• 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.

Announcement

Collapse

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

Coming out of the winter skinny. Hu?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Coming out of the winter skinny. Hu?

    I saw a craiglist ad today that has me scratching my head. The photo shows a thin horse - not dangerously emaciated but probably a BCS of 3.5.

    The ad says that the horse is skinny due to the winter but he always gains his weight back when the grass greens up.

    So, I can't help but scratch my head. I feed enough hay and other feed through the winter that my horses come out of the winter looking exactly the same as they went into it back in the fall.

    I've noticed a few of the horses I trim getting skinny through the winter and the owners commenting that they'll fatten back up over the summer.

    So what is everybody else's opinion on this? It seems weird to me that people let horses get skinny over the winter because they know the grass will fatten them up again.

    Obviously this is the natural cycle of feral or wild horses (and really all grazing animals). Get plump when forage is available - trim down when it's not. But should we be emulating that? My opinion is no, but I'm curious to hear the opinions of everyone else.

  • #2
    I agree with you. It's a very common thing for pastured horses here in my area. Is it laziness? Somehow a lot of people think it's acceptable.
    Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well I think this winter was exceptionally rough on horses ( depending on where you were located). My horse who is 10 came out looking a little rough and it was also really hard on our older guys.

      It took him 2 weeks on grass and he looks great now, Hes not a hard keeper but a typical TB. Eats alot no matter what season you are in.

      They have free choice hay, if they eat it they get more. Granted some of our hay this year wasnt great but better than alot eat so spoiled or not if they are hungry they will eat it.

      No its not normal practice and I was not happy with the way he was looking, it was really the first year that I could really see he was declining, but he bounced back in a relative short amount of time with no worse for wear.
      Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t

      Comment


      • #4
        This winter was hard on stock here - it wasn't exceptionally cold, nothing really brutal, but several degrees below normal and it was relentless, there were no breaks, and the humidity was up. When you have cold like that, livestock comes out a little light, regardless of what kind of livestock and what is fed as they just use up everything to keep warm. Was so bad I spent a lot of time huddled here or on the couch and whinging that I was never gonna be warm again, and covered myself with another sweater or a blanket.
        My horses are starting to look better now too although both are kind of rangy looking at the best of times, particularly Wall Kicker who is a big rawboned, slabsided horse.
        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

        Member: Incredible Invisbles

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
          This winter was hard on stock here - it wasn't exceptionally cold, nothing really brutal, but several degrees below normal and it was relentless, there were no breaks, and the humidity was up. When you have cold like that, livestock comes out a little light, regardless of what kind of livestock and what is fed as they just use up everything to keep warm. Was so bad I spent a lot of time huddled here or on the couch and whinging that I was never gonna be warm again, and covered myself with another sweater or a blanket.
          My horses are starting to look better now too although both are kind of rangy looking at the best of times, particularly Wall Kicker who is a big rawboned, slabsided horse.
          To me, that's what stalls, blankets, and more feed (or a different feed) is for. I don't really think weather should be an excuse to let your horse get thin. We've had some pretty brutal winters, where it was -45F to -50F with windchills, and my mare lives outside 24/7. She was double blanketed and given a good amount of timothy/alfalfa mix hay, and had a shelter to get into. She didn't drop weight. It can be done!
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            The only logic I see behind a horse losing condition over the winter is if you don't work the horse over the winter and it loses muscle/fitness. That could be due to poor/unsafe footing (ice or snow) and not having an arena. I know that happens to a few folks around here but their horses don't get skinny or less fat per say, just lose some fitness.
            Last edited by ThoroughbredFancy; May. 5, 2010, 11:49 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I guess I should clarify.. Where we are located we got almost 2 feet of snow in a week. Our manure pile is a good 1/4 mile from the house, this walk is dreaded with a full barrow every day !!

              We had to limit stall time because we had no where to go with the manure, at the end when we were finally able toget the manure out it was piled up on every wall possible.It was a mess to say the least. There were over 20 loads of manure that needed hauled out.

