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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Mirabel, QC
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    Talking Feeding for weight LOSS without a muzzle

    Is it possible?

    I have a pretty fat gelding, 7 BSC pushing 8 most certainly.

    He's been only on free choice hay and a mineral supplement, but he's overweight now and not in real work until I give birth in May.

    I used a muzzle on him in the past few days, but it started chaffing under his chin so full-time muzzle wouldn't work.

    I thought about muzzle for the night (roughly 16 hours), then 8 hours without. But what to feed during the time he's without his muzzle and away from the hay bale?

    Is there something I could give him to munch on during the day that would contain virtually no calories to he wouldn't be too upset about being away from the all-you-can-eat hay bar?

    TIA
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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  2. #2
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    Mar. 20, 2010
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Can you feed him a lower quality hay? Or, you could put his hay in a nibble net so he eats it slowly.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Mirabel, QC
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    That would be a good idea, but there's the tricky matter of winter and lack of running water everywhere, so sort of has to be out with the group most of the time, thus, he has access to the yummy rich hay for the broodmares and filly.

    I could put his hay during the day in a hay net, but I am afraid that still might be too much for the fat one.

    Does straw contain less DE than hay?
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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  4. #4
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    Mar. 24, 2007
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    Well unfortunately fatty's can't usually have free choice....I just took 200lbs off my girl over the last 18 months.......feeding low sugar hay and feeding her a measured amount of 5 lbs 4 times a day.......I also had her on thyro L for a while.

    Dalemma



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
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    14,488

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalemma View Post
    Well unfortunately fatty's can't usually have free choice
    Exactly. We have a horse who eats 5-10 lbs of hay over night, and sparse pasture in the day time. I have to bring him into the spring time a bit ribby so he is safe thru the grass growth times.

    Most horses are obese from too much hay, not grain.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Mirabel, QC
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    Well obviously, mine got obese from hay. I never grained him.

    Hmmm... I guess my question should be more along the lines of: what can I give him to nibble on while he's off the hay bale? I'd still put the muzzle on him at night so he doesn't gorge himself on hay...
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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  7. #7
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
    I guess my question should be more along the lines of: what can I give him to nibble on while he's off the hay bale?
    What I would give him is nothing. I throw literally a handful if I am passing the stall. I can split a flake 8 ways. That is what I do to all my super easy keepers. It is also why I never have hay in the group turnouts. I would rather give them their flake or two when locked up all night, than have to give them nothing. Also, the fatties need to move when out, and standing at a hay bale does not add to their exercise.

    I hay the harder keepers more when they are in to make up for it, and they eat it because they are hungry when they come in from nibbling at very little in the field.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Mirabel, QC
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    Aren't you concerned with the fact that their stomach sits empty most of the time?

    (I have just been raised so much with the mantra that horses should have hay at all times... as well as clean water of course )
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  9. #9
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    Not at all. I have done this for hundreds of horses and ponies over almost 40 years, and not one has had an ulcer problem. They WILL get huge problems though from overweight. The choice to me is a no-brainer.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    Not at all. I have done this for hundreds of horses and ponies over almost 40 years, and not one has had an ulcer problem. They WILL get huge problems though from overweight. The choice to me is a no-brainer.
    Oh I totally agree on the obesity being a problem, hence why I added the muzzle right away when I realized the problem. Frankly, in the past few years I've only had harder keepers or broodmares and growing foals and all thoses needed more often MORE then LESS food!

    I am sort of out of loop on how to deal with the fatties...

    How much does a muzzle cut hay intake? Does anyone know? I know they say it cuts pasture intake in half, but what about hay?

    It started chaffing, is it a fit issue? Or do they all chaff after a while?
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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  11. #11
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by EquusMagnificus View Post

    It started chaffing, is it a fit issue?
    I can't help there. I refuse to use muzzles.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
    (I have just been raised so much with the mantra that horses should have hay at all times.
    That bit of bad research (ulcers) was the worst thing they could have ever published for the health of horses. Now we have obesity rampant, and lots of severe problems from that, and the same horses are still getting ulcers - horses locked in their stalls, high stress, etc.

    Most horses just can't have unlimited hay with out getting very fat, unless it is very poor quality. Horses were designed to pick and nibble at garbage, stalks and stems, not lush pasture and rich hay. They were designed to walk LONG distances while finding those sparse nibblings. Survival was for the easiest keepers.

    Horses were close to starved coming into the spring grass, so they were safe from the lush growth period. Same thing but more moderate in the fall as summer drought again took off weight to prepare for the fall re-growth, and that fattened them up for the winter.

    Now, management has changed all of that, and we are seeing the result with cushings, EPSM, laminitis, colic, lots more arthritis, etc.



  13. #13
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    Mar. 24, 2007
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    I hate muzzles and won't use them......I would rather do portion control both with hay and pasture.

    All my horses get fed a measured amount 4 times a day....just different amounts depending on their size and how much of an easy keeper they are......regardless of what they get it takes them about one hour to an 1 1/2 to eat each portion and that is with a slow feeder....the rest of the time they wander around their paddock and visit their barn mates over the fence lines.

