What is the experience out there with cresty necks in horses that have developed in conjunction with serious weight gain? Is it possible to eliminate a cresty neck through management of feed and exercise ?
Not to be a "Chicken Little"(OMG the sky is falling), but I would treat a cresty neck as a serious sign of a metabolic issue. Be very careful and watch for signs of laminitis. Diet management, feed choices and exercise are essential. Check with your vet.
I would take the cresty neck to be a sign that there is a little more than just extra weight happening, and to start treating the horse as if there is a metabolic problem. (And maybe testing for IR)
Yes, the cresty neck will go away with diet, but not just by reducing calories. My pony does not have a cresty neck, but does have metabolic issues, and thus some abnormal fat padding. Only once I properly balanced his diet, and got his metabolic issues under control, did I notice a change in the fat deposits.
"On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."
If you have a very over weight horse then you need to eliminate the weight not just on the neck but over the entire body.
I had an obsese mare about 8 years ago and I worked hard to get her down to an acceptable weight.....during the time she was obsese she had a cresty neck and tested positive for IR......she is now lean over the barrel but still has some underlying fat pockets but her neck it not cresty......and I suspect that she is no longer IR.
Horses that are very overweight can have significant health issues........the worst one being is laminitis.......its hard on their joints.
I know my girl who used to just stand around in her pasture ...she now gallops around bucking and carrying on when she was fat she never did that.........so I know she is much happier.....she is also a much better ride as she had more energy.
Depending on the severity of the crest. My mare had a pretty bad one that is completely gone now that she is at a normal weight. Some that are severely obese even when the weight is managed may still have the cresty lumps right at the center --kind of like the cellulite look on human legs after weight is lost?