Older mare body weight? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Older mare body weight?

So my mare is a 21 y/o TWH. She has been sick for months now. The vet thinks we finally have gotten her over it. I’ve been asking about her weight but my vet says she looks good for a horse her age. I’ve never owned an older horse before and before this sickness she had been an easy keeper. My vet recommended 2lbs of nutrena essential k and good quality hay. She has been on this for about 3 months now. To me she doesn’t look very fit, but my vet says she looks fine. So I thought I would just come here and get some other opinions. Thank you all!!
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 09:03 PM
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There's a difference between being 'fit' and having a good weight. She might not have a lot of muscling if you haven't been working her, or if she stopped getting the same amount of protein while she was sick. That said, she looks fine to me weight-wise, and it doesn't look like she's lost a lot of muscle either (but I'd have to have hands-on to really tell that.) If you're worried about body condition, consider checking out the Henneke body condition scoring chart. That should help you determine if she's between a 4 and 6 - which is acceptable. I don't see any ribs, which is good so long as you can easily feel them. I don't see a lot of spine in her back, and it's pretty flat without being overweight - that's good. All in all, she looks about a 4.5 to 5 and that's perfect, particularly if you plan to start working again.

I noted the way she was standing though - are her toes a bit long and her heels run under? Might want to make a separate thread about that and have us take a look. = ) Cheers, she looks lovely!
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 09:09 PM
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She looks good no ribs showing, no backbone or hips showing. Beautiful mare you're good care shows.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 12:10 AM
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Hi, having only the one pic, & her colour makes it harder too, cannot be positive but she looks a good weight to me, not light on.

It does appear that her 'topline' could be lacking - is her spine protruding at all? Agree with Feathers tho, the way she is standing makes me think she is uncomfortable... somewhere somehow. So yes, while I don't think 'fatness' is an issue, 'fitness' & body issues may well be.

While a good vet may be... a good vet, unless they have specialised, they may not have much good knowledge about body issues, so I'd be inclined to look for a chiropractic vet or otherwise specialised good bodyworker to come check her out personally.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay19 View Post
So my mare is a 21 y/o TWH. She has been sick for months now. The vet thinks we finally have gotten her over it. !!
Agree she looks to be of good weight, her coat appears healthy, but she does look to be standing uncomfortableness.


What was sick from? It had to have been serious to take months to recover and that, in turn, can affect body condition (muscle loss). Was her top line like the picture before she got sick?

In this day and age, 21 is still young:). The TWH in my avatar was about 22 when that pic was taken (2017).

I thought I might lose him in 2012 when he was diagnosed as insulin resistant. His insulin numbers were three times the normal high, and he foundered to where he would have likely been PTS'd 25 years ago.

Meaning, your mare still has a lot of good years:). What she can do with those years depends on the sickness you have been rehabbing her from and the residual effects of that sickness. But for now, her weight and coat health look very good:). Hooves could use some help,however:)
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 07:35 AM
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I noticed the way the horse was standing as well, but she's a TWH. Isn't that sort of normal for them?
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay19 View Post
So my mare is a 21 y/o TWH. She has been sick for months now. The vet thinks we finally have gotten her over it. !!
Agree she looks to be of good weight, her coat appears healthy, but she does look to be standing uncomfortableness.


What was sick from? It had to have been serious to take months to recover and that, in turn, can affect body condition (muscle loss). Was her top line like the picture before she got sick?

In this day and age, 21 is still young:). The TWH in my avatar was about 22 when that pic was taken (2017).

I thought I might lose him in 2012 when he was diagnosed as insulin resistant. His insulin numbers were three times the normal high, and he foundered to where he would have likely been PTS'd 25 years ago.

Meaning, your mare still has a lot of good years:). What she can do with those years depends on the sickness you have been rehabbing her from and the residual effects of that sickness. But for now, her weight and coat health look very good:). Hooves could use some help,however:)
She was diagnosed with 3 airway infections. One of the 3 was extremely serious.. I with I could remember the name... but it took s lot of rounds of different medication and trips to the vet to get rid of it all. She is actually still on Dexamose now.

I have asked a couple people including my farrier about her stance and they say it’s just her breed. Ofc her being my first TWH I don’t know better.. but I will definitely look more into it. I have attached a couple notebooks photos. The last one is from about 3 weeks ago.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 10:35 AM
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Your mare is a bit underweight but she has been sick, and being sick it takes a toll on the horse and their appearance.
She could use some weight, yes but she is not skin and bones either.
She has lost muscle tone and with that topline...but they both can come back once she is cleared for riding and exercise to begin.
Ask your vet to outline a exercise routine for her and remember to go slow when returning to work...
As she increases her work load you may need to increase her hay and feed fed so she gains and builds her endurance, muscle and strength again...slow and steady a return to what she was works.
She looks healthy with her gleaming coat and shiny appearance even though she was ill...a testament to her having a caring owner who took care of her no matter what!!
Enjoy her, she has many years left of fun riding times together.
....
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I noticed the way the horse was standing as well, but she's a TWH. Isn't that sort of normal for them?
No, not to this degree :)

While Walking Horses do have a tendency to NOT stand square, there's a huge difference between standing "comfortably un-square" and "uncomfortably in-square".

Also, they are not prone to stretching out, as the OP's mare appears to be, unless something hurts. It's possible the mare has developed some ulcer or other issues from the long-term use of the serious meds she had to be on.

The OP's mare looks "uncomfortably un-square" to me. I think she could really benefit from a quality chiropractor who also does acupuncture:)

This is my other TWH, Rusty. The pic was December, 2017, making him 23-1/2 years. He is standing about as square as Walking Horses like to stand, unless I tell him to "square up". He is standing square, underneath himself, front and back as he should be. Even though one hind hoof is slightly ahead of the other it's healthy slightly ahead:)

He is only a tad bit splay-footed (toes out) but varying degrees of splay-footedness do indeed exist in the Walking Horse gene pool.

IMHO, both the OP's farrier and the vet are not clear as to what constitutes normal for a TWH and what does not ------which leads me to worry about how this pretty mare is getting trimmed.
image.jpg
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-21-2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Your mare is a bit underweight but she has been sick, and being sick it takes a toll on the horse and their appearance.
She could use some weight, yes but she is not skin and bones either.
After seeing the last pics, I disagree with above - she is indeed a good weight.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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