Okay, so I was out to the barn to visit my boy Joe today. He's really super furry, and I really can't tell if he's at a good weight. At first glance I thought he looked a little chubby, but I've heard that a winter coat can be very deceiving! I felt his sides and I could feel ribs just a little, and I don't know whether that's normal or not.
I know he's had issues keeping weight on him in the past, but in the two years I've had him, he's been doing fine. I think I just get myself worked up over little things like this, but I want to be sure!
I did have him on a smart choice pellets and joint supplements, but due to weather, school, and work, I have not been able to get out there every day to feed him, so I stopped (it was a very small amount of smart choice - less than one coffee can rim per day). He seems to be doing fine without the supplements, but I'm wondering if he shouldn't be back on the pellets. He's in the pasture 24/7 and is fed hay daily.
I took a couple pictures today, just for fun... I wish I had gotten better ones, but this might give you an idea of his weight. I do think he looks a bit chubbier in real life than in these photos though - they're kind of at an ackward angle.
He's a 20 y/o Appendix QH, by the way, but has more of a thoroughbred's conformation.
Here is a photo of him in early November for comparison (obviously before he got incredibly fluffy). :P
So, what do you think? I know it's very hard to tell, but does he look thinner? I would greatly appreciate any advice, even if someone can explain to me how I can check his weight myself (like is it okay to be able to feel ribs, and if so, how much?). Thanks!
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
i think he looks fine, if you cant feel his ribs he is good. He looks furry, but he also looks like a big barreled horse. I would just run my hand over his ribs and hit butt and make sure you cant feel his ribs and his hip bones arent higher than his butt fat (thats what i call it, but you know what i mean)
I could feel his ribs just a little bit... is a little okay or should I not be able to feel them at all? I will try to check the hip bone/butt fat tomorrow. :P
A little bit of ribs is okay, as long as you cant really count them, if you can feel the ripples thats perfect, but if its "bumpy" he is probably a little thin and a little more hay can cure that.
Haha did you like my technical terms.... believe it or not I was a horse show judge for 2 years.... all the technical terms don't impress me anymore lol
Here's a good site to check out:
The University of Maine - Cooperative Extension Publications - Bulletin #1010
I think he looks ok. If you can't feel his ribs, he's overweight. Since you can feel them a just a little, he's not underweight. His whithers look kind of thin but that could be normal for him.
lol thank you, thats what i was trying to say.
Lol thanks, and I wouldn't have been able to come up with better terminology either! The important thing is that I knew what you meant. :)
And yes, he just has high withers, and they're thin looking because he doesn't have much muscle right now. :P Thanks for the help!
Rhivia - With our hard keeper in the winter, we feed him low protein sweet feed and beet pulp(soaked). We can't feed him everyday but usually 4 times a week. He has gained some weight and is looking the best he ever has. He is on hay 24/7 also. We also had a horse with such a hay belly that looked like HE(not she) was pregnant with twins,lol. Since he started getting beet pulp, the belly went away and he also looks great. Just an option, instead of going back to your other feed.
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