Large and Incharge
Well it has been several years since I have owned a horse and I am a very casual rider nothing fancy, My guys were always healthy fit and ready to go. So I feel I am a bit green and never had to deal with weight issues (well with horses ......myself always an issue :lol:)
I have aquired a wonderful Qh 12 y/o mare. She is perfect she is broke to ride very easy keeper, very forgiving and just super nice. 15 to 15.1 hands
One problem 300 plus lbs over weight easy. She has been well taken care of but exercise is what left her life and started her climb. She is not on grain/feed or hay she is pasture. And has not been for a while or very limited!.
So in reading on diet to decrease or move to a lower calorie hay and feed i understand that. But she has not been on those for almost a year and is still very fat.
Now I have a bare paddock I can keep her off grass, but I am pretty sure it is gonna be exercise that is the number one way to remove her weight. I dont want to stress her or hurt her. Would short calm walks/rides through the fields be ok? Should I just lead her or ride her. Cant run her big girls heart would not make it or mine!
When do I know to kick it up a notch? as with my work out I know because it is my body.
Also with her diet already so limited and her still being so large still how much more can you cut out? and what suppliments do you recommend in order to make up for the food she will or is lacking?
if shes just on hay check out smartpak they have supplements for horses on no grain diets. I think purena has one as well. Just go to some horsey sites and check out their supplement lists. Mineral blocks or free choice loose minerals are good to have.
12 years old isn't so old--I would definitely mount up and take her on some loooooong walks with a little bit of trotting and transitions....take ten steps at a trot and then get her to dead stop. If you can start building up her muscle, that will burn off more of the fat than just lazy walks around the yard will.
Ride her every day untill sweat drips off her nose and you will see the wieght melt off her. Don't be afraid to ride her hard it won't hurt her. Horses are very resilient and tough. Ride her like a rented mule and don't look back.
Thanks for the replys, She is coming home today and I am excited and my nervs are a little up there to. It just has been a long time. I am starting lessons again to find myself and be comfortable. I am comfortable enough to still exercise her. i am getting some sups today. Yes her grain is I think zero and her hay is minimal to none at this point. But being in a barren paddock now I will give her some low Alfalfa hay. We harvest our own so that is always available. And we have some that is blah quality so I will give her that. I would like to keep a photo diary of her and see how it goes. Iam sure I will have a gazzillion questions so I will aplogize for that now. But I would like to get her somewhat fit by late spring and that will give me time to get plenty of lessons on me. We have the most amazing trails around here. I am surrounded by great horsey people in my life. And this forum seems very nice too. So I feel confident that I can do this.
Is there anyway to feed her grass hay? That's probably your best bet with an overweight horse. Also when your not riding her butt off, try spreading her hay in little piles all over the paddock. That way she has to walk around and "graze" instead of just sitting in one place chowing. Of course, this isn't the best idea if you have really sandy soil unless you put some type of mat down. This helped my mare lose some weight when I couldn't ride her. Seemed to keep her more "interested" too when I was feeding her less, since she had to search for her food.
Swim???? keeps the pressure off her legs- we have a QH around 9 with the same issue- he gets ridden out heaps as he's my sister comp horse- and only pasture fed but he is ridiculously overweight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we swim alot in summer because when the horses get too large we find their feet don't hold up to the pressures of a hard ride. and just lock her up of a night time- let her out thu the day and give her a little bit of hay.
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