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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003

    Default Normal, obese, then improvement. Will metabolism ever be close to normal again?

    If a horse's metabolism was once normal (could graze for hours like a normal horse and not be too fat), then the horse was allowed/made to become obese by overfeeding, is there any chance the horse will ever have a normal metabolism again?

    Boyfriend has obese Andalusians. Obviously two totally different metabolisms, but he is shocked at how much Orchard hay my DWB's get, and how they can be on pasture almost 24/7 (not super lush, but green). His horses were once able to graze in his beautiful pastures all day long. Sadly, they cannot anymore.

    Is there any hope for their metabolism to be repaired?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003


    Darn! I am guessing not, since no one has commented?

    I was just feeling optimistic that my comments to him that their metabolism is ruined were incorrect. Such a shame that this could have been prevented with proper management! (actually, it really makes me angry when innocent horses suffer because people don't choose to do the right thing. )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2002
    Ontario Canada

    Default I find they can go back to normal.

    I help run a 40 horse facility. We get in a lot of metabolic horses and most(not all) once we get the weight off can eat what the rest of the horses eat without getting tubby again.

    As an example one gelding moved in early spring and was HOG fat. He is a big gelding and other than hay he only got a handful of grain twice a day.

    It took 8 months but he is now able to eat twice the hay and a normal ration of grain for his size. He looks 10 years younger and runs like a fool with the herd.

    Honestly when he came I didn't even want to give him his E sel supplement as it is full of sugar(the base) and I was afraid it would push him over the edge.

    We have 9 currently who came to us with metabolic issues, 8 have recovered a few actually became slightly hard keepers once the weight came off.

    1 is still metabolic however if her owner would stop feeding her a bag of carrots a day plus several apples and stud muffins she would be right as rain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Greensboro, NC


    Andys, the Baroque breeds in general, are more prone to EMS issues than many other breeds, so these may have reached a point where management is needed. It's not always about the calories - it's often about the amount of sugars. Many IR horses can have free choice hay, a LOT of it, but low-sugar stuff.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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