Overweight/Underweight horses. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-24-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Overweight/Underweight horses.

I have a QH mare(16) and a Haflinger Gelding (4-5) who are pasture-mates.
We got the Haflinger last summer from a family friend who had been feeding him 2 flakes of hay every feeding, which is exactly what we gave our mare.

We feed them together, 2 flakes each.
The problem is, the haflinger eats much faster than my mare and she's lost a bunch of weight... while my haflinger has gotten quite chubby!
Our vet came out for shots last week and told us we should separate them, feed her high-fat grain and make sure she gets her hay, while making sure he only got his hay.

We separated them, but they wouldn't eat without each other! o.o It was so odd. They didn't eat until we moved them back with each other..

Is there any way we could possibly work in this diet for him, and this weight gain with her, without keeping them separated for long?

she gets her grain, the gelding doesn't try taking it because she gets mad at him..
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-24-2012, 05:42 PM
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By separating what do you actually mean? Are they separated by a single fence or not even near one another?
Also what's their paddock/pasture like?

I had a gelding who was incredibly attached to my mare honey. He hated being apart from her but she is such a good doer I had to pen her away. He was scared of fencing by nature but with his girlfriend away from him - by a single fence - he would play with my tape until it broke and Honey would get out and back into the longer grass. He stressed when I put them in two separate paddocks for about two weeks and then he kind of got over it. They too shared their hay but both defended their feed buckets!

How long did you separate them for? As a horse owner I know how hard it is to see your babies not happy. For me honey was thrilled to be away from Evo - he was blimmin bossy of her and she disliked it. But he'd always stress and even went off eating too. I made the effort to shower him in lots of attention and this helped. He did rely on me a little more but he soon settled and got over his issue. He could see her and that in the end became fine for him.

I'm not suggesting you separate for good like I ended up doing. My horses were riding horses too and it was an issue. I actually sold Evo over a year ago - hardest thing ever. Now Honey is alone and she hates it.

My suggestion after this ramble is to try different separation tools. If you had them just separated for food then back together again, try running an electrified (if you can) fence between them in the same paddock. That way they're together but not eating the same diet. If that's what you've done trying putting them in different paddocks. Hopefully they will settle apart and start eating. The only other thing is if your gelding is trying to get the grain (I know you said your mare won't let him) I got given a method of giving a bucket of some carrots to the fatter horse to make them feel like they're having dinner too. Carrots are non fattening but do be careful of the sugar content and don't give a great deal. It certainly helped when Honey was thin and my old mare tried to steal her feed because she was the alpha and pushed Honey about. Giving one something but not the other sometimes leads to scoffing when they both have something.

I'm assuming their teeth are fine too and your mare is a slow eater. You could also try making your gelding a run and putting the flakes of his hay out in little piles so he has to walk and keep moving to eat. This is a tip I got from this website for Honey last year.

I'm sorry for the mess of thoughts but I hope this is a little help! I can't see to refer to everything I've written as I'm on my mobile but felt compelled to give over what's helped me.

Last edited by ohmyitschelle; 03-24-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-24-2012, 06:01 PM
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How about a grazing muzzle on the haffie at dinner time until the mare is finished with hers? That way they can be together, haffie can eat, just at a slower rate, and the mare will get her full portion. Won't hurt the haffie if the mare steals a bite or two of his in the mean time.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #4 of 4 Old 03-24-2012, 06:01 PM
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I would perhaps separate a small area of their paddock with pipe fence panels and feed one of them closed up in there. If you feed them near to each other but with the fence separating them, then she'll get the time she needs to eat all her hay and the haffy won't have access to the extra.

If you were to feed her in there, even if she got through eating but didn't finish it all, you could let her back out and close the gate, keeping the haffy from getting to the hay she didn't finish.
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