is my fault for poor management, but it's been a tough few months and we're just meeting the end of the tunnel now financially now that I've sold my gelding, and can get back onto keeping the electric unit going so I can pen her up again. Being injured is also a hold back, but I try not to use it as an excuse.
My situation is slightly different from the rest, I'd love to help her lose pounds by the good old fashioned way of riding it off, although with the saddle not really sitting as well as I'd like on her right now, that may be still not achievable if this were a normal situation. I shattered my leg in 09 and was immobile for 8mths... and have not yet been able to master spending enough time up in the saddle to start trotting or working her yet. I'd love to, but further complications with my leg has arisen etc and I just can't seem to spend enough time up in the saddle lately. Now I feel strong enough to try again, and she's sadly too big to carry us both comfortably. The main idea is that Honey doesn't have an athletic, consistent rider at the moment to help her lose the extra weight she's carrying, since I need to lose weight too and can only walk her.
I would like to put together a plan to help work towards weight loss for her to be at a weight that she can balance well, and I can get up on her and not feel like I'm doing the splits as I discovered earlier this week. Although lunging in some horse peoples' opinion is something frowned upon being done too often, my instructor has recommended lunging 3 times a week to help her get back into a fitness regime and lose some of her belly. I'm happy to do this, but wonder how long would be long enough to make a point? I usually work with my horses on the lunge for no more than 20-25mins each session, and always make a point of making the circles as large as I can so it doesn't have a huge impact on their joints/shoulders. I also change it up and when they are fit enough to, throw in small jumps to keep them interested, otherwise I have ground poles to navigate too.
Is there anything else I can do from the ground? At the moment due to the electric unit being off, penning her has been fruitless as I pasture board her at a DIY facility and she is a houdini with tape fencing or will simply snap it when her eyes get the better of her. She respects the fence when it "bites", so it won't be an issue for much longer. She is not fed anything more than a bit of hay to keep her going, and the paddock she and my gelding are currently in as you can see in the picture, holds little grass after them eating it down. We had a killer of a spring and it seems just inhaling the smell made them both gain weight.
I'm hoping that by the time she's lost enough kgs, my leg will be strong from my own gym work out and I'll finally be able to trot her, but I'm not too sure what more I can do apart from careful management from here out with what she eats, and lunging.
I hope I've put this in the correct section! Please no ill comments, I am aware this is my own poor management, but am trying to rectify this problem.
Thanks in advance for reading!