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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting an 18 year old mare in a month. She has been well cared for all her life but last summer the people that own her had her at their granddaughter's place and she was fed way too much. She wasn't ridden either and got very fat. When they got her back they wanted her to lose weight, but we were talking to them yesterday and they said she is still really fat. I assume they have her on free choice hay.

Soooo.... when I get her at the end of the month I plan on changing things - lol! I'm going to ride her lots, get her a grazing muzzle for summer and ration her hay in winter so she isn't eating so much she gets fat.

Does anyone have any other ideas of what I could do. I know it isn't good for a horse to be overweight - especially an older horse. So I definatly want to change things quickly! When my friend and I went to see and ride her, my friend said, "Riding her is like riding a couch!" lol! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
 

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Hill work is brillant for losing fat and building muscle.
 

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lot and lot and lots of hot sweaty work to burn the fat away lol sounds to me like you have a good plan set and there isnt much more to do then what you have thought of. You could try sweat wraps too but from what i hear that can be hard...
 

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You might want to look into her being insulin resistent or Cushings. I can't really assume it's that, she could very well just be a chubbette :p but if she doesn't loose much weight when you change things for her, I'd have her tested for IR/Cushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies and advice! Yes, I will be doing lots of riding - she has got to lose some weight! I'll look into the Cushings and Insulin Resistant. I'd never thought of that.
 

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I'd do it in moderation what ever you do. If you have a round pen handy that will help. But with any athlete, especially with some years on them, you need to take it in steps. I'd take it off the grain slowly if he/she is on it.
 

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I'd do it in moderation what ever you do. If you have a round pen handy that will help. But with any athlete, especially with some years on them, you need to take it in steps. I'd take it off the grain slowly if he/she is on it.
Completely agree with this, do everything SLOWLY. Ween her off the grain and start work slowly, dont take her off completely in one day then start running the crap out of her (not saying you would! LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol! Yah, I certainly wont drastically change her food and then gallop her non-stop all day! Hehe! But I will gradually change her diet and excersize habits as she does need to lose weight!

She isn't on grain right now - just hay. So I'll have to cut her hay down slowly.
 

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Equus Girl,
if she has access to free choice hay now, she may not be very happy if she only has hay in front of her part of the day. How about limiting the rate of hay uptake with a small mesh hay net, or slow feeder?

I use a SMHN over a muck bucket, and it keeps the horses busy for 12 hours. Don't use a SMHN near the ground if the horse has shoes on. Many suggestions on this site:

Slow Feeders - Paddock Paradise Wiki
 

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Agree with EPM. I would NOT stop her from having free choice hay, but if you can get her to eat more slowly it may be good. You might find tho, that with regular exercise, she's not getting too many calories anyway. Don't forget that her diet will likely be lacking in a lot of necessary nutrients, so she'll need a good supp to go with her hay. If the fat has hardened or become lumpy, extra magnesium will likely be helpful to her also.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I will look at getting her a slow feeder - that is a real good idea. And yes, I will be riding her lots so that will help her lose a lot of weight.

EPM - that website doesn't sell slowfeeders does it? Is there a place I could buy one?
 

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Hi,
The easiest idea for a slow feeder is just a small holed or doubled hay net. If you can't find one with small holes, put one inside another & that generally works OK. Otherwise some weld mesh(not weak chicken wire) fixed to a 'V' frame & hay inside is another simple idea.

If you google it you'll get other ideas. I think safergrass.org has some ideas too, from memory.
 
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