    In the summer they get about 2 to 3 hours of pasture 2 times a day......I've got one that gets half that due to PSSM and heart issues......the sugars in the grass causes a spike in his heart rate......so he can only tolerate about an hour then he is brought in and gets a flake of low sugar hay.

    Unfortunately it is just reality for most horses these days.

    Dalemma



  14. #14
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Halter fuzzies and keep the muzzle on. A little chafing in a few spots won't kill him, but laminitis might. Think of it as good practice for motherhood . . . Mama knows best!

    You migh also hunt for some very-low-nutritive-value hay and/or soak the hay you have.
    Click here before you buy.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 24, 2007
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    I've been feeding portion control for 17 years and never had an ulcer except for one.....a mare that had a reaction to bute..........all mine come and go from their stall 24/7 to individual attached paddocks.

    Dalemma



  16. #16
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Mirabel, QC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    That bit of bad research (ulcers) was the worst thing they could have ever published for the health of horses. Now we have obesity rampant, and lots of severe problems from that, and the same horses are still getting ulcers - horses locked in their stalls, high stress, etc.

    Most horses just can't have unlimited hay with out getting very fat, unless it is very poor quality. Horses were designed to pick and nibble at garbage, stalks and stems, not lush pasture and rich hay. They were designed to walk LONG distances while finding those sparse nibblings. Survival was for the easiest keepers.

    Horses were close to starved coming into the spring grass, so they were safe from the lush growth period. Same thing but more moderate in the fall as summer drought again took off weight to prepare for the fall re-growth, and that fattened them up for the winter.

    Now, management has changed all of that, and we are seeing the result with cushings, EPSM, laminitis, colic, lots more arthritis, etc.
    Absolutely agree 100%, but I guess growing up as a kid, those horses WORKED and we never had an obese one. Fat-er yes, obese, no.

    I guess he'll just have to live on the Jenny Craig diet forever...

    Oh I don't feel that bad for him chaffing, but I don't want it to be chaffed to the point of bleeding. It is certainly better than laminitis, but still. There are other ways to control his feed intake that aren't chaffing! Although they do pose more issues of logistic.
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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  17. #17
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    Feb. 4, 2009
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    I have had very good luck (if you ever do decide to muzzle again) with the Best Friend muzzle and these fuzzies:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...8#ht_615wt_753

    I use one on the top for the nose, and one under the chin, and no more rubs.

    I could never give my horse free choice anything. She's more of a pig than my labrador. One place I boarded had leftover straw from a foaling mare. They bed her stall with it and my mare ate so much of it her abdomen was distended. I found her with her head lowered almost to the ground, drooling, (but not choking), eyes half shut. I don't know if she was feeling poorly, or better than she ever had because she had stuffed herself. If there is a lot of hay in group turnout, she'll bolt it down as fast as you can imagine, and push the other horses away to eat theirs. And she'd be about a 9/9 body condition score, given half the chance.

    Where she is now, she gets 12 hours of muzzled turnout with one or two others. There is a little hay put out at noon. She still manages to stuff a lot of it through that hole in the muzzle, but its better than without it. There's really no way to quantify how much hay or grass gets through there, except by periodic weight taping and body condition scoring.

    If portion control or muzzling is working with the weight, you might consider looking into metabolic syndrome/IR/cushings etc. Good luck!



  18. #18
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    I have dieted several obese horses successfully without a muzzle. And the way you do is limiting their hay AND give them exercise. Just like with humans, they need to burn more calories than they take in...and frankly, they stay a lot more friendly when they have something to do to take their minds off their "hunger."

    My biggest project was a very large draft cross. At his ideal weight, he weighed 1400lbs. He got a 1.5lb of a low cal feed (he WAS in work, he needed to feel like he was getting something when all the TBs around him ate, and his owner had a hard time not giving him anything), a vit/min sup since the feed wasn't going to cover his basics, especially considering he was in solid training level eventing type work, and kept his hay consumption down to 15-20lbs a day. It was a little easier outside, as he and his fat buddies had a fairly sparse paddock to go out in and I just threw them flakes of hay. It took about 6 months, but we did get the weight off of him and he looked really great and FELT better...he jumped better and galloped better and had a lot more energy. It took some convincing of his owner that he wasn't starving nor was he emaciated, but once she saw the benefits and FELT the benefits, she was thrilled.

    Less hay, more work.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2009
    Location
    Little Pond Farm
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    351

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    "I have dieted several obese horses successfully without a muzzle. And the way you do is limiting their hay AND give them exercise. Just like with humans, they need to burn more calories than they take in...and frankly, they stay a lot more friendly when they have something to do to take their minds off their "hunger.""

    Who knew a healthy horse needed exercise! Thank you for posting that..............



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
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    15,232

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    Quote Originally Posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
    Aren't you concerned with the fact that their stomach sits empty most of the time?

    (Absolutely not. Horses have been living without a 24 hour buffet without dying for years)

    (I have just been raised so much with the mantra that horses should have hay at all times... as well as clean water of course )
    if you are fat you must step away from the table. goes for horses, humans, dogs, etc

    quite simple.



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