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I think I may be a bit too paranoid when it comes to Starlites weight. Last winter she was at a uh...not so great barn and we're pretty sure she wasn't being fed(she lost 100 pounds in a few weeks and had not obvious signs of anything being wrong with her. We started feeding her ourselves and she gained weight again and kept it on), ever since then I try to keep close tabs on her weight.

She was a little chubby when we first got her. July 08


Then this is when she started loosing weight and muscle at the 'not so great barn'
October or November 08.


May 09


October 09


This is the most recent picture I have of her unblanketed, December 09


I posted the pics from over the time I've owned her to show she can be kind of inconsistent with her weight, that's probably because we were always switching barns and switching feeds. She hasn't been on like 20 different feeds, we've had to switch from corn and oats to Blueseal Trotter back and fourth depending on the barn.

Right now she is on Blueseal Trotter, a scoop in the morning and at night which doesn't do much good since I don't know how much that actually IS. Sorry :lol: She gets about half a bale of hay in the morning and at night, she's stalled all the time which I know is NOT good but I have no control over it. I go to the barn nearly everyday to get her out in the arena, ridden or lunged.

We had problems when she was on corn and oats, she naturally became a hot horse due to the way her previous owner rode her and corn and oats just made it worse. Now she is much better undersaddle and I'm willing to look around at more feeds if need be. My barn feeds Blueseal Rider to most of the other horses, a sweet feed I believe. I talked to my barn owner about maybe putting her on it if she had trouble keeping weight on this year.

I think she still looks good weight wise but I would like her to be a little more chubby, maybe just because I like that extra layer or fat. I wanted to get other opinions though. I don't want an obese horse but I don't like to whole 'lean' looking horse either.

She isn't really in hard work, I only ride her a few times a week...usually only weekends is when I have time because I'm more concerned about turning her out for a little bit when I'm there. In summer she will be in harder work, ridden mostly everyday doing either flatwork, gaming, jumping or trail riding.

Wow, okay, did I write enough? LOL sorry for the novel everyone. Basically I would just like your opinions on how her weight looks and if I should look into some other feed (Blueseal as that's what my barn feeds) or just keep doing what we're doing.
 

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I know my horse was chubby wubby when I got her because she was being fed a bucket of oats and had full turnout with no work. When I got her regulated she started to drop some weight and gain muscle and a topline. My mare tends to lose weight more noticeably in the shoulder and she's half indian paint so her hindquarters always look padded. I would look online and check the areas where you should consistently see that healthy padding, the shoulder, the dock area. I like Frida to have that tuck in the belly before the thigh your horse has in the last picture. I like her chest to look strong and broad, not narrow, her shoulder and hindquarters to look padded but muscled. I know I was a bit concerned too because her body drastically changed with the new feeding schedule and work, but he/she looks like a healthy horse that is worked on a regular basis. Sometimes when she rubber-necks her head to reach an itch I see the outline of her ribs, but I was under the assumption that to feel them but not see them is a good thing.
 

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I personally like my horses on the "lean" side. That's hard to do when feeding "easy keepers" free choice hay, but I try, lol. You should be able to feel ribs when you press moderately on the horse's sides. I think she looks good in the last photo, lean but not "thin", but the dim light does make it hard to tell. Also winter coats can hide ribs.

To put on some weight or add calories without making her "hot", you might consider a fat supplement, like flax, rice bran, or corn oil. You can feed whole flax, milled flax, or flax oil. Rice bran can be found in powdered form, pelleted, or oil. Adding 1 scoop of alfalfa pellets also works well, and unless your horse has an alfalfa allergy, they should not make her hot or hyper. I have used alfalfa pellets combimed with fat to really pack on the weight on my "hard keeper" when he lost during an unseasonably hot summer. He gained well and did not change in attitude. I use a 3 qt feed scoop, which will hold about 3.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets. A 2t feed scoop will hold about 2 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all your opinions!

I personally like my horses on the "lean" side. That's hard to do when feeding "easy keepers" free choice hay, but I try, lol. You should be able to feel ribs when you press moderately on the horse's sides. I think she looks good in the last photo, lean but not "thin", but the dim light does make it hard to tell. Also winter coats can hide ribs.
LOL I know how the easy keepers go, Dream is a FATTY - she didn't get the memo older horses are supposed to get skinny...she also missed the memo about them calming down! Hahahah.

I knew the lighting would be a problem, it's the only picture from recently I have of her, I should try to get some new ones. She is blanketed so really doesn't have a winter coat except on her neck.
 

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From the last picture, she looks fine to me. I also prefer my horses on the leaner side. But as mentioned, the lighting and coat make it a little hard to tell. I always judge if my horse is too fat by looking at her from behind, I don't want to see her gut sticking out past her butt. =]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll definately get better pictures next time I go out, probably tomorrow. Thanks! :)
 

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As long as she doesn't lose what she has now, she's fine. I would try to get on a muscle strengthening program tho, that will help her stay healthy throughout the winter.
 

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As long as she doesn't lose what she has now, she's fine. I would try to get on a muscle strengthening program tho, that will help her stay healthy throughout the winter.
I agree with this statement.

I think she looks best in the October 09 picture IMO. The December picture, she looks a bit thinner.
I also agree that she needs a bit more bulk/muscle, and shell look a bit better. But all in all she looks fine.

I wouldn't want her any thinner then she is now though.
 

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She looks fine to me...especially if you like your horse's fit/lean. I like mine a bit chubby :) (As you can probably guess from other pictures) But your horse looks good!
 

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As long as she doesn't lose what she has now, she's fine. I would try to get on a muscle strengthening program tho, that will help her stay healthy throughout the winter.
I agree with this statement.

I think she looks best in the October 09 picture IMO. The December picture, she looks a bit thinner.
I also agree that she needs a bit more bulk/muscle, and shell look a bit better. But all in all she looks fine.

I wouldn't want her any thinner then she is now though.
She usually looks good going into fall/winter because she's been worked all summer, but then in winter doesn't get much riding and looses her muscle. Especially now that she's stalled all the time and just really not even doing anything.

I definately wouldn't want her any thinner either.

She looks fine to me...especially if you like your horse's fit/lean. I like mine a bit chubby :) (As you can probably guess from other pictures) But your horse looks good!
I prefer mine a wee bit chubby as well!
 

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She looks to be at a good weight in the last photo. I'd say a hair on the heavy in the may '09 one. Though she might look better a tad heavier, it is NEVER NEVER NEVER better for them to have even an ounce of extra weight. It is better to be a tab under than overweight.
 
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