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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently took this mare in from an acquaintance who was having a really difficult time keeping weight on her. She is a hard keeper and came to me extremely underweight. She's gained 100 lbs since she got off my trailer, and is steadily gaining, so I am happy with how she's coming along but I would LOVE to get some input on her conformation!

I do realize that the photos are not ideal, but if you could give me what you can tell I'd really appreciate it. I'll try to get new photos asap.

Her name is Fleur D'Ali and she is a 2004 model registered half arab (Trakehner).
 

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If the mare is not sick, then she appears to have been standing waaaay back from the feed trough at your friends house.
She was not being fed properly. Either she was not getting enough food period, or she was too lazy to go out and feed her regularly.

I would say that she was abusing the horse.

Are you finding her to easily gain the weight now? It just makes me so sad to see a horse in that kind of condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mare is not sick. Mare was not getting enough food. I agree with you 100 percent. I think more an issue of simply not knowing that some horses need A LOT of feed and cannot survive on grass alone. Very sad condition she arrived in for sure, and very hard to look at. :(

She has only been at my house a little over a month and has gained 100 lbs very quickly on good quality feed and hay. As well as being stabled in bad weather and overnight so I can be sure she isn't chilled and gets a chance to eat enough hay (she tends to move around a lot, she is a very up horse in general so I prefer to confine her so she can settle and just eat).

I'll attach some photos I took a few nights ago.. she's definitely gained and her coat is now shining and soft (Yay for Hemp oil!)
 

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Obviously a work in progress getting groceries on her frame and health back in her body, you know that and are addressing those issues.


So, her build...
All conformation is a opinion as what one likes someone else may not...please remember that.
A general side look at her she is pretty balanced wither to butt height.
I can not see her chest nor actual front-leg placement to know wide, narrow, straight or not...so no comment for that.

She has a lovely shaped head, feminine is shape and appearance. Sculpted muzzle, flat forehead if not a bit of dished profile, large expressive eye, good eye placement, nice shaped ears and set wider on her head appropriate to her large bone-frame.
She has a very clean throatlatch, longer neck and tapering of her neck, a bit higher chest tie-in but deceiving as her neck is still long and proportionate.
To me, a very prominent wither with a very high scapula/neck merge.
A nice shoulder not to straight not to sloped she should have nice extension of her leg and ability to pop knees.
She has a deep heartgirth, wonderful for heart and lungs to have plenty of room to work easily.
A back to me that is long, longer than I am happy with but think this is also a Trakehner thing as Arabs to me are not usually this long appearing.
Her SI joint is far back making her hind end appear weak and lacking and can be a weak link to her motor.
Her tail set appears good, croup is shorter.
I notice even appearing hips, possibly a closer hind end leg stance, possible toeing out but in a stall picture "sneaked" all is up for being off in what is.
Her hind legs in the one picture outdoors appear straight, then in a stall a bit straight but not ram-rod straight, just not the optimum angle seen and again, in a stall where one leg is a semi restful pose may not be accurate.
Front legs are flat knees, appear clean to bumps, a bit standing under herself but again, she is not stood up for any picture to show off her many attributes.
Her front pasterns appear long and graceful in bone thickness and a nice angle think compliments her shoulder.
I can't see her hooves very well either in clean stall shavings or standing in real grass....

When you finish rehabbing her she is going to be a beauty...right now just emerging, a hint of what is to come.
Do come back and share more pictures of her as she continues along her rehab as she is absolutely going to change more her appearance please...
This horse has found a soft landing and caring home...kudos for seeing her for what she was, a hidden gem and by the looks of her...a very sweet minded animal.
Best of luck with her.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I am so proud that you got the mare. She looks like a beauty and I am sure that she will bloom once she recovers.
I bet that horse thinks she has died and gone to heaven with you. Please tell us that the mare will not go back where she came from once you have put her back into shape.

I don't understand why people allow any animal to reach bones and skin. I have seen horse in much worse shape, but she was on her way down.
Thank you for stepping up and giving her life again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Took an updated photo of her body condition last night, we seem to have reached a plateau which is frustrating me to no end... how does everybody think she's looking? She needs muscle, which I am aware. I have been on her once, just to see what she would do. She was great, though nervous which I expected as was told she had taken to bolting, rearing, and just basically getting rid of riders (and truly, I do not blame her as they were riding her in the condition she arrived in). She was forward, and up, but did nothing wrong. I allowed her to move out instead of trying to hold her back and once she realized I wasn't going to micromanage her she was absolutely willing to come down and give me a little more work. She has zero muscle at all, and so I stayed on for maybe 15 minutes just walking around with purpose and a bit of trot to see if she would "take off" on me. I want to know what I'm working with. She started to get a bit more forward than I wanted, so I asked her to come back and round up and she did immediately. I called it good and have not been on her since, as my work schedule and 2 other horses have kept me busy and I have no issue with her just eating and gaining more weight.

What does everybody think? Anything you think I should/should not be doing at this point?
 

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I want my horses lean (but not thin), so I don't know, but I think she looks great. Much better. Muscle? Yes. More weight? hmmmm...

