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Putting my Horse on a Diet

4796 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  luvs2ride1979
My TB mare, Venus, is a very easy keeper. She is the horse I use for my jumping, but a lot of exercise doesn't seem enough to keep enough weight off of her (She tends to get a BIG pot-belly).

She is in a 12 acre pasture 24/7. She gets A LOT of forage everyday (green grass and has the option of eating from a round bale). I only feed her a pound of Golden Performer 14% a day (1/2 a pound twice a day) as well as one flake of coastal hay twice a day. I only ride her for about 1 hour and 30 minutes three times a week at the most, but her exercise will increase once I have more time.

I've read that forage is 70-80% of a horse's diet, and that green grass contains a lot of fat and sugar and can cause obesity in some horses.

Will keeping her in a stall at night help her to lose weight since she can't eat grass all night? If I take away the round bale, will that help by taking away another source of forage? Should I feed her even less feed, or does she need the extra calories since she's exercising?

I would love to get some advice because this is the first time of tried to diet a horse!

Thank you!
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I would take away the round bale and cut out the grain. Instead of grain, give her 1 lb of hay pellets with some vitamins mixed in (to round out her diet), and put out a mineral salt block. Also make sure she's on a good deworming program or do a fecal test for parasites. A bloated belly can be a sign of parasites.

You don't HAVE to feed any kind of grain or horse feed. My horses have been on a feed-free diet for two years now and are healthier than they ever have been. I feed grass hay (they don't have any grazing) with 1.5-3 lbs of Alfalfa pellets. I mix in a good vitamin supplement, like GrandVite, SmartVite Grass, or Select II.
 

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Another option wouild be ADM's Metabolic Minerals. You feed just 1 lb a day and the horse gets all of the vitamins and minerals they need, including minerals for horses that are insulin resistant. It's a grain-free and molasses-free formula, especially for "easy keepers".
StaySTRONG low starch mineral feed supplement

You can buy it online if you do not have a local ADM dealer. The price is very reasonable, $13.90 plus shipping for a 40-day supply.
http://www.admani.com/AllianceEquine/On Line Ordering.htm

Locate a dealer:
http://www.admani.com/AllianceEquine/Locate an Equine products dealer.htm
 
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