Help! What to do! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Help! What to do!

There's an 8yo Belgian mare near me that is extremely thin and for sale. I want to help her but I will be the first to admit that I don't know anything about Belgians, and honestly don't think she'd fit in the boarding stable I keep my girl at I mean after all, she's a 17hh draft horse.

But I'm stuck - this girl looks so sad and lonely!!!

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post #2 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 09:29 PM
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Aww, poor girl. Her head is MASSIVE, although that is probably partly from the fact that the rest of her is so irregularly thin.

Only you know what you have the means to handle, both training and money-wise. Were you thinking to get her to ride, or simply to get her and keep her as a happy, well-fed pasturepuff pet? That would probably affect your considerations. She probably wouldn't make a great jumper or dressage horse, but she'd probably be fine as a trail horse - if you can find a saddle wide enough for her.

And I can't think why she'd have trouble assimilating to the other horses simply because she is a draft...aside from normal herd issues, which can often be worked out.

Of course, I don't have a lot of knowledge about drafts either, but that is my relatively uneducated gut reaction, so take it for what it is worth....:p
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post #3 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't even begin to imagine she could be a hunter/jumper. I have no idea other than trails and lessons. But my biggest concern is her physically fitting in the stalls. They're 13 x 13. Would that be at all comfortable?

I don't know what to do. I just want to hug her up and feed her and not let her be so sad.
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post #4 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 09:55 PM
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Sorry to say but if she is someone elses horse you legally are not allowed to touch her. There may be an underlying health concern that is affecting her weight. I know I've had two elderly/sick horses on my property that I have pumped feed into, rugged, wormed, vetted etc. etc. Drove me insane when I had the RSPCA knocking on my door asking about them, when it was clear all the others wre in perfect health and well fed, it was clear that these two were being fed as they were standing in a huge paddock munching away on a round of oaten!
So just be carefull who's toes you may tread on, the owners might actually be looking after the horse!
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post #5 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 10:10 PM
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My draft is 17hh and I believe his stall is 12x12. He fits just fine, so I think she would be fine, too.

I don't think I've ever seen a protruding spine on a draft before. That's especially sad because most drafts are really easy keepers. It takes a lot of neglect to make a Belgian look that bad. Poor girl. I think it is a neglect situation because not only is she thin, but her coat is dull and she's just ratty-looking.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968

Last edited by Jessabel; 11-08-2009 at 10:13 PM.
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post #6 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Kayty, but I never said I would "touch her" I was considering purchasing her. Please read carefully and not between the lines. I am not above the law.

Having said that, I have emailed back and forth with the owner (which is legal I suspect) and they state that she has no health concerns other than weight and is UTD. So I'm guessing (which may or may not be legal, might have to check on that) it's simply an economic issue, especially judging by the price.

I'm going to talk more with my husband and some friends here I know that have drafts, maybe they can buy her.
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post #7 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:08 PM
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WOW I've never seen a draft that skinny. If you don't get her them I hope that someone else with a good heart takes her. She could probably fit in the stall as long as she was able to be worked out and let out to excersise.
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post #8 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:14 PM
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I believe that the stalls that are used at the draft shows are only 12x12 so I am sure that she would fit fine in a 13x13. I would imagine that she would get along great so long as you were able to at least take her for a walk every day (either a hand walk or a ride) just to stretch her legs. You might ask if she has ever been stalled before because some horses don't take well to it. My QH will go off his feed and stock up badly if he is stalled for more than a few hours.
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post #9 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Smrobs you're supposed to be the one that discourages me from buying her lol.

Ok.... realistically speaking, the barn I board at has crappy to nil grazing. We did just get 50/50 alfalfa/grass horse round bales for each pasture. Coco shares her turnout with a gelding and potentially she could go in with them. The stall next to CoCo is empty. Is there anything drastically different to a smaller horse that a draft needs??
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post #10 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:27 PM
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The best person to ask about specifics on what a draft can/cannot have would be Solon, but I haven't seen her around for a while.

The only thing that I have noticed with my drafties is that they seem to eat more, tack is more expensive, a farrier is hard as hell to find and even harder to afford, and if they are pushy, then there is a big problem.

Personally I really like her even if she is skinny. I haven't been around Belgians regularly for a long time but I do know that they are the more steady, levelheaded horses of the draft breeds. Once Bessie got over her initial uncomfortableness of the harness, she settled right in and nothing fazes her now. Of course, a PPE would be in order just to ensure that the skinny is, in fact, due to lack of groceries.


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