• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Help with overweight horses

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Help with overweight horses

    I started at a local barn back in January and have been slowly working with the horses there and donkey. Biggest problem that I saw in all but the donkey was they're freaking fat. The mares range from 3 to 28 (I think).

    I slowly started weaning back on the amount of grain they were getting. When I started each was getting about 3qts of grain a day or more, 2-3 flakes of hay and are turned out from about 7am to 7pm. Over a month and a half I weaned them down to about 1qt a day. The 3yr old is getting half is alfalfa pellets and sweet feed per trainer when she returned after 6 months.

    So far everyone has lost visible weight from changing the grain except one mare. I've worked her in the round pen some before it started getting too hot. The vet is coming out this week to do yearly shots and worming per owners request. Any questions I should ask the vet about this one mare? I know I need to up the amount of round pen work but this is hard to do with the heat in the south and the round pen being on a slight slope. I'm worried about her foundering with the amount of weight she has.

    Here's a few pictures of her:

  • #2
    Are they on pasture at all? If so muzzle them for turnout. And ditch the grain--switch to a ration balancer.
    Originally posted by EquineImagined
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


    • #3
      NO grain for fat horses. NONE. Not even a ration balancer--lots of calories in those, too. Give them a vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplement and modest amounts of hay, for starters. Soaking the hay can remove even more calories. Can the fatso mare be ridden? Ponied off another horse?
      Click here before you buy.


      • Original Poster

        The pasture they're on is a mix of burmuda and clover. I've thought about the muzzle as there's one in the tack room...covered in dust. The owner insists on them getting grain and knows their overweight but has nothing to do with feeding them. I'm there during the week and someone else does weekends, though I know she feeds them about 2xs as much as I do. What kind of ration balancer would be good for them?

        None have been ridden in probably 4 years aside from the 3yr old and she's still green broke.


        • Original Poster

          I found the labels for the grain they're getting and I see why the 3 that get senior feed have gotten nice shiny coats the past month and a half. I picked up feed from a different store than what I thought the owner went to and ended up getting the Purina Sr and Alfalfa pellets. Comparing the Sr to where she usually gets then combined with the sweet feed it's no wonder it's made a difference.

          Mixed together



          • #6
            The owner insists on them getting grain and knows their overweight but has nothing to do with feeding them.
            What the owner doesn't know is going to kill her horse, so if she wants them to have grain. . . fine. Give them precisely one ounce of grain.

            A shiny coat is no defense against laminitis.
            Click here before you buy.


            • Original Poster

              The two mares that get the Senior feed have lost weight since I changed the amount given but still could loose a bit more.

              I did weigh out how much grain they get when I feed them at 11oz a day, I have no clue how much the other person does but I can't even get her to remember to feed the 3yr old alfalfa on weekends. Owners reason for the grain is for the mineral content from the grain. I'm thinking of finding something that will cover that without the need for sweet feed.

              Lady I volunteered with suggested beet pulp and the article on Fix it with feed suggested it minus the molasses. Would a mix of beet pulp and a mineral supplement be good. I've been meaning to find a hoof supplement to add in too.


              • #8
                I have two hard to manage boys at home. You really need to stop the grain completely and put a muzzle on. My vet suggested platinum performance, but smartpak has a version that costs less called daily omegas plus. It's flax based which has been shown to help regulate blood sugar (she's probably IR). It also contains the vit/min, amino acids, and if you go with something like this you won't need anything for her feet.

                I would also talk to the vet about putting her on Thyro-L to help get some of the weight off, but it's a waste of everyone's time and money if you don't make the other management changes...she'll just blow up again.


                • #9
                  Flax is a grain and since you feed it in ounces not lbs the perfect grain for a fatty on too good of pasture. Ditch all feed and give fatty a couple ounces of grain and if it pleases the owner a fortified supplement for vits/ mineral. Then you are looking at 200-300 calories vs in the neighborhood of 1200cal for a lb of horse feed. Then you are meeting the owners desire but reducing calories by 1000cal a day.

                  When the vet comes the obvious question you should ask is "Is this mare metabolic?" And "Can you help explain to the owner why this body score is EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY ?"

                  Way too much clover on that pasture. The land owner needs to knock it back with a pesticide to reasonable poplution. Then you need to muzzle the horse for grazing or limit her grazing time....or this horse going to founder.