              So they did go from having a stall to being out almost 24/7 for almost 3 weeks. They were not happy and they stood around looking miserable ( after the thrill of the snow wore off ) and it wore off fast for us humans too!! But you do what you can do.
              Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t

              Comment


              • #8
                There are schools of thought wherein horses gain and lose over the course of a year as a part of their regular cycle of life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                  To me, that's what stalls, blankets, and more feed (or a different feed) is for. I don't really think weather should be an excuse to let your horse get thin. We've had some pretty brutal winters, where it was -45F to -50F with windchills, and my mare lives outside 24/7. She was double blanketed and given a good amount of timothy/alfalfa mix hay, and had a shelter to get into. She didn't drop weight. It can be done!
                  My own stock was inside all winter, with all they could eat. You forgot to pay attention to what I wrote - I wasn't referencing my horses in particular, but livestock in general from coiws to sheep and everything inbetween. I just never saw the people down the road with 150+ sheep put them inside, and they look kind of poor, not horrible but somewhat, same applies to cattle. Not sure how one would go about blanketing and stalling a couple of hundred cows............

                  That said, the one horse here always comes out of winter a bit thin, not horrible thin but ribby - he just is that way and has been for the 12 years I have had him. His partner in crime loses weight when the grass comes up because he refuses to eat hay when there is green grass.
                  Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                  Member: Incredible Invisbles

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                    My own stock was inside all winter, with all they could eat. You forgot to pay attention to what I wrote - I wasn't referencing my horses in particular, but livestock in general from coiws to sheep and everything inbetween. I just never saw the people down the road with 150+ sheep put them inside, and they look kind of poor, not horrible but somewhat, same applies to cattle. Not sure how one would go about blanketing and stalling a couple of hundred cows............

                    That said, the one horse here always comes out of winter a bit thin, not horrible thin but ribby - he just is that way and has been for the 12 years I have had him. His partner in crime loses weight when the grass comes up because he refuses to eat hay when there is green grass.
                    This is a horse message board. We're not talking about cows and sheep.
                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think that should be a valid excuse. If you put enough food in front of them they shouldn't lose weight. Maybe if they are a senior I'd buy that excuse. Heck one of my horses got ginormous this winter because she had a round bale in front of her. She had to go on a diet in January.
                      Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                      Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cashela View Post
                        I don't think that should be a valid excuse. If you put enough food in front of them they shouldn't lose weight. Maybe if they are a senior I'd buy that excuse. Heck one of my horses got ginormous this winter because she had a round bale in front of her. She had to go on a diet in January.
                        Agreed, my mare was her fattest in January this year.. porker barely fit into her "fat girth"!
                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cashela View Post
                          I don't think that should be a valid excuse. If you put enough food in front of them they shouldn't lose weight. Maybe if they are a senior I'd buy that excuse. Heck one of my horses got ginormous this winter because she had a round bale in front of her. She had to go on a diet in January.
                          Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                          Agreed, my mare was her fattest in January this year.. porker barely fit into her "fat girth"!
                          While there are known, sometimes serious, health consequences for a horse being overweight, I'm not sure the same could be said for a horse losing a little weight over the winter and then regaining it in the spring. Emphasis on the little there, I'm not talking about malnutrition, starvation, etc. If I had to guess, I'd say a cycle of weight gain followed by dieting is probably more harmful then changes in weight that coincide with the seasons.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BrightandClear View Post
                            While there are known, sometimes serious, health consequences for a horse being overweight, I'm not sure the same could be said for a horse losing a little weight over the winter and then regaining it in the spring. Emphasis on the little there, I'm not talking about malnutrition, starvation, etc. If I had to guess, I'd say a cycle of weight gain followed by dieting is probably more harmful then changes in weight that coincide with the seasons.
                            I agree that there are consequences to a horse being overweight. My mare's overweight is probably being a 6 on the BCS, so I'm not talking a morbidly obese horse. Also, she was fat because she wasn't worked save for once a week for a month, because I was out of town on winter break from college for that month.

