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Hayley411 08-11-2011 02:14 AM

One flake every other day??
Soo I am currently leasing an 11 year old overo paint mare. She is a bit overweight as she sat for about a year. The owner was feeding her one flake of compressed timothy every other day and she said to continue this. We have so far but is this okay? She throws a fit whenever the other horse gets fed. Other horse on the property is Rosie an 18 year old TB mare that is hard to keep weight on so is fed 4 flakes of hay a day along with beet pulp and senior horse feed. So thats alot of food that Angel (paint) has to see go by.

Anyways is one flake every other day bad? I feel like it's not enough. But Angel is a chunky monkey....Any advice?
Here is a picture of her:

usandpets 08-11-2011 04:24 AM

She looks like she has good weight. Is she let out to pasture? I can't see her keeping her weight with just a flake every other day and no other hay or pasture. As long as she stays healthy looking, I wouldn't be too concerned.
You could give her half of a flake each day instead of one every other day.
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equiniphile 08-11-2011 09:34 AM

I have NEVER heard of only feeding a horse every other day if there isn't quality pasture to supplement it. Horses are meant to be grazing animals, and on a strictly hay diet, need fed at LEAST 1-2 times a day. If you're worried about her gaining weight, look for a Timothy/alfalfa mix or straight Timothy instead of strictly alfalfa.

MIEventer 08-11-2011 12:20 PM

1 flake of hay, every other day is unacceptable to me. Horses are grazers, that is how they are designed and their digestive systems REQUIRE consistant roughage cycling through.

I would have your vet come out and assess the horse and give you advice about what to do, I definately would not be comfortable giving such little roughage to a horse, who is designed to have continuous access.

You're asking for health issues, stress, colic, ulcers, and the list goes on.

Definately have a Vet come out and assess the situation.

~*~anebel~*~ 08-11-2011 12:34 PM

My horse is currently on grass all day and gets about 3 lbs of hay at night, and his supplements.
If this is a similar situation (where the horse is grazing all day - as the picture suggests) then maybe split up the one flake every two days into half a flake every day or 1/4 of a flake twice a day.

Also remember that this its not the OPs horse so she is also bound by the owners wishes and instructions, if they are humane.

Good luck!
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Hoofprints in the Sand 08-11-2011 01:01 PM

As the others have said, I really hope she's on pasture the majority of the time and that 1 flake is to SUPPLEMENT her. Horses should always be continuously grazing or you'll going to run into all kinds of problems like ulcers and colic just to name a couple of the main ones that come to mind!

Back at my old barn that had grass pastures, my mare got 2 large flakes in the morning, then out to pasture all day, then 2 more large flakes when she came in at night (they were more like 4 and 4 flakes since they were so large). And she is an easy keeper and still didn't get a hay belly from that. Granted, she's also an Eventer who's being ridden for at least an hour 4 times a week but still!

Hayley411 08-11-2011 04:12 PM

She is on grass. Though not a huge area and it is getting eaten down. It was up to her belly when she first moved over so wasn't too concerned with the small amount of hay. But now that there isnt too much grass left I'm wondering. So would 1 flake per day be better at this point? She is not worked hard. Mostly trail riding about 1-2 times a week for about an hour. Or giving pony rides to my 4 year old niece. Oh and she is currently on local orchard grass hay.

I'm thinking about getting/making a slow feeder for the hay. That way she has hay available at all times but cannot eat a whole lot of it. What do you think?

Jamzimm101987 08-11-2011 06:57 PM

Feeding a horse one flake of hay every other day is extremely unfair; whether she is overweight or not. Horses are grazers and by limiting her food intake that much could stress her out and cause her develop ulcers or colic. Horses are designed to be eating much of their time. It's what they do.

If she's very overweight, I would recommend 2 flakes am/pm. Depending on their size, my horses typically get 3-4 flakes am/pm. Fixing an overweight horse is easy; increase her exercise. Is she even getting any exercise at all? Ride her or if she's not broke, lunge her 3-4 times a week. Incorporate lots of transitions into lunging rather than just trotting her in a circle for 20 minutes. Walk/Trot/Walk, Walk/Trot/Canter, Canter/Trot, etc. Also change it up by adding ground poles and increase the difficulty level by lunging her on a low-medium inclined hill.

I'm sure with consistent effort you will see the weight drop and muscle increase! Good luck!!

waresbear 08-11-2011 08:11 PM

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If the pasture is eaten down now and she's only getting a flake of hay here & there, she will lose weight. I think the owners know what they are doing, you mentioned they have another horse on the same pasture that is getting major groceries because it's a hard keeper. So if they see this horse losing weight or deem the pasture unsustainable, I am sure they will up the hay feedings.

Beauseant 08-11-2011 09:43 PM

I do not think that horse is NEARLY fat enough to only get one flake every other day with the rest of the time spent on an overgrazed pasture!!!

Bizzare, IMO

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