Lame pony needs to lose weight
My horse is going on stall rest on the 13th for a while, he's a 5 y/o mustang, 14.0hh (almost 14.1hh) and a very easy keeper. He's stocky and weighs around 800lbs. He's currently getting 20lbs of alfalfa per day and is out to pasture (so that's about another 5-10lbs of grass per day). He is a bit over weight right now, you can't feel his ribs even if you press and I'm concerned because of his leg, I can't put him on a work out routine.
What are your suggestions as far as feeding him goes? Like I said he's getting anywhere from 25-30lbs per day right now.
I forgot to add, I know 30lbs seems like a lot for a 14-14.1hh horse, but in the past he was underweight and I just didn't realize how over weight he was until I recently did a body score check with him.
I know I should lower the amount of food he consumes, but can I do that without colic?
Firstly, why is your horse 'going on stall rest'? What is his 'lameness' that you mention in the subject?
Yes, 20lb(or is it 30?) is a LOT of alfalfa, esp for an overweight horse. Alfalfa is a high energy feed that should be fed carefully to 'easy keepers'. Also feeding straight alfalfa, being so high in calcium & protein, among other nutrients, is likely to leave him with some serious imbalances.
A horse should have at least around 2% of it's bodyweight in forage daily, even if it needs to lose weight, so assuming 800lb is his ideal weight & you're feeding 20lb, that's probably about right, but most or all of it should be grass hay or lower energy feed if he doesn't need to gain.
Sounds like you maybe don't know much about equine feeding/digestion if you're worried about colic for that reason. I suggest you do some research & I'd also consider consulting a nutritionist regarding appropriate supplementation.
Horses are designed to eat tiny amounts, near constantly of low grade roughage. So long as you're feeding free choice or little & often, so his stomach's never empty, so long as he's getting at least 1.5-2%bwt of roughage, he's not getting high starch rations & you change/add feed gradually, colic shouldnt be a prob.
I do know enough about feeding to keep my horses healthy, some stressful things happened lately and I lost track and have since caught myself. I was also already considering a grass hay just needed someone to back-up the idea.
That's good to know colic wouldn't be a problem. I've never had a horse colic before and I would like to keep it that way. His normal weight is around 750, he looks amazing when he was nothing but muscle. I'll just supply him with a good grass hay once we get him over to the new place.
Unfortunately free feeding won't be an option until September, with moving and everything I won't have the extra cash for a proper feeder to do this with. I'll just feed him on our regular schedule and make sure we make the switch to grass hay.
Thanks for your input
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