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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Central, FL
    Posts
    782

    Default Fat horse, bad feet and confused owner.

    So first off 8 year old Welsh Cob X gelding, who used to have perfect feet.

    This year our pastures are SOOOO lush and there isn't a dry lot to be had in the area. My horse is over weight not obese but over weight I'd go 6.5/8 on the body condition score.

    He currently is on free choice Bermuda pasture about 7-8 hours a day then free choice T/A and 1/2 flake of alfalfa in his stall at night. He gets NO grain. The alfalfa is because he is ulcer prone and has been treated for ulcers before the whole Gastrogard regimen. He is on a multivitamin supplement (for alfalfa based diets) and hoof supplement plus electrolytes.

    He is at 5 weeks on his trim and his hooves are cracked and chipping like no tomorrow. I've also noticed flares. When the farrier trims him his feet look amazing and by 4-5 weeks they are flared and cracked again. I am also battling thrush on and off again with him.

    So I whipped out my nutrition books from undergrad and did some research. I bought a grazing muzzle today and alfalfa pellets. Here is my plan let me know if it sounds far fetched or anyone has suggestions

    He will wear the grazing muzzle during turn out and will get a half a scoop of alfalfa pellets twice a day. He needs the added calcium. Then I switched his multivitamin to a grass based on, added a magnesium supplement, U-gard and SOURCE.

    Im going to discontinue the hoof supplement since I started it his feet have been growing much faster but I feel like they have been chipping/cracking more.

    Its so hard because he is over weight, has ulcer issues ( you can tell when his stomach is bothering him because of the way he is under saddle) plus he is SUPER reactive.

    I hope the magnesium will help his metabolism and his reactivness and then the calcium in U-gard will allow me to get away with less roughage to keep his belly happy. I added SOURCE because I'd much rather spend the extra 10 bucks to get my SmartPak to $40 and get something then spend that money on shipping.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2007
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    If his feet are growing fast, get him trimmed sooner. My horses go 4 weeks in summer 6 weeks in winter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,963

    Default

    You're going in the right direction. Muzzle will help lots. From what I recall on the alfalfa being helpful with ulcers study, it helped at a minimum of a pound per day? I would weigh it out and not just measure out "half a scoop twice per day". There is a big calorie difference in one lb vs. three lbs.

    You don't mention if you're going to continue feeding the free choice hay in the stall? If so, put it in a slow feeder net. That would also reduce his calories and the amount he's eating.

    For the cracking hooves, there is another thread discussing the same thing...Keratex hardener and gel.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Central, FL
    Posts
    782

    Default

    I was going to keep the free choice hay in the stall for now and see where the grazing muzzle gets me. I'm nervous leaving him in the stall for so long without something in front of him especially with his stomach.

    AS far as the alfalfa goes he will be getting additional alfalfa in his T/A as well so I dont want to feed the entire pound in pellets.

    As far as trimming more frequently hes on a 5 week schedule if I was to head off the cracks each time they showed up he'd be getting trimmed ever 3 weeks. =/

    I'm hoping maybe the feet are related to his excess weight? Possible IR contributing to the flairs and hoof wall separation at the ground? Am I on the right track?
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,963

    Default

    He'd still have the hay in front of him though; it would just be in a net. He can still eat constantly through the net, just in a reduced amount.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,525

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Justmyluck View Post
    As far as trimming more frequently hes on a 5 week schedule if I was to head off the cracks each time they showed up he'd be getting trimmed ever 3 weeks.
    Yup.

    I can't let my mares go more than 3 weeks during the warm months.... by week 4, flare & chipping is occurring.

    The hooves are telling you "I'm growing, I need to be trimmed & balanced NOW." Pleez to listen.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,133

    Default

    A mare I use to own would start flaring at 4 weeks into a trim during the warm months. My farrier had me use my rasp to file them down to keep them under the control. It worked out pretty well.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    www.rockleyfarm.blogspot.com has a lot of good info on how diet affects metabolism and ultimately hoof condition.



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