Fat Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-29-2013, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fat Horse

So here's the thing, I've never really had health problems with my mare and I've had her ten years. She's always been on pasture and she's just gotten bigger recently. I'm not sure what to do.

She stays on pasture and gets ridden lightly but multiple times a week. I recently got a new horse and only have the time to work them about an hour to an hour and a half each. She's western or English and does anything she and I set our mind to. I also have gradually changed her over to a "Sweet Mix" grain. Someone told me it's relevant to grass and hay and won't make her gain really any extra weight. I lightened up her feed to a half a scoop whenever I can make it to the barn (college student over here).

What can I do to slim her down that doesn't involve everyday practices as I can't make it everyday? Or is it due to her age (18) that she's gaining weight? I'm scared to completely take her off grain because I fear she wouldn't want to come in that way. Any help?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 12:22 AM
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Hi,

For starters, ditch the sweets. Just like us, eating junk food regularly, particularly if already long term overweight, will contribute as well as potentially cause other health problems.

If the horse is getting too much from the pasture, restricting grazing, or investing in a grazing muzzle would be a good move.

Horses are likely to be deficient or imbalanced in many nutrients, depending on what kind of pasture they're on, so a good 'ration balancer' or supp is generally a good move. Using a quality, low dose, low calorie RB would be something appropriate & healthy you could give her as a treat. I also think it's important to develop your relationship so you don't have to bribe the horse into being caught.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 07:22 AM
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Switch her over to a forage based ration or a ration balancer.

Once upon a time I could eat all the ice cream, cake and cookies I wanted and never gain a pound. Can't do that now. Aging horse is likely little different.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 08:12 AM
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My horses get alfalfa cubes for a treat. I keep a hammer and old screwdriver to break them up into about 1" wafers. A handful is plenty. In her case, maybe a handful of Senior pellets.



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post #5 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 09:06 AM
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You need to limit here grazing id muzzle her for that she also doesnt need sweet feed or any kinda of grain.

Exercise and lots of it will slim her down you can ride one and pony the other horse,will give you more time to work both that way.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi,

For starters, ditch the sweets. Just like us, eating junk food regularly, particularly if already long term overweight, will contribute as well as potentially cause other health problems.

If the horse is getting too much from the pasture, restricting grazing, or investing in a grazing muzzle would be a good move.

Horses are likely to be deficient or imbalanced in many nutrients, depending on what kind of pasture they're on, so a good 'ration balancer' or supp is generally a good move. Using a quality, low dose, low calorie RB would be something appropriate & healthy you could give her as a treat. I also think it's important to develop your relationship so you don't have to bribe the horse into being caught.
I don't have to bribe her to be caught. I can catch her and bring her in without treats. I meant I don't want to bring her in and not feed her anything at all.

What kind of ration balancer do you recommend? I don't have much experience with ration balancers. Is it a feed? Do you add it to a feed? Any help with those are appreciated. Also, would a grazing muzzle fully restrict her from grazing? I can't make it to the barn everyday due to classes and clubs.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueNH View Post
Switch her over to a forage based ration or a ration balancer.

Once upon a time I could eat all the ice cream, cake and cookies I wanted and never gain a pound. Can't do that now. Aging horse is likely little different.
That's funny yet so true. So when you say a forage based diet or a ration balancer, what are you saying to feed? Just hay? She's already on 100 acres of pasture but some grass is dead and there's multiple horses sharing the paddock. I can't move her to a smaller paddock either.. Wahh. Let me know.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 10:28 AM
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I'm with everybody else. Ration Balancer( Purina Enrich 32, Nutrena Empower Balance, Triple Crown 30% supplement for example), fed at around a lb per day, would give her what she might lack in nutrients, without unnecessary calories, starches and sugars and still would make both of you feel good.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 11:04 AM
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Horse Nutrition Explained

start reading. Really the best way. Different things work for different horses and those results vary depending on age and location. When you are dealing with a living thing there are no hard and fast rules.

One standing rule with horses is good clean hay/forage. The concentrates are more for insurance that the forage is doing it's job.

You might have to put a grazing muzzle on for part of the day. You might be able to just exercise her more.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-30-2013, 11:46 AM
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I had moved my horse to a new place a few months ago. She went from night pasture, hay, and 2 cups of grain 2x a day, to 24 hr pasture, hay and same grain. She blew up like a blimp and got kindof dull. The BO had *perfect* food management and ......

Now she's at a place that has dry paddocks, pretty much all day hay and 2 cups grain 2x a day.

The *perfect* place was causing me sleepless nights. I had originally told her that my horse was getting 2x cups a grain a day. She felt that my horse should be getting a quart more than that. Her program was making her kindof dullish, and what really scared me was that quite a few times when I would get her out to ride, she was damp between her legs and girth area. With no reason. My thought was OMG, a founder waiting to happen.

I feel much better with her diet as it is now. All hay, and 2 cups of grain!!!!!

If you are posting here, it's a concern. Her access needs to be limited . The good thing is that winter is coming and the grass will not be growing. Like already said, she needs a better grain since she gets little. My horse did much better at the very first place with night pasture, stalled with 2 flakes of hay during the day.
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