Losing Weight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Losing Weight

I have a cob (7yr old mare) who is over weight. I got her just over a year ago and she was fairly over weight when I got her but I had an operation in summer so couldn't ride and couldn't get anyone else to. She's lost a fair amount since then but the last little bit won't budge. She's in a field with about an acre with sheep, ridden everyday for 30-60 minutes (mostly walk, trot, little canter as she's very green). Trying to start taking her on hacks soon (too strong at the minute). Any advice on what I could do to get her to loose the last bit?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 03:38 PM
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What section cob is she? Have you gotten a body condition score on her or does she just "look" overweight? Cobs are naturally big-boned and might (at a healthy weight) "look" fatter than lighter horses at healthy weights do. What is she getting for grain/hay/grazing? A picture could definitely help!
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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She's a vanner, definitely overweight as I can't quite feel ribs without pushing a little, don't have a recent picture as the only other one is from a while ago and she's lost weight since. She doesn't get any hay/haylege/hard food and is just on the grass
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 04:42 PM
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You could try putting a grazing muzzle on to slow down her grass-eating, or if possible, move her to a dry lot for a portion of the day. Weight loss takes time, so really if she's not eating anything besides grass, all that can help (besides grass management) is exercise. I would be trying to get her in better shape by doing more trot and starting the canter. Even if you're not comfortable doing a lot of cantering yet, you could definitely try replacing most of the walk time with trot time and going for more 60 minute rides and less 30/45 minute rides. Maybe others have some more creative solutions I can't think of. Good luck!
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 05:33 PM
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I second pictures, grazing muzzle, and the dry lot idea by @Aprilswissmiss . If you put her on a dry lot, I recommend a salt block and/or other vitamins and mineral supplements for nutrients.

I posted this in another thread:
Originally Posted by LoonWatcher View Post
I like (and so do some horses) to work on trotting on a (relatively) loose rein for fitness.
I know she is still green so for now, I'd work more on other things, such as obedience, reliability, balance, relaxation, and various other skills. The more you work with her, the more in-shape she'll get. (Duh! What I'm saying is to work on other things and have other goals besides solely focusing on her fitness.)
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Last edited by LoonWatcher; 05-21-2019 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Rewording. Adding.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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This is her
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 05:44 PM
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She needs to work harder, she looks fat.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 07:40 PM
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She must have been... a chunker when you got her! Maybe she's not as fat as appears in that pic, but she looks to have more than a 'last little bit' to lose.

Agree with grazing muzzle, if she's on 'rich pickings'. And analysing her diet to work out what she's actually getting. And providing appropriate minerals to balance whatever she's getting.

When you said the 'last little bit won't budge', I thought 'fat pads' - when horses are fat long term, they tend to develop insulin resistance, which hardens the adipose tissue - a horse can look 'lumpy'. Even when they lose a lot of weight, these hard fat pads are difficult to budge - I've heard vets tell people you will never get rid of them. However, research & trials - in humans, now also found to be the case with horses - shows that adequate magnesium & chromium levels not only help 'resensitise' the body to insulin, but help break down the fat pads too. Other nutrients act & interact in other ways too, so well worth learning about well balanced nutrition.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 08:00 PM
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She is still needing to lose some, however...
Appearances are not always what you think..
The horse has muscle delineation in her front end...she has shoulder muscle.
She also has pectoral muscle showing...
Her hind end is not "flabby" but is still not showing large muscle sculpting, but it is showing muscle at the part where her black coat is at the stifle area...

Yes, she is a work in progress but the work you are doing is paying off in results seen and made.
She did not gain overnight, so expecting her to lose overnight is not happening.
She needs to eat to be healthy...
You feed correctly for weight loss in horses just like in humans.
A fit horse is takes time to condition especially when they have had a long "off" period and need to come back to work with care given to not over-tax the body systems and create health issues you want to avoid.
Continue doing what you are...
Increase slowly the time you trot instead of walking.
Trotting is harder work than cantering and builds stamina and muscle...just add increased time slowly so her heart and lungs, her vital organs, her legs...just all of her improves slowly to being a fit horse.
Make sure to work her both directions equally so she builds equal and even.

As she gets fit she will change shape and she will also lose more pudginess...
She's a cob for goodness sake... a draft horse with the emphasis to draft.
She will never be sleek and lanky...not happening. She isn't built that way.
She can though be a spectacular looking cob/Vanner and is on her way to that with the work program you have started...
Enjoy your journey and transformation taking place...take pictures, add them to this thread so you can also see a pictural essay from where you came to where you are wanting to go and when you reach the journeys end and accomplishment.
She is a beautiful horse...enjoy her!!
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 10:27 PM
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Omigosh she is darling. Can you show us a picture of her neck on the otherside with no mane? Does she have a ridge? She's definitely fat but I like them with meat on their bones.
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