Weight Loss with Exercise Tips - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-02-2011, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,292
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Weight Loss with Exercise Tips

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!

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-02-2011, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
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Longeing is pretty good, but you may also want to look into ground driving, which will allow you more variety as opposed to constantly going in one uniform circle. Long walks together are always nice if you are able. If there are any trails or large fields around, taking her out on a daily walk for 30-45 minutes will be more of a low-stress manner of getting her moving. You don't even have to go very fast, just don't let her snack along the way and make sure she's being respectful of you. Go up and down the biggest hills you can find... those do wonders.

On the topic of hills, if there's anywhere that you have a smooth fairly gentle slope, you could longe/ground drive her on the slope... which would require more muscle power, encourage balance, and burn those calories.

Finally, you might be able to do a partial lease with someone you can trust and have them take her out on a few rides and work her some. Horse-loving college students like me are good, because we grew up riding but don't have the money to keep or lease our own horse and are willing to ride just about any horse someone needs a little help working with. ^_^ I know I've been helping re-condition a few horses and put more mileage on some of the greenies.

Last edited by Eolith; 01-02-2011 at 09:23 AM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-06-2011, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,292
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Thanks for your reply and sorry I haven't commented since.
I will definitely look into ground driving, just need to get another lunge lead (only got the one haha).
Thankfully, it was all a worry for nothing, just went out and rode her and trotted her for the first time since my accident and so I'm sure we'll be good to sort this out through riding now.
Sorry, but thanks for the tips, will definitely see if I can take her out into the back where the hilly areas are :)

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
ohmyitschelle is offline  

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