Weight critique - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 07:09 AM
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My guy is a “stockier” paint... now keep in mind, our grass is LUSH... we had unrestricted grazing in the winter + lower workload, and now that spring is in full swing the grazing muzzles are back on and we are back to riding a bit more often.

Vet was just out and said his weight is good, but she wouldn’t want him to put on more weight. I expect him to slim out a bit over the summer... he’s like me, packs on a few winter pounds ;)

He’s probably fairly comparable to your boy, body style-wise.

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post #22 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 11:30 AM
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@JCnGrace , I'm not sure why you made the comment about comparing an Arab to a Quarter Horse, since only @phantomhorse13 's horses in my post were Arabians, and not necessarily all of them either - you'd have to ask her. She also rides a Percheron-Arab cross (not pictured), who also doesn't have too much fat on. And as a wider comment, because a few people raised it, excess fat is excess fat, no matter what breed it is on. I had an Arabian mare once, who used to compete endurance. This was her when competing:

We did a junior short-course ride that weekend (I was 16), 28km in 56 minutes, which was a club record where I was competing, and she was best conditioned horse for the short-course events as well. A couple of weeks later, I entered her into a ridden show, and was told by a judge that I should not show such a skinny horse, that endurance shape was inappropriate for showing. You couldn't even see her ribs... and the other horses at the show looked like army tanks to me. Heck, they were army tanks. They looked like our beef cattle just before they go to market. They were out of breath after a few laps at the working trot...

I disagree with the idea that my mare in that shape was too skinny for a ridden show - or that @phantomhorse13 's competing endurance horses shouldn't be shown under saddle or in the halter ring unless they've been fattened up as if for a cattle sale.

I personally think that kind of shape is spot on, and she was neither too skinny nor too fat. However, when she was 30 and retired, she got fat on the second spring flush she had on our farm, when we were going through a stressful time building a house and I wasn't paying proper attention. I only noticed it when she got sore feet - early laminitis. I cursed myself for letting that happen - I'm responsible for the health and welfare of my animals - and we acted quickly, treating her inflammation and restricting her feed, and thankfully, she recovered without permanent damage. But, it's always left a bitter taste in my mouth, that something like that could happen so quickly, and slip past my radar because my focus was on other things. It served as an ongoing warning to me to keep my eyes open about the weight of my horses. Sunsmart is another one I have to watch in that respect, and he's a French Trotter/STB cross. It doesn't matter what breed a horse is, you do have to watch carefully that they're not getting too fat. It can creep up on you, and when someone asks on HF if their horse is getting too fat, and I can definitely see excess fat on it, then I am going to tell them this.

I agree with @loosie 's comments on the points of the OP's horse. The horse needs more muscle, less fat. All the horses in my previous post "look great" (your words) because they have enough muscle and not too much fat - and because they have lovely glossy coats. And they're all in different life stages. I'm going to do a little recap:

This is a rising 4yo STB in early harness training. He was being allowed to mature before serious work and racing. In fact, he was considered too fine-boned to trial until age 5 to 6, and had his first race start earlier this week, at the age of 8. This is his race, and it's worth watching. His name is Baralu, his driver is wearing pink, and his trainer is 80 years old.


I'm showing people this race because I don't like the racing of immature horses, and applaud what happened here.

This next horse is a 17-year-old STB who was retired from racing at age 12, and had only self-exercised since then, and whom we adopted a couple of years back.

He's a pasture puff, but he's not a pasture puff. Same with his 24-year-old friend Chasseur here, who's a French Trotter-STB cross, and hasn't been worked in over a decade - he just free-ranges at our place since we've adopted him.

This is a STB mare called Dezba in race training, age 7 if I remember correctly:

And then there were @phantomhorse13 's endurance horses, and my too-fat (but being managed carefully) Sunsmart, to wrap things up, in my initial post. Were I to go shopping for images online, I could find too-fat and just-right photos of any breed imaginable...

@trailhorserider , Dezba and my Arabian mare above are the only "race fit" horses I've shown. @mmshiro 's example is also race fit (and not too skinny, but you wouldn't want it skinnier). Some race fit horses show ribs, some don't. When I'm race fit, I definitely show ribs, but at present I'm in about the same shape as Sunsmart, so we both need to work harder.

Trotters, Arabians, Donkeys and Other People-img_5610.jpg

It's in part feeding, in part the genetics of where the fat gets distributed on a horse. Some horses show ribs, but have fat deposits on their hindquarters. So I think @gottatrot has posted a very useful guide to checking your horse by feel as well as appearance. It's what I do on me as well - get familiar with my fat deposit areas and check what they're doing on a regular basis (scales are quite unnecessary). The area around my umbilicus tells me if I should be eating noodles with my fish and vegies, or if I should be focusing more on protein and vegies and less on starchy foods, and maybe get in an extra bicycle ride this week. For other people, it may be their backside - deposition sites vary, in people and in horses. But it pays us to consult those fat deposit sites in ourselves and our animals when we're considering quantities and types of food and exercise.

