Young gelding, huge belly!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Young gelding, huge belly!!

I recently bought a one year old gelding quarter horse. The lady who owned him informed me that if I didn't feed him or water him for a few days he would readily come up to me and therefor "like" me when I did bring him food.
DO NOT FEAR!!! That did not happen. I have worked on a breeding farm for 3 years, and I would never starve a horse to get their approval. The poor little guy has a dreadful coat, ribs sticking out, and a giant belly.... he looks like our 3-4 month pregnant mares. It is slowly getting smaller, I think, and I have been giving him free choice alfalfa hay, free choice water and 1 quart of sprouted oats split into 3 feedings per day with his vitamins, MSM and DE. My question is, should I start limiting the amount of hay he gets per day?
He was in quarantine, but has now fulfilled the time for it and is getting turned out most of the day to graze on pasture (which is mostly clover, dandelions, tall grass and other assorted weeds). It just worries me with how big his belly is, if I should start giving him a more appropriate amount of hay, since he devours it all day long. I know they should be nibbling and not taking huge mouthfuls, but our feeders don't allow slow eating. Any suggestions?? Or will putting him out in the pasture slowly reduce his belly?
Thank you for taking the time to help us newbies out!! I have worked with horses for quite a while, but boy is owning one totally different!!
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lacelynn View Post
I recently bought a one year old gelding quarter horse. The lady who owned him informed me that if I didn't feed him or water him for a few days he would readily come up to me and therefor "like" me when I did bring him food.
DO NOT FEAR!!! That did not happen. I have worked on a breeding farm for 3 years, and I would never starve a horse to get their approval. The poor little guy has a dreadful coat, ribs sticking out, and a giant belly.... he looks like our 3-4 month pregnant mares. It is slowly getting smaller, I think, and I have been giving him free choice alfalfa hay, free choice water and 1 quart of sprouted oats split into 3 feedings per day with his vitamins, MSM and DE. My question is, should I start limiting the amount of hay he gets per day?
He was in quarantine, but has now fulfilled the time for it and is getting turned out most of the day to graze on pasture (which is mostly clover, dandelions, tall grass and other assorted weeds). It just worries me with how big his belly is, if I should start giving him a more appropriate amount of hay, since he devours it all day long. I know they should be nibbling and not taking huge mouthfuls, but our feeders don't allow slow eating. Any suggestions?? Or will putting him out in the pasture slowly reduce his belly?
Thank you for taking the time to help us newbies out!! I have worked with horses for quite a while, but boy is owning one totally different!!
don't limit his hay if he is still boney.

As for the gut....my stunted little rescue had a huge gut. Worms....lots of worms. For my guy, its taken three dewormings to get his gut to come down!
But I think (?) sand in the tummy can contribute.

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post #3 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I am giving him diatomaceous earth with his other supplements daily to help with worms. I haven't had a fecal count done but I am sure that is part of the problem!
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 05:55 PM
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I am giving him diatomaceous earth with his other supplements daily to help with worms. I haven't had a fecal count done but I am sure that is part of the problem!
Get a fecal done and ask a vet for instruction from there. You're going to have to go a BIT harder than DE.

My first horse was a weanling who had never been dewormed. She had minor colic the first TWO times she was dewormed.

The last rescue was a stunted stud colt with the HUGE gut. His "breeder" hadnt dewormed in 6 months and had ONLY ever dewormed using Ivermectin. With him I took it slow so HE wouldnt colic too. Without a good deworming, the horse isnt going to be getting the full benefit of all that feed you're putting in there.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 05:58 PM
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If you haven't dewormed already I would, I may talk to a vet first about his condition and what wormer is best this time a year before just giving him something, but I would suspect worms. I feel so bad for horses who's owner thinks withholding food is okay. I was training this one horse, owner had 3, and he was a pretty rank gelding. Gelded at 3 after a halter show career in which he was allowed to do whatever he wanted, and he was a BIG 16+ solid Paint. I came out one day and worked him, and after I was done, the owner proceeded to tell me how big of a pain he was the day before, so she didn't feed him his dinner as "punishment". Made me so livid, because it did nothing but cause other issues with the poor guy. He was already only being fed pellets, and grain, with no hay or anything to keep him busy during the day. Some people really need to not have animals or kids. I wouldn't cut back his hay, he needs hay, but I would look at deworming, and possibly getting a vet check done just to make sure that there isn't anything else going on. I hope that he starts looking better soon. And of course we all want to see pictures of your new guy! Hope that he starts looking better soon.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 06:10 PM
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big belly

After deworming and proper feeding, if belly is still big, horse may have "well sprung ribs". The rib cage is genetically big allowing for lots of room for digesting food. I have old style Arabian with well sprung ribs. Arabians valued the conformation for ability to cross vast deserts without needing to eat. More recent breeding created refined Arabian that lost the well sprung ribs. Quarter horses are many different styles and shapes. With saddle on horse the big belly is not so noticeable.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 06:11 PM
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Photos would be helpful!
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 06:37 PM
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I also agree with worming him. If the previous owner would with hold food to make him "friendly", I dought he had any medical care. JMO, but I would give free choice grass hay instead of alalfa
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few pictures. It's hard to get a good one that really shows how round his belly is. I'm sure you guys are right with the worming. I'll take a fecal sample to our vet and have her check it out. Does DE not kill all parasites?? I really want to stay away from chemical dewormers if at all possible. I also agree she probably did not deworm him, she said she did, but from his condition and her saying he was a spook (which he is a total love bug, I have no clue where she got spook from) I would guess she didn't.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 07:15 PM
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What a cutie! DE definitely does not kill all parasites- get him checked and dewormed appropriately and go from there. I wouldn't really cut down on feed, but to me (from the pictures) he really doesn't have that big of a belly for a youngster, nor to be in too bad of condition, though certainly depriving a horse of food is NOT okay. I know pictures can look better than reality though.
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