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  1. #1
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    Question Hunter breeding for the large baby....

    I wanted some opinions on my colt.

    I plan to take him to the west coast hunter futurity and want to make sure he is competitive.


    I have his full brother who showed in IHF as a baby and he was a tad too thin in my opinion to compete, but did well.

    But my vet feels my yearling is too fat.

    I feel like he is good weight and am afraid to give him less food because he is so big and growing so much.

    Will his size hurt him when he competes? He is huge.

    He seems proportionate to me which is what should matter, but will the judges not like how big he is?

    Here is a picture from last week. He is probably a tad under 16 hands right now. He gets free choice Bermuda and triple crown growth twice a day.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not sure why the picture came up sideways...



  3. #3
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    Is that an ouline of a few ribs I see? If so, I don't know why anyone, let alone a vet, would say he's too fat

    I'd MUCH rather have a lean youngster, where it IS possible to get high nutrition into them, than a fat youngster (or any horse) by feeding too many calories in order to get nutrition up.

    How much Growth is he getting total?
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  4. #4
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    You can see his ribs slightly. Like I said, he is growing a lot and some weeks he will have no ribs showing and others a little bit.

    He has great muscle tone and a shiny coat so I think nutrition wise I am on the right track.



  5. #5
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    He gets about 6 pounds of triple crown a day in 2 feedings.



  6. #6
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    He gets about 6 pounds of triple crown a day in 2 feedings.

    Here is a picture from the same day, can't really see his ribs here. Maybe just an angle difference.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    He needs more weight to be competitive in my opinion.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    He gets about 6 pounds of triple crown a day in 2 feedings.

    Here is a picture from the same day, can't really see his ribs here. Maybe just an angle difference.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd consider him too fat as well...from a RAISING not Showing perspective. I have one that is similar. She is HUGE. Looks like a two year old instead of a yearling. And some days she looks FAT...other days, I can see a rib. But I know she is a lot fatter than I want a yearling to be....especially one that is so tall. Mine I cut her grain way back (not that she has ever gotten much). She is getting one pound of progressive grass balancer and less than one pound plain oats (total)---and we are likely cutting out the oats soon. She is on very high quality hay and pasture. My vet and nutritionist both said that is more than enough because of her high quailty forage.


    That said...I'm not showing her on the line...though she looks like I could. I do think that what you want for showing may be slightly heavier than what you may want from a strict raising perspective. For these big horses though, I really do think you are better to error on having them on the thin side not the fat side.

    Doubt that helped...but I'm sure your vet was looking at him from a growing raising perspective...not showing. You just have to decide what is your priority. For me...it isn't showing a yearling but raising what I hope will be a top UL competive horse as an adult horse. But I absolutely get those that want to show them young and be competitive.....it is just you will have to walk the balance.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  9. #9
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Yes, the balance is key for me.

    I want to do well because I know he is very correct and what a hb horse should be, but not to the detriment of his joint health as he gets older.


    I KNOW THAT HB horses needs to be fat, I do disagree to a point, but it is what it is.


    I feel right now he is a decent weight, but I also have to think about shipping to California. It is hot here in AZ and even though we travel at night, 8 hours traveling can make a young horse lose weight.

    The HB is a bonus for me. I will not over feed him to win, but I would like to make sure he will at least be somewhat competitive.



  10. #10
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    My filly has always been a fast grower yet needed to be fat to show on the line. I just keep hay in front of her at all times and "grain" her with timothy pellets and a ration balancer with a half cup of rice bran oil. She gets no real grain at all.


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  11. #11
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    How can a horse, any horse, be too fat if you can see a hint of ribs?

    Growing horses ARE going to have fat and skinny days and there's not a lot you can do about that other than to tailor feeding as best you can. The fat stage might only last 2 weeks, then suddenly you have a thin youngster again who's taller and/or longer.

    I recently saw a picture of a beautifully fitted youngster who was doing VERY well in decent company on the line - you could see the outline of ribs. I was beyond excited that the judges were looking at at what the horse IS, not what the horse might be behind all the fat.

    I DO know that many judges want to see the fat youngster on the line, and the healthy ones won't do well. *I* say - boycott those shows/judges until they get it through their thick heads that very often, that fat hides conformation flaws. There is ZERO need to be required to have a fat youngster (or any horse).

    I would not remotely start putting weight on this horse just to show on the line. Wouldn't do it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    He needs more weight to be competitive in my opinion.

    he's already fat for a yearling!

    Why not talk to your vet about why he felt the weight is an issue?
    does he (colt) have fat deposits? having (barely) visible ribs does not preempt fat deposits elsewhere ...
    If you want more weight for showing, then do it with quality forage rather than concentrates - that is where studies indicate particular developmental concerns.

    I don't know of any corresponding data in young horses, but certainly in young cats/dogs, you can expect internal fat deposits (where there should be none)


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    I was beyond excited that the judges were looking at at what the horse IS, not what the horse might be behind all the fat.
    You can definitely see my yearling's ribs and he was just fourth in non-TB colts at Devon. If I remember right, the horses in front of him had more weight but were not fat, and behind him some were fatter and some about the same as him.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    How can a horse, any horse, be too fat if you can see a hint of ribs?

    For a tall growing yearling...they can. I have two yearlings. One is thin. You can see more than just a hit of ribs on him. But his coat is shiny, hips and back look good...vet is thrilled with him.

    Other yearling I can see a hint of her ribs at time...other times you have to press to feel. She has a lovely neck...too lovely. In that she has a top line that is more established and mature looking that you want at this stage. I'm not going to starve her...as she needs her nutrition....but she also get's most of that nutrition from her forage.


    They can have a hint of ribs...and fat deposits elsewhere depending on how they are built. You have to look at the whole horse. For me, the horse pictured in this thread is more like my fat yearling. Beautiful....but just a hair more weight than I want on their fast developing frames. But my thin yearling is WAY too thin if I was showing on the line.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  15. #15
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    I also think that fat can hide a lot of flaws.

    I certainly don't want to do that!

    I would be very happy to see a young horse win that wasn't obese.

    I am glad to hear that is starting to happen.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    How can a horse, any horse, be too fat if you can see a hint of ribs?
    Worms. That's how a horse can be "fat" and still show ribs. You see ribs and a beer belly below them. Not saying your horse is wormy OP! He looks fine. When they are growing you really don't have much control, all you can do is offer them good nutrition; they are going to look their own way no matter what you do.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester



  17. #17
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    That's not fat - that's a "worm belly" or a "hay belly". There's a difference between fat and pot-bellied

    But I do agree that when they're this age, you don't always have control over the fat and skinny moments, you just take some control if those moments stretch into periods that are too long
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  18. #18
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    You know what secret I want to learn?

    Is how to get the yearling to the show without 1800 scratches bumps and bruises!


    Every day there is something new! He is like a dang bumper boat!

    I guess I need to find something to cover up all the scrapes!


    It's 110 here, I don't know where he finds the energy to run around anyway!



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    You know what secret I want to learn?

    Is how to get the yearling to the show without 1800 scratches bumps and bruises!
    You know how - BUY THE SUIT!!!



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  20. #20
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Oh lord!

    And I thought bubble wrap was the only solution!




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