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Weight loss stalled by turnout any suggestions?

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  • Weight loss stalled by turnout any suggestions?

    I have a chubby warmblood mare I am trying to bring back into work, she is also the companion to my yearling filly and I don’t really have any other suitable friends for the yearling. Of course I will not limit forage to the yearling (grass pasture in summer and round bale in winter grass low % alfalfa mix) but am having a hard time getting the extra weight off the mare. I considered a grazing muzzle but I’m afraid the yearling will bite it or somehow get caught on it or something ridiculous lol, I’m looking for tips on weight loss and any ideas for the turnout situation that might help fatty but not leave a hungry yearling. The yearling does get to come hang out in the barn while I work the older mare but I don’t think it’s long enough amount of time to stand in there and eat to make up for any kind of rationing outside. Also afraid if it’s not free feed my chubby mare might get too cranky with the baby.

  • #2
    If you don't want to use a muzzle, (I don't really like using them either but I appreciate that they work for other owners) then you should think about how to:

    Limit the grass when grazing - keep it mowed or divide the pasture
    Limit the free choice hay in turnout for both of them by using a small hole hay net
    If they are stabled separately at night, then limit the hay and extend how long it lasts for the mare by using a small hole net but don't net it for the yearling

    then..

    Bucket feed the yearling 1-2 times daily with high calories to compensate for reducing forage
    Bucket feed the mare too if you are too soft not to (I am, lol) but make it a smaller low calorie feed.

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    • #3
      Your grazing muzzle fears are silly. Muzzle the fat horse and they will both be fine.
      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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      • #4
        Why is the fear silly? Have you never seen some of the things young (and not so young) horses will rip apart? My UNmuzzled 29yo likes to try to "help" my muzzled horse get the muzzle off because they love to face fight all the time.

        Have you never read any of the threads here looking for "indestructable" blankets/sheets because some horse or another, young and old like to bite into them? Some people have absolutely found out the hard way they can't use muzzles in herds where some horses aren't muzzled because of that very "silly" fear.

        It's NOT a silly concern.

        But, Fancy_Free it is a concern that is less likely to happen than you're afraid of The only way to find out is to try it, and I highly recommend giving it a shot. You will probably find it's not a big deal. Just make sure the halter fits snugly enough to not give room for a yearling foot to get through, and of course make sure it's a breakaway halter. I like to use cheap thin leather crown pieces that will break pretty easily. And it's a better situation than reducing the yearling's forage.

        You can start with the muzzle on just during the day, or just at night, and see how that helps with her weight.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          Why is the fear silly? Have you never seen some of the things young (and not so young) horses will rip apart? My UNmuzzled 29yo likes to try to "help" my muzzled horse get the muzzle off because they love to face fight all the time.

          Have you never read any of the threads here looking for "indestructable" blankets/sheets because some horse or another, young and old like to bite into them? Some people have absolutely found out the hard way they can't use muzzles in herds where some horses aren't muzzled because of that very "silly" fear.

          It's NOT a silly concern.
          I guess the OP's horses don't wear fly masks, or get blanketed in the winter. I guess it would occur to no one but me to see how the fat horse handles being turned out in a halter and a fly mask with the yearling for a few days to see if that entices bad behavior from the yearling. Or is it ONLY muzzles that attract unwarranted attention? I can't imagine a yearling getting tangled up in a halter and fly mask. How silly that it's only a muzzle that would cause the problem.
          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JB View Post
            Why is the fear silly? Have you never seen some of the things young (and not so young) horses will rip apart? My UNmuzzled 29yo likes to try to "help" my muzzled horse get the muzzle off because they love to face fight all the time.

            Have you never read any of the threads here looking for "indestructable" blankets/sheets because some horse or another, young and old like to bite into them? Some people have absolutely found out the hard way they can't use muzzles in herds where some horses aren't muzzled because of that very "silly" fear.

            It's NOT a silly concern.
            Fancy_Free try a Green Guard or other muzzle that has the break away straps on it and the halter. I would at least consider trying it.

            If your mare gains weight easily, even a mowed short pasture will likely be too much with all day access. Come winter and grass going dormant you probably won't have to worry about using one.

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            • #7
              Sugar builds up in pasture nearest the roots; tall grass is better for a fatty, plus tall grass is harder to get through the hole in the grazing muzzle (bends). Don't mow!

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              • #8
                Where sugar accumulates depends on whether it's a C3 or C4 grass, the time of year, and the current growing conditions.

                As well, mowing helps force grasses to use up sugars to grow some more (assuming it's remotely growing season).

                Mowing is better for the overall health of grasses in general.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post
                  Sugar builds up in pasture nearest the roots; tall grass is better for a fatty, plus tall grass is harder to get through the hole in the grazing muzzle (bends). Don't mow!
                  Tall or short grass is bad for a fattie ( ask my mare) and I wouldn't put my horse in a muzzle where she couldn't get any grass at all = muzzle with the hole.( ask my mare again)

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