Pony hollowing and shrinking - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-04-2018, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Pony hollowing and shrinking

Hi x recently Iíve noticed my pony has began to shrink in the hips and they are very hollow . She is being fed a normal rate of around 3-4 segments of hay a day. Sh has fresh water . She is a mare and she just turned 18 but was 17 when the shrinking started. It is December it started around late November . Is this because itís winter? She was worked today so maybe tha may sort it . Please help!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-04-2018, 10:39 AM
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How is the rest of her? Do you have pictures?

Hollowing of the hips is usually weight related, but would happen after she lost weight other places..could also be muscle related but if enough to be noticeable that would be a call to the vet.

It could be that she just needs some extra calories as she ages. How big is she?
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-04-2018, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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She is 13.2hh and she is getting light work of around 10-20 minutes of Flatwork and jumping 1-2 days a week. She hasnít been worked in 2 weeks up until today when she was worked for 15 minutes Flatwork and jumping. It is a wet winter here and hasnít stopped raining up until today for 2 weeks. I donít have pictures but will get some tomorrow if thatís ok!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-04-2018, 11:10 AM
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OK you just posted and offered more information...apply what is pertinent and dismiss what is not.

You don't mention how much work the pony does on a daily, or weekly basis nor if there is a "feed" given besides hay.
Depending upon work load the pony may just not be being fed enough.
All food, hay or feed, is fed by weight not volume of 3 - 4 segments of hay a day. The amount immediately makes me think not enough is fed to start with.
That also goes along with the quality of the hay...
Better quality hay offers more calories per mouthful.
If the pony is burning off more calories than it is consuming it will lose weight.

Many things need to be considered though...
Age and health of the pony.
When were the teeth last checked and care given to them?
When was the pony last wormed correct to the worm load it may have?
What kind of "feed" is fed and how much is fed total a day?
How cold is it?
How long has the cold been around consistently?
Does the pony get offered a blanket to keep warmer/dryer so it not be burning calories trying to keep their body warm & dry?
The wet weather could have to do with loss of weight, not all of it...it takes the body more energy to keep warm and continue to make internal heat to stay skin dry.

So many things it could be...
Any one of these out of place could account for a drop in weight and poor appearance...
If in doubt, call the vet out and have a evaluation/exam done to find the cause of this issue.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....

Last edited by horselovinguy; 01-04-2018 at 11:16 AM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-04-2018, 11:34 AM
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There could be health reasons so if you think you're feeding her enough then you should ask the vet to do some bloodwork and a general examination.
It might be that she has a heavy worm burden - a lot of people are still not de-worming their horses for tapeworm and encysted strongyles and both will knock the weight of a horse
She might need her teeth doing.
When you say you give her 3 to 4 segments of hay a day that doesn't mean a lot as they could be really small segments or they could be large ones.
The hay might be poor quality
You also don't mention if there's grazing still available where you are
If the pony is losing weight then feed hay 'ad lib' especially if you have no grass


You mention a lot of rainy weather. If its cold and wet its more debilitating than lower temperatures are when its dry as the coat gets flattened down and so becomes useless as an insulator.
If the pony doesn't have access to a shelter that she'll use then consider buying her a blanket so she isn't burning up all her calories just to keep warm.
Lastly you don't mention if you supplement her hay with some form of 'bucket feed' - something else to consider doing if you aren't

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-07-2018, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Itís winter . Itís ireland
. Itís always wet and soggy. And if itís nkt raining itís frosty. She had a stable rug that she wears in the stabke . In winter she isnít ridden as much as summer . I try to ride her for 20 minutes twice a week but due to exams itís usually 40 mins eberub2 weeks. She gets small amounts of licks and mineral licks . I will try feeding her more but sheís been recovering the same food since the first day I got her three years ago but this year is the 1 at ursrbshes shrunk
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-08-2018, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilyandherhorse View Post
Itís winter . Itís ireland
. Itís always wet and soggy. And if itís nkt raining itís frosty. She had a stable rug that she wears in the stabke . In winter she isnít ridden as much as summer . I try to ride her for 20 minutes twice a week but due to exams itís usually 40 mins eberub2 weeks. She gets small amounts of licks and mineral licks . I will try feeding her more but sheís been recovering the same food since the first day I got her three years ago but this year is the 1 at ursrbshes shrunk
Giving her more food won't help if that's not the problem.

While "segments" (we call them "flakes" here) are not an accurate way to measure as they can vary dramatically 3-4 flakes a day is plenty for most ponies which is why I'm not jumping to that conclusion. It's not uncommon to have to change food in 3 years though!

It definitely could be she's thin, don't get me wrong, just saying that doesn't jump out as an obvious reason. That's why I asked for a body pic. If you don't want to share one try this, it's good to do anyways: https://www.habitatforhorses.org/the...coring-system/

If you don't think it's her weight do get the vet out for an exam and bloodwork.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-09-2018, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilyandherhorse View Post
Itís winter . Itís ireland
. Itís always wet and soggy. And if itís nkt raining itís frosty. She had a stable rug that she wears in the stabke . In winter she isnít ridden as much as summer . I try to ride her for 20 minutes twice a week but due to exams itís usually 40 mins eberub2 weeks. She gets small amounts of licks and mineral licks . I will try feeding her more but sheís been recovering the same food since the first day I got her three years ago but this year is the 1 at ursrbshes shrunk
She had a stable rug....
So, past tense and she no longer has the rug to wear?
This all by itself is enough to see a weight loss.
A rug added warmth where now the pony needs to make her own warmth, that burns calories.
You mention stable rug but you don't mention any protection given in a rug when she is outdoors in the rain or frosty weather....
Again, she needs to stay warm and dry and she does by burning calories.
It may not be all of the problem, but getting her rugged again so she not need to burn her fat stores could make a difference.

I am going to make a assumption you meant she is receiving the same amount of food....
So the problem with that is she is 3 years older now than she was...
What she could thrive on last year she can not now.
You may have changed nothing but she has aged, the quality of the food fed this year may not be as good and plentiful with calories as it was in the past.
A change in the recipe of feed fed if any is, hay fields were cut and baled late losing some of the nutrients immediately come to mind.
Here in the USA by me our hay fields are fertilized each cutting to enrich the quality of the hay, give it more nutrients than just eating grass.
The other part is to my understanding and knowledge feeding licks and mineral licks is not calories fed.
It is vitamin and minerals, important parts of nutrition but not calories and to much of them can also throw off her bodies ability to absorb nutrients easily...
So so many things this could be... or a combination of several small things to make a large issue of weight loss.
If you looking at and addressing the easy ones does not make a difference seen in a few weeks time, I would absolutely get the vet out for a exam and consultation of what do we do...
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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