Stupid Vet can't give me a straight answer...can you?
Ok....I have zero confidence in our vet and am shopping for a new one.
During vaccinations, I asked about our horses' weight. She said our draft was fat. two weeks later when she came back for the second round of vaccines(Epona gets sick so we have to split the vaccines into two visits), I ask her questions about possible IR testing, how much overweight she was, and brought up that some people have told me some drafts have cresty necks even when they aren't fat. She then tells me Epona isn't fat. HUH? IS SHE FAT OR ISN"T SHE??? Her evaluation of Beau is that he is at the optimal weight.
To top that off my evil ex BO found videos of my horses on youtube and said Beau is fat and Epona is soooo overweight she's about to founder.
AAAANNNNNDDD...our beloved farrier steps in and says that Beau looks great and is at a great weight, and that Epona looks EXACTLY what you would expect a stocky draft to look like....
SO....what do you all think.....
Here is Epona, a 10 yr. old Belgian draft.:
Again, vet says she's fat one week, normal two weeks later. Evil ex BO says she's about to founder she's so fat. Farrier says she is a normal stocky draft and has ZERO chance of foundering due to weight. What do YOU think?
Here's Beau, a six yr. old OTTB:
the vercdict on Beau from vet and farrier is that he is at a perfect weight......but then WHY do people keep mistaking him for an Appendix???!!! The ex BO says beau is way too overweight for an OTTB.
Due to weight concerns, both horses only get 8 hrs of grazing per day, the rest of the time on dry lot. Which is sad cause there are 23 acres of green grass at our disposal.... Beau only gets 2.5 lbs of strategy due to him only being in light work, and Epona gets NOOOOO grain.
I think you worry too much about what people say. I also dont think there are many stupid people with doctorates.
U r right about the doctorates....however, our vet is a large animal vet, specializing in...alpacas...:?....I should have specified "stupid about horses"....or maybe it's just draft horses.... because I haven't gotten a straight answer from her.
and it shouldn't be a difficult question for a vet to answer...should it?
Your Vet has never seen an obese horse. I've seen two, at the same time, brought to one CW Event (never brought to another--not sure why, maybe they weren't given a chance to get used to gunfire), and the owners were a pair of really skinny girls who usually portrayed dismounted cavalry. Their horses looked like really fat dogs, routund, but didn't look pregnant, BIG rolls off of the spine and...jiggly. Your Vet sounds distracted. MY Vet doesn't mention problems without giving a solution. BTW, it's not bad to monitor when and what they graze. During periods of lots of rain, the grass produces high sugar when it's growing quickly--most often in the early/mid spring. At that time I keep my horses off of my richest pasture and they get to graze a lot of dandelions, clover and other short weeds in the other pastures. This can produce "grass founder." My Vet often gives me the # of grass founders she's had to deal with, when she comes out to do spring shots, etc.
Can I have Beau please?
Beau looks to me to be at a good weight, I wouldn't worry about him at all.
Epona, maybe a touch on the heavy side, wouldn't hurt to drop a few pounds, but I don't think she is in any danger of foundering any time soon.
I see where the OP is coming from, and I understand why she's frustrated. When you're paying someone to assess the health of your horse and they tell you their body condition is not up-to-par, then come back two weeks later and say it is, I'd see cause for concern.
I can't see the photos since I'm at work, but I'll look when I get home. In the meantime OP, I'd just get as many opinions as possible. Does your horse have any respiratory issues?
I personally think they are both on the chunkier side of normal. Not in a bad way. But in a healthy, they don't worry about where their next meal comes from, way.
I think what throws people off on the grey OTTB, is because most people have issues keeping weight on their OTTB.
I don't see how being an OTTB has anything to do with it :/ there is a big difference between a freshly-off-the-track racing lean TB and an OTTB who has been off of the track for a white. IMO he looks great; and I'm rather jealouse! We're having quite a time with our own OTTB and his weight.
Epona appears to be slightly overweight to me, but not terribly. She's just a darned big girl!
I think the TB is a perfect show/pleasure weight. Not race fit or event fit, but otherwise lovely. I think your draft is mildly overweight but not foundering fat.
On the subject of whether or not a horse is close to foundering, I would give the farrier's opinion, especially if he has done their feet recently, a lot of credence.
Certainly you should ignore your ex-BO.
As far as your vet's opinion, did she just glance at the horses, or did she actually do an exam, and go over them completely and give them a body score? First one doesn't count. Second one does.
Thanks, everyone...for understanding my health concerns. Equilove said it best, and I look forward to your assessment. The Belgian is our greatest concern. We've been battling her weight issues ever since we bought her....but now that we've moved the horses to a private farm of non horsey people...up in the mountains, with 23 acres of pasture and no BO to tell us what to do and when....we find ourselves a bit short on our self confidence in pasture management and weight management. Before we always had the BO to tell us what to do, and the horses were on dry lot 24/7 there due to space issues. So grazing was never a concern....cause they didn't get any grass time.
We are just trying to keep from killing our horses with ignorance....because we've always boarded before and all the turnout/feed/pasture management issues were left up to someone with more horse experience than us.....
We feel so alone....and that is why we felt SO let down by our vet. If you cant turn to your vet for advice and guidance, then what the heck are they good for????
Our only calm in the storm of self doubt has been our farrier. He's been our farrier since we got both horses two years ago...so he's familiar with them....
Thank you to everyone who replied. It helps to get advice and opinions from others....
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