Chunky QH - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Chunky QH

My 6yr QH mare is an extremely easy keeper (summer & winter) I want to make sure she’s getting fed a proper diet.
Light exercise: 3-5rides/wk in the summer and winter maybe 1ride/wk depends on weather.

This is the first horse that’s really mine and I’m just getting completely confused in all the research ☹️ Right now I’m missing the whole “ignorance is bliss” thing LoL

She’s living in a good sized dry lot with a couple other horses.

Things that are working or can’t change:
- Free choice (timothy/brome) hay w/nag bag.
- Farrier’s Formula Double Strength (1/2cup loading dose until January)
- Free choice Redmond Rock salt block.

Things I can cut or change:
- Hoffmans Maintenance Ration (1-2cups which is under the recommended 6cups)
- Hemp oil (1-2oz)

Any tips or recommendations are welcome!
Note; I live in Canada. Not all USA products can be shipped to my area.

I’m thinking along the lines of a balancer that provides the essential vitamins/minerals without the added calories.
Also, she loves the taste of hemp oil but I’ve read that it’s higher in omega 6 than 3 which is bad for fat horses. But I’ve read conflicting information on this topic so, I really don’t know...
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Kim2 is offline  
post #2 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 04:27 PM
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I agree with taking her off the feed and just giving her a ration balancer.

What is the purpose of the hemp oil?
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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She can be a picky eater and I was mainly using Hemp Oil to make her feed more appetizing or to hide medication, when needed.

She likes her current feed so, it’s not necessary right now.
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post #4 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 05:57 PM
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Hi, yes she is very chunky isn't she??

Perhaps the free choice hay is rich or too much for her. I wouldnt change her free access but look at using a 'slow feed' net and ensuring hay is tested low sugar.

Appropriate nutritional supplementation depends on what the horse is getting from their bssic diet so if poss, analyse the hay & use a service such as feedxl.Com to work out what may be needed. The farrier's formula may well be a good option to 'fill the gaps' & if you need to add anything else, adding it to this may be fine, or add just a handful or so of alfalfalfa to mix supps in.

I'd feed extra loose salt - they don't get much from a block. And I'd ditch the 'maintenance ration' yesterday - she's already 'maintaining' too well & last thing she needs is more calories.

And of course, if you can, more exercise too.
Kalraii likes this.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 06:07 PM
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She needs to lose 100# -- I'm not kidding. Except for the difference in color, she looks like my IR horse looked when his insulin shot they the roof and he severely foundered in 2012. She is built to have a thicker neck but that is atrocious -- I'll bet it feels like a cement block and I'll bet she would flinch if a knowledgeable vet grabbed it held it right for a few seconds. -- none of which is good.

No ration balancers either --- they have too many calories for a horse that heavy.

Spend the money and buy a QUALITY CONDENSED vit/min supplement that only requires a few ounces daily to give the horse what it needs. Less calories

Buy a bag of straight Timothy pellets and grab the cup measure out of your kitchen cupboard. Less calories.

Feed one measuring cup of Timothy pellets twice daily as a carrier for the vit/min supplement; I divide the three ounces between two meals. Mix with a bit of water so the horse can't blow everything out.

You can also add 1/2 to 1 cup of CHOPPED watermelon rind and watermelon twice daily but remove the seeds and chop the rind small enough the horse won't choke on it. Watermelon rind and the melon have citrulline in them; there have been human studies showing citrulline is good for lowering insulin in human Type II diabetics. My lameness vet recommended it to me for my IR horse.

You need to strip back calories and NSC % ASAP before she starts showing signs of laminitis, if she has not been "on/off slightly lame" already.

No legume forage. Grass hays only and it would be great if you're in a position to store enough hay so you can test the NSC value.

Also, high iron depletes copper:zinc which are needed to stabilize insulin and for hoof/coat health. If you use well water with high iron for the horses or your pastures and/or hay are high in iron that's an issue.

A grazing muzzle during the day, at least until she loses weight. Just be sure she is drinking water thru it. My horse held out for almost two weeks. I had to bring him in the stall every afternoon to drink water and eat hay. Most horses aren't that stubborn though.

Sorry to be abrupt but I thought I would lose my horse in 2012, obese horses are a serious issue -- there is nothing ho-hum about your horse's weight, IMHO:)
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
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I have zero control over the hay because I board my mare at a family members farm. They kinda just put her wherever they have room.

She’s been kept in the large dry lot, free fed with a NagBag (slow feed net) with their driving team or the unused/retirees...

They buy 12 extra bales for me when she buys for her personal horses. They’re always timothy/brome, good quality (no mold, rain, etc) but hay analysis isn’t really a thing around here LoL but I can look into it when we buy our bales this month or next.

Living in Northern Alberta I’ve been told that due to the environment our bales will be higher in sugar than bales in the south.

And someone mentioned well water, they’re hooked up to a dug out and again it has not been analyzed to my knowledge...

I need recommendations for a Condensed Vitamin/Mineral Supplement.
I’ve been looking and haven’t found anything good yet...
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 08:26 PM
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I feed this vit/min supplement by HorseTech. I used the meal form as the pellets are more expensive. The meal costs about .86 cents per day per horse.

