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Feed help! Fat horse Problems!!

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  • Feed help! Fat horse Problems!!

    I have a 3 year old that is a little too cubby and would like some advice to slim him down a little. I have never really had a hard keeper or a "getting fat on air" kinda horse so I dont know to much about the different feeds out there.

    A little about him: He is a Tb/wb cross and almost 16.2. When I bought him in July 2011 he was on 2 scoops of legends Mare and foal (He was kinda skinish) but I dont think the grass at his place was that good and since he was out 24-7, I dont think he got much hay. The hay I did see her give, was not great looking.
    Ended up switching him to FCA trainers request and FCA Premium 15 and then weaned him off the 15 sweet feed.

    Slowly ended up lowing his feed from feb to aug to the point he was on like nothing. Switched him to Buckeye gro'n win and he is on about half a lb twice a day. Dont know the weight of his hay but he gets 3-4 flakes of hay at night and two out in the field. Hay from last year is a mix of orchard and timothy. Hay in field in brome hay. He doesn't get worked much because of his age.

    I dont really want to cut back on his hay unless completely necessary. He doesn't seem to be gaining any weight but also not lossing any either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Gro N Win does have SOME calories (not a ton, but some), so you could try taking that away and going to just a vit/min supplement, maybe with a handful of timothy pellets for taste.

    But, it would be best to know how much his hay weighs. I have had some flakes that weigh a pound or two, and I've had some that weigh close to 10 or more! You horse could be potentially getting 30-40lbs of hay at night, which is WAY more than he needs.

    Find out how much is hay weighs, at least a good guesstimate. Then feed him 1.5 to 2% of his IDEAL weight (have you used a weight tape on him or have even a rough guess to what he weighs). He probably needs 20+ lbs a day. If he inhales it, invest in a slow feeder.


    • Original Poster

      will try to weigh it tonight! I have a heathly hay box for him and hang it away from a the way so it swings and turns. Dont know if he really inhales it so much but would trash stall.


      • #4
        I'd suggest not cutting the hay. Hay and grass are the best for them. If you want to feed without the calories you can give a wheat bran mash with a multiple vitamin added. I do this to my fatties that breathe and get fat. Wheat bran is a filler type with no calories really and not fat. Really no oohing but to fill their bellies a bit.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


        • #5
          Feeding your guy a ration balancer, plus hay, should help to reduce his weight. My mare became a butterball this year. She was doing one recognized USEA event per month, until September and still did not drop any weight. I would say that she was an 8 on the 1-10 scale. In August, I had her thyroid tested. She was found to have low thyroid.

          I changed her feeding program to the McCauley Brothers M-10 ration balancer, which has no soy in it, and a small amount of soaked beet pulp. She gets brome hay, too.

          I started my mare on Thyrozine for her low Thyroid, too. I doubt that your youngster has a low thyroid problem, but I am not a Vet. After being on the new feeding program and Thyrozine, my mare has finally started reducing her 7' Abs.

          When horses get too heavy, I worry about the possiblity of laminitis. That was the main reason that I got my mare tested for IR and low thyroid.
          When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


          • #6
            Originally posted by rabicon View Post
            I'd suggest not cutting the hay. Hay and grass are the best for them. If you want to feed without the calories you can give a wheat bran mash with a multiple vitamin added. I do this to my fatties that breathe and get fat. Wheat bran is a filler type with no calories really and not fat. Really no oohing but to fill their bellies a bit.
            Not all horses can and should live on a free choice forage diet. They just CAN'T or they will be obese...which lends itself to other issues. Right now, we have no idea how much this horse is getting. He could be getting 10 or 15lbs. He could be getting 30. You have to cut calories to lose weight (and exercise. OP, that's another thing that wan't discussed...what's this horse doing?). He isn't getting a TON of calories from the RB. Where else will you cut calories?

            It's no fun to diet a horse, but sometimes you just have to, plain and simple. That's why you do things like slow feeders and muzzles.


            • Original Poster

              So I took our scale out, not sure how well it worked. But I used one of the rubber tub and loaded the hay in and it said 13.5. But when I had the rubber tub alone on there it just said zero, its light but dont think its that light. Mom has been putting out one flake per horse in the field (2 horse and the other horse eats most if not all of his flake) These flakes are around 6lbs each.


              • #8
                So he gets 6lbs in the field and then 18 to 24 lbs at night?
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • Original Poster

                  No 6lbs in field and 13.5-15 in stall at night


                  • #10
                    For the stall, get some sort of slow feeder for his hay and give him less. (I am a fan of NibbleNets but they're a bit more expensive than some of the other options.)
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                    • #11
                      He maybe getting to much hay I will say now. I said don't cut back but I didn't realize that the flakes were that heavy. I would also say get a hay extender at night for him cut back at bit. If his ideal weight is 1100lbs for example I would feed 1% if he needs to lose weight. A ration balancer is good if you want to go that route but only that and the hay.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole