Fat, Deconditioned, or something else? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Fat, Deconditioned, or something else?

Okay, I need opinions.

Ive been taking care of this horse because she had a bad sunburn and was overall not getting the TLC she needs. She is 7 years old.

Everybody at the ranch tells me her big belly is because she is ďfat,Ē but I just donít think thats right. You can feel each of her vertebrae, and her ribs. She has no extra fat on her neck or anywhere else.

I think itís bloat, or worms, or...something.

But maybe Iím wrong.

When you look at these pictures, do you see a horse that is fat?

Or is she deconditioned? Or something else entirely?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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Last edited by loosie; 08-03-2020 at 06:43 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Let me see if i can get pictures to load right...
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Last edited by QtrBel; 08-04-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 06:47 PM
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She does look 'well covered' to me, but nicely, not obese. Wonder if she's had foals, which could account for belly shape. But otherwise, yeah, my guess would be she's very wormy. Oh, turned your pic for you BTW
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
She does look 'well covered' to me, but nicely, not obese. Wonder if she's had foals, which could account for belly shape. But otherwise, yeah, my guess would be she's very wormy. Oh, turned your pic for you BTW
Thanks for fixing that! I don't know why my pictures load sideways so often. Especially since they don't ALWAYS load sideways.

I'm pretty sure she as never had foals, but I will double check with the ranch owner. maybe she looks saggier than she is because her top line is so weak/ :/
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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now that I look at it, she has no dip at her flank. so many she is kind of chubby.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-03-2020, 07:19 PM
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I don't see a horse who is thin.
The horse has coverage of the "markers" and the spine is well covered..
The neck doesn't look thin to me either but the angle pictures were taken from is not complimentary to the horse either.

I wonder if it is worms, poor forage {grass/hay} offered for eating, lack of being made to do much of anything as the horse has not much muscle tone to show, and or if she was a brood mare at a younger age than she should of and that combined with other environmental events has her looking as such.
Some exercise introduced she begin to do, wormed as is required, possibly getting some protein and good vitamin/minerals in her she may need...
Your pictures do this horse no justice either...they make her look terrible when in actuality she is not thin, not ribby, has a nice coat and beautiful markings.
I would make sure her hooves are current with a farrier {no, they don't look neglected} so when you start asking her to start to move around in some exercise she is comfortable.
Work slowly adding a few minutes each day to her regime and see if you start to see a difference in her appearance...start by going for a walk with her. Build on that....
If she has not been seen by a vet for a wellness visit it might be something to consider to make sure she is up to working to improve her appearance..
She also though to me appears long backed so a sagging tummy is not just because of poor top-line but poor abdominal muscles..she is just out of shape like she's been a couch-potato for a long time not needing to move much to eat her fill of food.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-04-2020, 12:09 AM
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I don't see a fat horse, not at all. In fact, she so lacks muscling, she comes of as a much older horse than a 7 year old.

She could have a load of worms, or is getting really poor quality hay, or is pregnant. But, she is NOT fat.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-04-2020, 12:52 AM
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I think she is mostly under muscled and slightly underweight. I wrote the top 3 things I'd look into about the belly in your other post so won't repeat and I never even considered pregnant but that definitely can cause a belly too. LOL
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-04-2020, 10:05 AM
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Under muscled. Lacking top line. Belly could be just her shape or the three mentioned - lack of quality protein/forage, worms, sand and now four - yes if there is a stallion she was exposed to then pregnancy is a possibility.

She doesn't look as bad as I was expecting. There is a difference between big belly and fat covering.

Not seeing pink skin at the withers and that could well be lighting and the way photo was taken. Pink skin comes with white patterns - like her face. You can see where the white should be by the pink skin that is so obvious. If she has dark skin then not burn and you'd want to know why appears burned. It could well be the white fur is stained as that would not be uncommon and then pink skin under but in that case her fur is not gold but white that is stained and also throwing off what can be seen as skin color. Pink skin is an absence of color and goes with the white fur (absence of color again). There are no coloration patterns that allow for gold and another body color except white unless a chimera or somatic mutation but those markings would have dark skin if the coat has color. I expect it is stained coat. I bet with a good bath that removed the stains she'd be striking.

I also turned your second photo so it is upright.

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-10-2020, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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@horseloving guy

Sorry the pictures are bad. Iíd tried to get a shot of her sunburn, but you canít see it at all in the pics. (The picture was for myself, so I could make sure the sunburn was shrinking in size. But as I said, you canít see it in the picture because itís all crusted over. And maybe covered in sunblock.)

Anyway, her sunburn is all gone now, but I canít tell if Iím making any progress on the belly.

I wormed her twice, but unfortunately I was WAY OFF on her weight, so Iím not sure I got the full effect.

At first I thought she weighed 5-600 lbs. Then people told me she weighed at least 7-800, so I gave her ivermectin for a 750 lb horse.

But then I measured her, and based on body length and girth, she may weigh as much as 900 lbs. (Iíd assumed she weighed less because she is only 13 hands. But I guess I forgot that horses donít carry any weight in their legs. >.<)

What I have realized is that she has a super long body for her height. As in, her body is as long as my other horseóand he is at least a hand taller!) So I think the sagging has something to do with the long torso combined with being deconditioned. Everyone I talk to at the ranch claims she has always looked like this. So...maybe thatís just her shape?)

Iíve been working her in the round pen, though lately she has become VERY naughty in there, so Iím going to switch to mostly riding at a walk until I can get someone to tutor me. Iím just starting to work with her on longing. Sheís fairly green.

As for her ageóeveryone agrees that she has been 7 years old for least 5 years, and that she is really more like 12 or 13.

Againóthanks for all the help!
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