                            And from the horses I see, it's not a "little weight" being dropped in winter. The ones I see are coming into winter tick-fat from the grass and no exercise, drop a substantial amount of weight through winter to go from quite fat to quite thin, and then back to fat in the spring. I hardly consider that healthy!
                            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well ... you know ,that's just "common" around here. We get harsh winters. We stress going into fall if they haven't "bulked up" for winter. We expect, even with round bales, etc., for our horses to be thinner coming out of winter. It happens in the wild too. It's not feasible if you have 100+ horses on a ranch, for example, to blanket them, stall them, etc. Very few horses in South Dakota are "pets" or "show horses" - most are working partners. It's a different culture.

                              I am at a boarding barn, and they feed well, but when you have -20 to -30 degree temps for over a month, with 5+ feet of snowfall ... it's just HARD to keep weight on. And winter coats can hide a lot of the weight loss.

                              That said - most of our horses wintered very well this year at the boarding barn. But there are a few "skinnies" who require extra. My new horse was a "pasture pet" - she's coming 5, and lived on a pasture with round bales as far as I know. She came in pretty thin for our stables ... but pretty normal for around here. She's still ribby, but my vet cautioned me from pushing extra calories - wants maybe 35 more pounds he said - because the grass is coming up and he has a feeling she's going to have a tendency to pudge up on grass. Grass is just richer than hay.
                              If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                              ~ Maya Angelou

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                                The ones I see are coming into winter tick-fat from the grass and no exercise, drop a substantial amount of weight through winter to go from quite fat to quite thin, and then back to fat in the spring. I hardly consider that healthy!
                                Animals who hibernate are designed to work like this, so the principle isn't universally damaging. Obviously we're talking about horses, and not bears... But still, I'd be interested to see any medical literature or hear from someone with relevant credentials about what kind of damage this does to a horse's body. I'm NOT saying it's an ideal way for horses to live, but that possibly it's not as unhealthy as some might perceive it to be.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BrightandClear View Post
                                  Animals who hibernate are designed to work like this, so the principle isn't universally damaging. Obviously we're talking about horses, and not bears... But still, I'd be interested to see any medical literature or hear from someone with relevant credentials about what kind of damage this does to a horse's body. I'm NOT saying it's an ideal way for horses to live, but that possibly it's not as unhealthy as some might perceive it to be.
                                  I agree that it doesn't do substantial damage to the system or anything, but to me, it's just bad management/horsemanship.
                                  Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a 21 year old mare - a big girl--that is getting 16 quarts --is in a stall at night/bad weather---and she is still lighter than I want after the winter . Sometimes it is difficult safely getting anymore calories in them. (And she will not eat rice bran--or oils in feed --or alfafa cubes--picky girl-but she will eat the 10 percent fat feed.)

                                    Maybe next fall we can have a suggestions on how to keep your old horses fat through the winter without killing them thread!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post

                                      So, I can't help but scratch my head. I feed enough hay and other feed through the winter that my horses come out of the winter looking exactly the same as they went into it back in the fall.

                                      I've noticed a few of the horses I trim getting skinny through the winter and the owners commenting that they'll fatten back up over the summer.
                                      I don't stint on feed or hay either, yet our broodmare (in her 20s) would drop weight during the winter. Her teeth were fine, I blanketed her when it got cold, gave her digestive supplements, tried different combos of feed. But not much changed. I finally quit obsessing about it because she always picked up what she lost as the new grass came in. For her, there was no substitute for spring, I guess.

                                      I'd imagine there are a lot of horses like her.
                                      __________________________
                                      "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                      the best day in ten years,
                                      you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I took away the round bales after Kit porked out. (because I don't want a fat horse)

                                        I guess when I read the post I was thinking scrawny, not just a little thinner.
                                        Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                                        Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X