Weight Check: Opinions?
I snapped a quick photo of my coming three year old mustang with my phone today. It's definitely not the most awesome photo (sorry), but I'd like to get some fresh eyes -- how does his weight look overall?
He is currently getting about 8 pounds of grass hay in the morning and evening, as well as whatever forage he can get from the 2 acre field he's turned out on during the day (it's pretty sparse). He also gets a ration balancer (Horse Guard), a handful of black oil sunflower seeds for a little extra coat shine, and a pound of Purina Strategy... though I'm thinking of scratching that and replacing it with a couple cups of alfalfa pellets. Opinions? Thanks!
PS >> If anything about his conformation strikes you (positive or less so) feel free to let me know!
You're right I'm afraid, pic isn't good enough, tho he's obviously not obese or wasting away!:wink: Doesn't look like he needs too many extras, so you could maybe just cut the Strategy(ornary anyway) & not replace it with anything high energy. Of course, assuming his diet is well balanced now, you may find that not quite right if you change. FeedXL.com is great for working that out.
What's with the way he's standing? Is that normal for him? His heels look quite high, broken forward pastern angles all round, which is one reason he might be a bit 'camped under'.
His neck looks a bit thick, but I would not say he's overweight. I prefer not to give my horses anything sugary, and I know alfalfa has a lot of sugar in it.
Mariss, Alfalfa does not have a lot of sugar in it, it's quite low actually, especially compared to 'improved' grass hay. But yes, agree with low sugar/starch, which is one reason i wouldn't feed Strategy.
Hmm, thanks for the info!
I have friends who's horses can't have alfalfa due to hoof issues, and I always assumed it was because of the sugar in it! Shoulda researched haha, I just did and it is alfalfa that is bad for horses with hoof issues but not because of sugar!
Um, not so far as I know. It's high energy - so should be fed carefully to 'easy keepers' if at all. Perhaps that's what you mean, as 'easy keepers' are typically more susceptible to laminitis. It is high protein, so that needs to be considered, because too much protein can cause complications. It's also high calcium & other nutrients, so should - as with other ingredients - be fed as *part* of a well balanced diet.
Thanks for the input!
Yes, the sugar/starch content in the Strategy is what I'm sort of leery about (considering cane molasses is about the fourth ingredient!). I can already tell that this guy is destined to be a very easy keeper, especially once he finishes growing and filling out. Maybe I'll let him have the extra sugar this winter, but transition to plain alfalfa pellets in the spring when the fresh grass is starting to come back in.
I'm not sure that this is actually the way that he stands all of the time, but I definitely agree that his hooves are not where I want them. Due to scheduling issues he's actually a bit overdue for his trim, but he'll be getting one on Tuesday. The farrier is working on lowering his heels, but doesn't want to do too much at once. Since he was an ungentled mustang prior to my getting him, he has only been receiving regular hoof care for a little over six months. He went about eight months between being on the range where his feet were being naturally worn and allowing his hooves to be handled, so they weren't pretty.
The farrier theorizes that the transition from scrounging on the range to the all-you-can-eat alfalfa buffet that the BLM feeds their corralled horses caused him to have a bit of a sudden and awkward growth spurt, leading to the high heels. I don't know if that actually makes any sense or not. Anyway, I'm trying to fix his feet. >_< They're getting better -- at least now his frogs are actually in contact with the ground, as opposed to the hoof wall being so high that they were sort of suspended.
Once he gets trimmed this Tuesday, I'll get a better quality photo and repost here. I'd like to know if you think it looks any better. I may also take some more detailed photos of his feet and make a new thread in the hoof care section.
I would definitely switch him to alfalfa pellets. They are higher in protein than Strategy so will help build muscle, and it is higher in fiber. If you're worried about him staying warm this winter, rather than giving him sugar, he should get extra forage. Lots of forage in his diet will help him keep the weight on and keep him warm during the winter.
Well, the craziness of Thanksgiving delayed me getting a photo up... but he got trimmed last week. Here's a new (somewhat better quality) photo as of last night.
Oh, and just 'cause he's so darn cute:
Wow, he looks like he's put on weight in between the 2 pics! The first makes him look a good weight & the last a tad on the heavy side. Has he grown a thicker coat in that time or anything, or just the quality of pic that's changed? But he's looking fine & I don't think you have any worry about weight - except maybe keeping more off him after winter. BTW forgot to comment on the sunflower seeds for coat - yes, any oil/oilseed will help this, but as horses generally get well enough omega6 & too little omega3, I'd be feeding flax/linseed instead of sunflower.
Of course, may be just the pic again, but I'd put some consideration into the way he stands - maybe worth a bodyworker checking him - and that he appears to have a bit high heels & 'broken forward' pastern angles all round.
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