Not sure if you can get this in Canada.

Hopefully @Acadianartist will see this and come in. Her Arab's weight has to be monitored and she may have some ideas on condensed supplements in Canada:)

Even though I live in the heart of Walking Horse country, they care a lot more about their cows around here. I have to send my hay to Equi-Analytical in New York, USA to have it properly tested for horses. I'm not sure if they accept Canadian products, maybe @Acadianartist could also help with that.

From what I Have read on this and other forums, veterinary care is sparse in Canada. That means you are going to have to educate yourself quickly on the matters of insulin resistance, cushings, laminitis and be the major advocate for your horse:)

The ECIR link below is a good start, plus there are several of us on this forum dealing with metabolic issues. Don't be confused by what seems to be conflicting information from any of us. Keep in mind the word "metabolic" is Ground Zero for each horse; no two are the same, so treatments can vary. What they all have in common is slicing calories & NSC value as much as possible. Supplements can vary and degree of founder (therefore depth of care) can also vary.

Also, you need a good farrier, which I understand finding a good one for a healthy horse can be difficult, much less finding a farrier qualified to rehab hooves if that were to ever be needed.

If you can, please look at the links @loosie has in her sig for taking hoof pictures. She is the resident farrier and can tell you quite the story as to what your horse's current health status might be, regarding metabolic issues:):)

If you don't have frequent access to a farrier, you may have to learn basic trimming and buy the minimum trimming tools. Again, I will throw @loosie under the bus by saying she could help you get started if need be:)

My horse is at the very top of the Worst Case Scenarios. My other metabolic horse was a piece of cake to manage and never foundered. The fella in my avatar is making up for it. He is still chugging along and has been in Remssion since 2015. His hooves will never completely de-rotate but I have a AFA certified therapeutic farrier who does a marvelous job managing his hooves.
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 08-13-2019 at 08:33 PM.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 09:00 PM
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You can get Hoffman's minerals. Only need a cup a day, can toss it in with beet pulp or pellets. As for a pelleted Hoffman's feed, their BalancIR has a lower NSC than the Maintenance, 11% vs 17%, but has a higher feed rate. I feed a mix of the mineral and BalancIR. You can get HorseTech in Canada, but for the quantity you need to feed and the shipping costs, I wouldn't. I buy supplements from HorseTech that are fed in ounces. Depending how north is north, there's Buckeye Gro n' win (13%). Masterfeeds has a loose mineral, but I've never looked at it closely.

Depending on the body condition of the horse horses, you may be able to convince them to double net the hay to slow consumption even more.
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-13-2019, 09:30 PM
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If I'm reading right, she is on a dry lot 24/7 with no grazing and also her hay is already in a slow feed bag. She also is very overweight.

Even though everything you read says horses need access to forage 24/7, some horses will get dangerously overweight even in this situation. I have a mare like this, and she has never been able to have 24/7 access to hay. She has a good situation right now, since she is on a lot with hardly any grass so she can feel like she is grazing around at night without having access to hay. At other times she has had to be separated from hay for a few hours each day.

Here's the choice: If your horse does not have access to hay 24/7, it's possible she might develop ulcers, which are treatable. If she gets too overweight, she is likely to founder and have major hoof issues for life if not need be put down. To me the choice is clear. I've seen too many horses founder, and I've seen horses founder on dry lot with only a slow feed hay bag.

If you can't control the hay intake, can you at least have your horse separated from the hay for part of the day or night? Any decrease in intake will help.
She definitely does not need any oil, since she is overweight.
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-14-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I’ve found 3 labs that do equine foliage analysis in western Canada 👍 I just have to ask around to see if anyone has a hay probe I can rent or i’ll just splurge on my own...

They have the Hoffman’s mineral at the barn but it’s a powder. My mare is picky and doesn’t seem to like any powder or fine textured feeds. That’s partly why I was using hemp oil to help mix it in with her pellets.

Living in a small northern rural town our services are very limited.
I like my vet and my mare had her yearly vet exam in May. the vet said she was overweight but he wasn’t concerned. He was more worried about removing a sarcoid that had started to grow...
I’ve had more issues with my farrier. Usually, he does a great job and he actually specializes in hoof rehab. However, he has “off” days where his work is ****ty. Just this last time he over-trimmed mine and the 2 other horses he did. They were all lame for about a week...

Unfortunately, the 4 smaller pens that are great for monitoring are full with her mini, medicated and barrel racers. I asked if we could shuffle around but because mine get along with any horses that we put with her, she’s kinda the resident buddy for the mean or retired horses.
I was able to talk her out of throwing my mare out in the pasture though and take that as a win LoL

That website ( is awesome!
I think mine could be insulin resistant and it will be brought up at the next vet visit.
She has a fatty udder but I’m gonna have to look her over to see of she’s showing any other signs.

She & I both could definitely use more exercise to help with weight loss. Training wise she does best with rides between 30mins - 1hr. I know that when she has time off she bloats and when you get back to regular riding you can notice a difference after a week or so.
One of barrel racers that comes out to the barn told me that “long troting” is one of the best things to do for weight loss. So, I’m going to try that too.
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