@ChasingDreams , sounds like you, me, Chase and Sunsmart are all in roughly the same boat!

@ACinATX , hope this lengthy discussion is useful to you - and that you enjoy reading!

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post #23 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 04:47 PM
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PS: Thanks again to @AnitaAnne and @greentree for sending me the lovely T-shirt I'm wearing in that photo. I was on the wrong continent for their 2018 Meet & Greet Ride, but they made me feel included anyway. I'm always wishing I had a and could go riding with everyone here...

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post #24 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 06:35 PM
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Oh Sue, your pale face girl is beautiful!
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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 #25 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 08:16 PM
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Yes, she was, @loosie ... in all her stages of colour and maturity... ...except when I first picked her up, she was half-starved in the drought and looked like a bicycle wearing a moth-eaten wool blanket... the only reason I could afford her, she was half-price, and I needed to arrange a mortgage with my parents to pay the half I couldn't cover from selling worldly possessions, and accrued savings...

Sorry to be off topic, but she's buried here and I miss her, and like to think of her life...

My eventually fleabitten grey mare at birth:

Her Crabbet sire Centurion, grandson of Sala, who was from your neck of the woods:

Her Polish racing line dam Iraki Noire, an Autumn Sunshine granddaughter:

This was her as a skeletal drought yearling, and we took this photo when we thought she wasn't so bad anymore:

Some early ground training at the time - I was also hand walking / jogging her lots:

Rising two:

At age two - now working on the lunge regularly as well:

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Last edited by SueC; 04-20-2019 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Excessive graphics...
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post #26 of 31 Old 04-20-2019, 08:18 PM
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At four and a half, the week before our first ever endurance ride - I was 15:

At age six, in peak endurance condition:

At age 10:

At age 27, the year before she retired from riding:

At age 30, in the paddock with Sunsmart - and you can see she needed to slim down...

You can lose your horse, but not lose your love of your horse.

PS: There's a couple of therapeutic election cartoons on my journal for you, @loosie (not that you need more reading material), just check your "mentions" because I linked you to them!

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post #27 of 31 Old 04-22-2019, 12:58 PM
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I'm going to agree with whoever said winter hair makes a big difference in opinion! I think your horse looks in good shape, about what my APHA mare looks like right now with her winter coat still and I would like a few more pounds on her which I know she will get as soon as the grass grows. Honestly in my uneducated opinion I would say not chubby at all.

I'm posting a picture of my mare last Friday (with winter coat). She's just getting back into shape after having most of the MN winter off so she's not real muscled yet and like I said I wouldn't mind a few more pounds on her. (Apologies for the picture not being great I was mostly just taking a picture because I was excited I finally got her to break a tiny bit of sweat!)

The second picture of her was last August. She was about as in shape as she will ever be with 200 miles of endurance. I know @SueC posted a picture of Phantomhorse's super in shape Arabians and people were saying not to compare to Arabians so here is your Endurance stock horse in her best shape with a lovely summer coat!

The endurance vets give her high body scores because they're used to seeing Arabians. She usually gets 6's or 7's near the end of the season when she's in her best shape. Our vet who is more used to stock horses says she's perfect. It's hard to compare!
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post #28 of 31 Old 04-22-2019, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
so hard to judge horss in spring, when they are still reallly furry, and out of shape. I think once you start riding regularly, he's gonna look really sharp!!

Caught myself apologizing to the vet for Trigger being out of shape and having a saggy top line back in February.

She looked at him, not me, and said: Mannnnn I wouldn't want anyone talking about my body either coming out of winter! I'm sooo out of shape...

I kinda ducked my head and grinned. She's right. Hard to get a good opinion on them coming out of winter and into spring.

Me, I think he's looking more in shape but maybe a tad too heavy - but also like he's got the perfect amount of weight on him to justify going and doing things to get him into shape and drop a few pounds. I'd rather start from there than too thin, tbh. But that's me, and I'm a noob.
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post #29 of 31 Old 04-22-2019, 09:18 PM
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I'd rather my horse have a few extra pounds going into spring/summer than to be too thin. I'm that way when I send a horse to training too. I fatten them up just a bit, that way when they get to working, they build muscle, not be thin, drop weight, need to gain it back and THEN get to muscle up.
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post #30 of 31 Old 04-23-2019, 04:11 PM
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Its not easy to judge with a winter coat but you can see the definition of his hips and ribs so I wouldn't call him fat at all and unless you're seeing signs of abnormal deposits I wouldn't worry about him at that weight.
He's a welsh x AQHA not a TB or an Arabian so he's going to look more cobby and stocky.
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