Over weight mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-20-2015, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Over weight mare

I am new to horses. I have had my 8-9 yr old mare to about 3 yrs. . Gradually I worked my way thru what I should look at health wise. She was healthy when I got her from a equine rescue in Oregon.

So at this point she is over weight and hanging with 7 other horses (mares & geldings).

She eats pasture grass all day. She is over weight. I've tried the slow feeder and it works ok however when I did it for her I was keeping her out of the pasture.
Once she looked better I would let her out to pasture with her buddies and the weight came back, so reality has it that its not working.

I tried the muzzle and she keeps getting it off on the pine trees and I'm tired of looking for it.

Next shot will be to keep her penned up in the stall/round pen for 2 days and then the pasture for 3 days and keep doing that. Does this sound like an alternative to my other ideas?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-21-2015, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakallie1 View Post
I am new to horses. I have had my 8-9 yr old mare to about 3 yrs. . Gradually I worked my way thru what I should look at health wise. She was healthy when I got her from a equine rescue in Oregon.

So at this point she is over weight and hanging with 7 other horses (mares & geldings).

She eats pasture grass all day. She is over weight. I've tried the slow feeder and it works ok however when I did it for her I was keeping her out of the pasture.
Once she looked better I would let her out to pasture with her buddies and the weight came back, so reality has it that its not working.

I tried the muzzle and she keeps getting it off on the pine trees and I'm tired of looking for it.

Next shot will be to keep her penned up in the stall/round pen for 2 days and then the pasture for 3 days and keep doing that. Does this sound like an alternative to my other ideas?

Thanks,
Is it possible for you to bring her in and stall her at night? Give her small amounts of hay, and turn her out only during the day. Better than the 2 days stalled, then 3 days on pasture, as she will only make up for lost time eating grass when she is turned out. Is she getting any feed in addition to the pasture? If so, try cutting down on that.

One of my mares is a very easy keeper and gains weight every summer. I give her just enough feed (about 1 cup) for her to think she's getting something. And the same with hay.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-21-2015, 12:21 AM
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Pics would help. How overweight is she? If you are worried about Laminitis or founder I would take her off the field and put her on dry lot right away (and start exercising her, at least 1/2 hour a day). Do your online research- there are some supplements available that can help her liver process sugars better, but ask your vet first. I also have an extremely easy keeper and I worry but I take precautions and try to learn as much as I can.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-21-2015, 01:42 AM
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I agree on limiting her grass every day, and not several days of grass binging, and then dieting
Far as the grazing muzzle, I had one mare that would get hers off every night, when I turned her out. It was the kind that is a complete unit in itself
I then got a Best Friend muzzle that you attach to a break away halter.
She has not gotten it off yet, and it has been over two months

I watched her the first evening that I turned her out with it and thus saw what usually worked for her. First she rubbed it on her front legs. When that did not work, she rolled. Still did not work, so she rubbed against the horse shelter, then gave up. Her pasture also has trees
What works for her,is to dry lott her during the day, with a slow feeder hay net, and then to turn h rout over night with that muzzle.
She is my main trail horse,so I try to keep her fit by riding her every other day.
You can also manage grass area for grazing, by using temporary electrical fencing (tape, with those plastic posts that just go in by stepping on the bottom tab). Since the pasture has a perimeter fence, no big deal if ahorse goes through that tape, but none of mine will, as they respect electrical fencing from experience-LOL!
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-21-2015, 10:24 AM
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The principles of putting a horse on a diet are the same as those for a person. It makes no sense to have her on a strict diet for part of a week and let her eat her fill on the other days. I would limit the amount of time she is on pasture and keep her stalled or on dry lot the rest of the time, but on a daily basis. Use a slow feeder for hay and only a handful, if any grain. Exercise will also help, but I would work her up on that gradually
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-21-2015, 10:49 AM
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What kind of exercise is she getting?
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-22-2015, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Stalling mare at night

Quote:
Originally Posted by HombresArablegacy View Post
Is it possible for you to bring her in and stall her at night? Give her small amounts of hay, and turn her out only during the day. Better than the 2 days stalled, then 3 days on pasture, as she will only make up for lost time eating grass when she is turned out. Is she getting any feed in addition to the pasture? If so, try cutting down on that.

One of my mares is a very easy keeper and gains weight every summer. I give her just enough feed (about 1 cup) for her to think she's getting something. And the same with hay.
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I was under the impression they did not eat at night (only but alittle bit). Do they eat a lot at night? Stalling her at night could be done. She is getting a scope or two of "whole oats" and a (2) oz of supplement for the Selenium that is missing in Oregon pastures (Central Oregon).

Last edited by brakallie1; 07-22-2015 at 11:07 PM. Reason: adding information
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-22-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Limited pasture time.

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Originally Posted by Textan49 View Post
The principles of putting a horse on a diet are the same as those for a person. It makes no sense to have her on a strict diet for part of a week and let her eat her fill on the other days. I would limit the amount of time she is on pasture and keep her stalled or on dry lot the rest of the time, but on a daily basis. Use a slow feeder for hay and only a handful, if any grain. Exercise will also help, but I would work her up on that gradually
I can do this. I do not live on this ranch. I am new to horses but dedicated as this is a rescue horse.
I wish however this would not have to be a forever schedule. It seems like it would be best at any rate to limit her pasture time always.
She lives on 16 acres so lots of room to exercise her.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-23-2015, 12:04 AM
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Hi,

Firstly, yes, horses do eat at night. They eat & move a lot less, but still do. Horses are 'trickle feeders' built to have small amounts of feed going through their guts near constantly. So whether day or night, don't starve her! If you must dry lot her, ensure she has hay available, pref free choice, in a slow feed net. *If hay is rich, may need to soak & drain it before feeding to leach out some of the sugars.

Secondly, I'd see again if you can adjust or add another strap or some such to the muzzle to prevent her getting it off, as it would be far preferable to locking her up in solitary, if you can get it to work. She shouldn't be in the muzzle full time though, so I'd just put it on for the daylight hours.

Thridly, quit giving her extra high carb/calorie feed if she's already getting too much! Cut the oats!

Fourthly. Exercise. Like us, input needs to equal output, if we are to maintain a healthy weight & not get too thin or fat. If she's getting too many calories, more exercise will help burn some off.

While living with mates in a big paddock is obviously better & motivates more movement than a horse kept alone or confined to a small paddock/yard/stable, if she's only moseying around with her mates, she won't be getting much in the way of aerobic exercise. You can motivate more exercise in the paddock by alterning the environment - making pasture sparse & patchy, so they have to keep moving around, or putting them on a track system(google paddock paradise). But the more low impact exercise the better, so taking her out, either ridden or walking, esp on hills, for an hour or more daily will also help shed some.
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Last edited by loosie; 07-23-2015 at 12:11 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-23-2015, 12:38 PM
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What Loosie and Textan and others said!
Most horses eat any time there is food in front of their face...any time of day or night. Cut the grain. Dry lot at night with grass hay. There is very nice timothy in your area. No orchard grass as it is high in sugar. And exercise. Is the pasture irrigated? I would think it would be bone dry by now with our very dry spring and summer.
Posting a photo would help.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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