Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
Bring a fat horse back into condition
Looking for suggestions on how to bring our obviously overweight QH/draft back into condition.
We got Duke, QHx gelding, 15-15.2hh, back in Jun 2019. He was used at a riding school in lesson 4-5 times per week. Mostly walk/trot and also some jumping (up to 1.5'). This is how he looked then and now.
My dilemma is that Duke needs to lose weight, while Montana, the paint, needs to gain a bunch (he's 26yo and has lost a ton of weight since he lost his long term buddy back in feb 2019). They're at my parents place, who are looking after them for the most part, since our time is very limited as we have a toddler and a 7m old. So I can't ask them to feed them separately, as they already do a ton of work.
The horses have free choice good quality, medium nutrition hay, access to fresh water and mineral lick at all times. Treats include carrots/apples. We give a senior ration with other weight gain stuff for the other guy, and Duke usually a carrot or a handful of oats just so he doesn't feel left out.
While I can't really do much about feed reduction, winter is here and that should help with burning some calories. But what I'm looking for is an exercise program that would gradually lose some of that flubber. He's getting a crest and clear fat deposits over the shoulders and rump.
With the days being short/cold/and not always riding friendly (no arena) its been tricky. I've been able to get 2-3 rides per week, which is exhausting for me, as I don't have a ton of free time or energy. But Ive been making it a chore so it gets done. Am I kidding myself that with a few hours a week at a walk/trot he'll actually lose some weight? I have the option of having someone come and ride him prob once a week, but I still need to be present for that, for safety reasons.
What body score would you give him? He is tipping the scale at 1400lb (approx via weight tape).
Thanks in advance for all the input.