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Equus_girl 10-21-2010 09:09 PM

Is she overweight?
3 Attachment(s)
This is Berdi. She is a 19 year old Quarter Horse and I just got her this spring. Before I got her she was very heavy - absolutely huge! She is a very, very easy keeper. I got her a grazing muzzle (much to her disgust) and that definitely helped. I took it off around the end of September as it was rubbing her and the grass was certainly not as lush.

She is just on pasture now. I try to ride her 4-6 times a week and we do lots of trotting and cantering. She loves to be ridden so that is a good thing. I'm wondering if she still is too fat though. We are heading into winter (and it gets cold here!) so I don't mind her being a little chubbier as long as it is not a health concern.

In a couple weeks she will start to be stalled at night and will be out in the day foraging for what she can find through the snow. Then at night I will give her hay and a pound of RB. I was given some sweet feed for her, but I will only use it as a treat as I don't want to make her fatter!!

Anyhow - here she is. What are your thoughts?

The first two pictures were taken in July and the last one was the first week of October.

Equus_girl 10-22-2010 09:09 AM

Bump! Any thoughts?

MaggiStar 10-22-2010 09:32 AM

I think she looks a decent weight to go into winter with she isnt skinny ideal but i prefer them chubbier for winter dont rug her and leave her out and she will loose weight

WalnutPixie 10-22-2010 09:37 AM

I'm not very experienced on this topic, but I do have a book about it!
There is a scale called the Henneke body condition scoring system; it rates a horse on their physical condition basically by the fat deposits. A horse can score 1-9 with one being poor and nine extremely fat; 5 or 6 is ideal for most horses. You can read a description of it here: Henneke Body Scoring - Habitat for Horses - Equine Protection Organization - Horse Rescue, Rehabilitation, Horse Education and Adoptions

The descriptions are too long to type out, but this page seems helpful: The Henneke System of Body Condition Scoring - Kentucky Horse Council
I think there is a pdf to help you rate your horse at the bottom but I do not have adobe reader in this computer so I can't tell for sure.

By looking at my book I'd say you horse is a seven or eight, but I think you have to touch the horse to really know. I hope this helps!

Cowgirl101 10-22-2010 09:38 AM

She very pretty. Do you ride her a lot? She looks fine just a bit out of shape.

Super Nova 10-22-2010 10:11 AM

I think she could stand to loose a little weight.....she actually looks like she weighs less in the July picture.........but it could just be the light/angle.

Super Nova

PaintHorseMares 10-22-2010 10:45 AM

The body scoring system mentioned above is a good gauge of condition...better than just looking at weight. In any case, owning stocky Paints, she just looks like a big barreled horse and looks very good to me.

Alicia 10-22-2010 11:23 AM

Hello fellow Albertan.
I think she's a little on the hefty side, but I also think it's a good thing going into winter. Do you feed her anything special in the winter or just a grass hay?

kmdstar 10-22-2010 11:32 AM

She looks a little heavy but since we're going into winter, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If she is heavy next year, I would have the vet out to check her out. She could have something up with her metabolism or thyroid, like insulin resistence or cushings diesease.

I don't like the idea of "leaving her out at night without a blanket" so she can shiver weight off - that is no way to fix the problem, if there is one. If it's a metabolic problem you can let her shiver as much as you want but she won't lose the weight! (not directed to the OP, directed to whoever made that comment)

MN Tigerstripes 10-22-2010 11:32 AM

Yay Walnut for posting the BCS! She still looks a little chubby, but the only real way to tell is to put your hands on her. Print out the BCS and go over each of her body points and compare them to the descriptions on the chart. That'll give you an idea of where she is.

She's a pretty girl :D Love her little BIG booty!

ETA - Addressing the "leaving her out" at night comments. I would leave her outside at night as long as she has adequate shelter, grows a good coat, and has enough forage to keep her happy. For her I would find a more mature, less nutritionally dense forage so she gets the warmth producing fiber but not a ton of calories. I wouldn't "starve" her (not saying anyone said that) but don't overfeed her either. The more she moves around the better.

I had a Cushings mare that was a total fatty, I did get her to lose some weight so she was at least somewhat healthy, but I never expected to get her down to ideal. She wasn't rideable so that was part of it, but I wasn't going to starve her in the winter just to keep her thinner. Restricting forage can cause a lot of problems, just like obesity can. My vets (several of them) recommendations were a lower quality forage, spread out so she had to search, and basically give her as much as she wanted. I put my hay in a bunch (10-20) piles all over the paddock. It worked to keep her fitter and warmer. Anyways, you get the point so I'll stop rambling. :lol:

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