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Spinoff from fat rehab horse - fat working horse

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  • Spinoff from fat rehab horse - fat working horse

    I read the fat rehab horse thread with interest, but I have a slightly different spin on the fat horse dilemma.

    I have a 8 yo WBx mare who is in light to moderate work (4-5 rides a week, 45+ minutes each, w-t-c, jumping 1x per week). She is turned out all night with a buddy, limited grass. She is fat.

    She is currently on a flake of grass hay 2x a day, about 1.5-2 pounds of 12% pellet, Smart Vite EZ Keeper grass, raspberry leaves and MSM. I just switched her to the pellet from sweet feed a couple weeks back to cut down sugar, but here's the hitch - she is now getting a little girthy, something which is totally new (I've had her for 6 years).

    I'm wondering if the best course of action would be to cut out the pellets completely, add in some alfalfa pellets (a handful or so to help with the tummy), and treat with some ulcerguard. Maybe a nibblenet is in order, too? Bloodwork?

    COTH nutrition gurus, do you have any advice?

  • #2
    Originally posted by jackalini View Post
    She is currently on a flake of grass hay 2x a day,
    please state hay intake in pounds. Flake is a meaningless term as size differs greatly.
    If hay intake is less than 1.5% of BW, it's probably not enough to prevent ulcers. If so, nix everything with grain products, feed more hay, find concentrated form of vit/mineral sup and feed in alfalfa mush before work.
    Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


    • Original Poster

      Sorry, brain glitch...I had calculated the weight of the feed, forgot to add in weight of the hay.

      She gets (about) 10 pounds 2x a day - so 20 pounds total. She currently is in the 1250-1300 pound range according to the weight tape, which to my eye, looks fairly accurate. I think she needs to lose about 100 pounds.

      Cutting all grain isn't a problem. I do need to give her *something* - even a handful - in the AM so that she'll finish up her supplements. Would alfalfa mush work for that, too?

      Concentrated vit/min supplement - I was thinking I had that covered with the Smart Vite EZ Keeper Grass.

      Thanks for the input.
      Last edited by jackalini; May. 4, 2010, 11:03 AM. Reason: add in "goal weight"


      • #4
        Originally posted by jackalini View Post
        about 1.5-2 pounds of 12% pellet,
        Why is she getting that much? That's far too much for a fatty

        As you are thinking, 1c or so of a-pellets, or beet pulp (which would be even less calories, if it's shredded) would be far better for her, just enough to mix her supps in.

        Consider a grazing muzzle when she's on grass as well. In fact, just plan on it.

        Can her rides be longer/harder?
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Agreed with cutting the pellets, add a cup of something like alfafla pellets or beet pulp, and a grazing muzzle.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


          • Original Poster

            Ah, thanks - I am quite apparently her figure-enabler. No more grain for her. I will see if I can borrow a bit of beet pulp to see what she thinks about it. I know she'll eat the alfalfa pellets, so I just figured, with the calcium content being good for acid control, that was probably the best solution for us.

            I should clarify that she's on nighttime turnout with another horse on about 1.5 acres, which is used during the daytime by 3 voracious others. The grass is less than 2" overall, and I'd be shocked if she's getting much other than a scavenger hunt out there.

            And yes, I do believe longer, more frequent rides are in order. Should she get grumpy, well, I'll let her send you an email.


            • #7
              Originally posted by jackalini View Post
              The grass is less than 2" overall, and I'd be shocked if she's getting much other than a scavenger hunt out there.
              Lotsa folks already shocked at horses foundering on such pastures. Short grass is not necessarily low in nutrients, as the stem base is a shortage organ for NSC.
              Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


              • #8
                Put the supplements in beet pulp- or better yet Smartvite EZ Keeper comes in a pellet, as does SmartMSM. If you buy both of those in pellet form, they might be enough to disguise the raspberry leaves without any other grain/beet pulp. If she were mine, she would wear the grazing muzzle too, at least until the grass is sunburnt and deadin August. You'd be surprised how much they can consume if they try.


                • #9
                  Try reducing the total hay amount

                  but feeding it in a nibblenet to prolong how long she needs to eat it.
                  No pellets.
                  LinPro is a pelleted very concentrated vit/mineral supplement with extra essential amino-acids. I use for all my easy keepers, you only need 4 oz per day.

                  Increase the exercise to include at least once a week and good long trot in sets if need be. She needs to be out of breath and puffing at the end.

                  For exercise to affect metabolism, the horse needs to work at a HR of 65% of VMax for at least 30 mins twice a week. That's a minimum.

                  You'd be amazed at how hard it is to get a horses HR to 65% of Vmax and keep it there for 30 mins.

                  Max HR in a horse is 250, 65% is 163BPM, if you use a HR meter when you ride you will be able to keep track of HR and how high it goes (or does not go), and what pace you have to go at to get the HR up to 65%.

                  YOU need to get that HR up to 165 and keep it there for 30 mins!

                  Good Luck.
                  Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                  Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                  New edition of book is out:
                  Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm going to start with a few of the suggestions and move forward with the rest as necessary, depending on the resulting weight loss.

                    Many, many thanks!