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Your thoughts on having a horse heavy coming INTO winter...

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  • Your thoughts on having a horse heavy coming INTO winter...

    The gelding I picked up this August had a tough year. He was unthrifty coming into spring due to worms. That was treated and they were knocked out (confirmed with fecals). He slowly (and properly) put back on wieght. He was between a 4 and a 5 when I brought him home. He was also fit. Only thing to note was a cresty neck and a thick sheath. I put him on a low starch grain along with plain beet pulp and a few alfalfa cubes. He gets soy free vitamins to make up the gap and free choice hay. He is a TWH gelding approximately +/-13 years old. I put him on Remission a month ago to address pre-cushings issues.

    He is fuzzy for sure and not blanketed. I palpated his ribs tonight and realized he is GAINING! Hahaha... he somehow became a 6. Ooops.... good hay and nutrition....

    Would you take out the grain (1 lb. Blue Seal Sentinel LifeTime) a day? Drop the 2 oz. flax? I use slow feeder hay bags 24/7. He is consuming about 25 lbs. a day. Beet pulp/cubes = 1 QT a day combined.

    OR would you leave him alone? He is out with stall access 24/7 and not blanketed.
    Gone gaited....

  • #2
    I would take out the grain and flax, then put him on a multi-vitamin like Smartvite EZ Keeper Grass Pellets or Horsetech's new multi-vitamin supplement High Point Grass.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


    • #3
      I dont think your horse is over weight a 6 for a body score. I would keep feeding what your feeding for now just make sure he doent gain to much more weight,if he does cut out the beetpulp and cubes and maybe cut back on the grain some. You dont want him losing weight in the winter.


      • #4
        I want mine a bit plump going into winter but not fat. Mine don't get blanketed either. A little bit of shivering burns calories. I don't want my horses freezing and wet and cold, but I'm in Tennessee, not Alaska! So for me, shivering is not a horrible thing first thing in the morning as long as they aren't wet. The last thing I want is them fat coming OUT of winter. I've battled that for years and finally have their weight under control.


        • #5
          IMO, a 6 isn't "fat", and I like my guys to be a bit "fluffy" coming into the winter.... I have a 20yo and a 23yo. Winter is tough on horses... and you are in New Hampshire!! He'll burn calories just staying warm!



          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the input...

            I was very hesitent to change anything at this point. It was 20 last night and only going to dip lower starting tonight. He is toasty warm and happy so....

            I was also nervous to change anything given how thin he came into last spring.
            Gone gaited....


            • #7
              I wouldn't toy too much with it at this point. Maybe a little more exercise, maybe some more time in turnout so he can burn some of those calories (perhaps switch his pasture mate to one who is more active?). I used to live in NH and know that it gets very cold, windy and wet there. You can always begin reducing his physique just ahead of spring so he doesn't pork out on the grass.
              "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



              • #8
                I like mine on the heavy side going into winter. They usually start at about a 5 (QH is a 6 just on grass) and are down to a 4 by spring.


                • Original Poster

                  I agree with the more work... he is already in/out 24/7. As soon as the darn wind settles down I will be back in the saddle so that should help.

                  I was looking at him again today and feel satisfied with not changing anything.

                  I shouldn't be complaining right?
                  Gone gaited....


                  • #10
                    If he came into last spring thin, maybe you should up his calories sometime during the winter...... I know it can be hard to actually see the ribs starting to show through the winter coat, but ......