                  • Original Poster

                    Would talking the owner into switching to beet pulp and adding vits/mineral and a hoof supplement be a good idea? This would be for all of them and only one horse would probably require the grain and it's cause he's a hard keeper. I'll bring up using the muzzle on the one mare.


                    • #11
                      Whatever reduces the caloric intake is a good idea. There are vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplements that can be fed at the rate of 4-6 ounces a day, virtually NO calories added, to meet their needs that way. If you chuck that in a cup of wet beet pulp the horse gets a "meal" and everyone's happy.

                      I can't think of a sweet feed product that would be meeting a horse's vit/min needs fed at the rate of 11 ounces a day.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • Original Poster

                        So beet pulp all around added vit/mineral, hoof supplement (for those that need it) and tubby gets a muzzle. Guess I'll have to endure the heat/humidity and put her in the round pen for 10mins twice a week. I'll talk with the vet about diet for all and see what they say. I've never met the one coming out, the usual vet I did some work for back in college so I know she's good.

                        Guess I'll need to call the co-op and check pricing comparing what she buys now compared to the other.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by onna View Post
                          Would talking the owner into switching to beet pulp and adding vits/mineral and a hoof supplement be a good idea? This would be for all of them and only one horse would probably require the grain and it's cause he's a hard keeper. I'll bring up using the muzzle on the one mare.
                          Beet pulp is a fairly high energy forage subst. So if you are feeding it to fatties then feed it in ounces NOT lbs and as a carrier for the vit/mineral supp or the hoof supplement.

                          So any combo that reduces calories is wise. Anything you can do the restrict grazing time/rate of consumption is wise.

                          The hard keeper could benefit from beet pulp in a grander amount. Especially if this horse has teeth issues. I use beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, grain based feed and oil on my hard keeper.


                          • #14
                            10mins twice a week
                            Why not 30 minutes, every day?
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • Original Poster

                              That's what I was thinking, just enough to hold all of the supplements together and no extra.

                              Lack of babysitter on Monday is one problem I run into. The other is I overheat easy and stuck wearing jeans or I get ate up by every bug possible in the area. The round pen is also on a small hill that has enough slope to it I've had the horses slip several times on different occasions even trotting. Last thing I want to happen is have one injured. I thought it was better to start off at a short time for several weeks then slowly add more as the horse adjusted to it.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by onna View Post
                                That's what I was thinking, just enough to hold all of the supplements together and no extra.
                                Good plan...now to get the owner on board. Good Luck. And you are seriously doing the horse a big favor by trying to help.

                                Maybe you can tell the owner that you know of someone (me)that has a rotund gelding that will never be anything but a fatty. But in all his days he has never been that fat! Maybe if you find a polite way to to share my comment she'll get the picture.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by D Taylor View Post
                                  Good plan...now to get the owner on board. Good Luck. And you are seriously doing the horse a big favor by try to help.

                                  Maybe you can tell the owner that you know of someone (me)that has a rotund gelding that will never be anything but a fatty. But in all his days he has never been that fat! Maybe if you find a polite way to to share my comment she'll get the picture.
                                  I think the motivation to the change would be the owner riding again. I know it needs to be a slow process to loose the weight, so summer heat is a good time to adjust feed and we have all fall and winter to get the rest done. My biggest thing is getting them into shape. I know they could be ridden now, but what's the point if you hurt them in the process and lay them up for several more months?

                                  She did tell me if its anything needed for the horses to get it or let her know and she'll buy it. So maybe me telling her about this will help and having the vet confirm with change a of diets.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Think I found things that would work. I want to make sure I have a list of what she needs to buy for switching these guys over before hand. I'm glad I've been on the right track, helps having someone else that backs up what I've been thinking.

                                    Trying to stay local as its easier to get her to run out to the co-op and I can always run to the other that's a bit farther away.

                                    Beet pellets

                                    Vitamin/mineral supplement

                                    Hoof supplement


                                    • #19
                                      Whew...those were some serious storms but we are grantful for the rain. Anyhow...

                                      Those are quality products. You are def on the right path.

                                      I used the Dumor Hoof on Mr Rotund. He stays on a double dose as his hooves are brittle and shelly and he is a 16hd horse (big guy)....and being a fatty only complicates that. I have tried others and have found Dumor Hoof works the best. I am very happy with the product's results and cost/benefit.

                                      Good luck....and take care in the heat. I am not enjoying the summer much either.


                                      • #20
                                        No grain whatsoever would be an excellent idea for any horse or any person whose ribs are not protruding.