Maybe I missed it, but what her other 1/2? Arabs are usually smaller and leaner. You do not want (nor are you going to get) an arab looking like a QH. Like a TB. TBs are usually leaner as a breed. Almost to a point where you have to use a different BSC. lol I know that ribs are a common (or first) place that people look, but it should not be. Some horses, unless they are about-to-drop-dead-obese will always show ribs. Same with the neck. Some horses just have thin necks breed/conformation wise. Nothing to do with muscle or weight. Not saying that is your mare, but something to keep in mind.

JMHO.
 

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Waiting to see what other say.

It says that you are in Canada?

The only reason I'd want more weight (in terms of actual fat) is due to a really harsh winter and you cannot/don't want to blanket or stall. Then, yes, weight would probably be good. Even then, not much more.

BSC is hard with winter coats..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I am on the tip of the province of Nova Scotia, we do get pretty chilly here but I wouldn't label it really harsh (last winter we had more rain than snow!), but this particular horse has a collection of blankets and I do bring her and one other in every night in the winter to eat and get a break from the wind, weather overnight.

Maybe I am obsessing over her condition, as I tend to do with the poorly ones. I seem to keep ending up with them somehow. Here is last year's starving horse that I took on as a boarder for a client who had her boarded in a bad spot where she was not being cared for at all it would seem. This one was even worse off than the mare in this thread.

The mare in these photos is still in my care, though owned by a different boarded now, and she is what I would label an easy keeper. She's happy outside now that she is up to weight!

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I'll admit that the second photo is not the best for critique, but she looks to be doing okay. lol Hefty little chonk. lol Much better than the "before."

I believe that horses stay warm through the act of digestion; a lot of blanketing is due people trying to save money on food. Everyone has their own blanketing/stalling rules, but I believe that if she has food, shelter, and blankets, she should be fine.
For me (of the average, healthy horse):
Cold = Okay
Rain = Okay
Snow = Okay
Wind = Okay
Cold + Snow = Okay
Cold + Rain = Not okay = rain sheet w/ free choice shelter
Cold + Rain + Wind = Bad = stall w/o blanket (depending on barn set up) or weighted blanket w/ free choice shelter
 

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Re your arab/Trak she looks a nice weight now, as does the other horse. For muscle, good nutrition, good protein including lysine, but she's not going to develop muscle without exercise. That noseband thing looks quite wrong btw, hanging now over her nostrils.

Second horse now also good weight, poss bit heavy, but what's with her hind end? Looks uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for chiming in!

Yes, the noseband thing was not properly fitted at all, it was a brand new english bridle I threw on her because she is apparently a dressage horse (and I ride Western, so did not have the tack etc and it has been a very long time since I sat in English tack. I bought her an english bridle and saddle and the bridle the weird noseband that I had never encountered, I believe it can be removed, which I intend to do next time I pull it out!)

Second horse was just in the act of turning and coming towards me when I snapped the photo (have to literally run away and turn quickly to snap a picture because she is SO in your pocket LOL). I believe I caught her in an awkward moment, she stands normally usually.
 

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I think your half arab mare is looking good. It's sometimes hard to judge a horse's weight once they get their winter coat, but I think she is getting almost a tiny bit 'fluffy'. Could be the hair, though.

one thought I had, when first viewing her photos and seeing the pronounced 'dip' in front of her withers, was that she probably has spent a long time being ridden front to back. That is a rider who pulled her face back too much, scrunching her neck back until it dropped downward from the shoulders, creating that dip. I rode a horse that had this dip, and he was very uncomfortable if any kind of contact was taken up. He had learned how to evade the rider by curling behind the contact and sulling up (not offering a true forward). I had to start by riding him on a very loose rein, and asking him to move forward, really forward. I worked at gently picking up contact and asking him to reach forward and outward/downward, following the contact downward. I wanted to teach thim not to avoid it, not to curl back. He was so evasive that the slightest pick up on the rein would make him over react and curl behind it, such that he was all bunched up with even a draping rein.

I had to put more leg on and have him go forward, forward. It took a long time to teach him to move forward into the bit, and I'm talking feather light contact. He never got over anxiety about it, but if I persisted I could get him to meet the bit AND move forward, and I would reward with a draping rein very quickly. He learned that I would never 'ride the brakes'.

I think if you are comfortable riding Western, you should just keep riding western. But beware if she is curling too much, evading the bit and scrunching rather than lifting her neck.
 

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I think she looks good now weight wise as well. It can really help to add amino acids, magnesium and vitamin E for a horse that has been starved. I use tri-amino from uckele, plus a mag and e supplement.
 

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A grackle or figure 8 is not meant to be taken apart. It is a very snug fitting bridle that needs someone with experience helping you fit it as it can cause nerve damage or other problems if not applied correctly.

A simple figure 8 which is a normal bridle with a flash - the flash can be removed. The one your mare has on is a grackle or true figure 8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A grackle or figure 8 is not meant to be taken apart. It is a very snug fitting bridle that needs someone with experience helping you fit it as it can cause nerve damage or other problems if not applied correctly.

A simple figure 8 which is a normal bridle with a flash - the flash can be removed. The one your mare has on is a grackle or true figure 8.
Thank you for this info, I think I'll just use a western training bridle on her instead of fiddling with this one... shame as it's new and more what she's used to but I'm not willing to risk any damage to her!
 
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