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Fat fat fat and not losing weight

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  • Fat fat fat and not losing weight

    I have a 13 yo Clyde x Hackney who I've had on a diet for ~1.5 months and there's been no apparent weight loss. Vet was mortified at his weight (he's not mine and has been under other care for the past 2 years), described him as an "accident waiting to happen," and suggested he lose ~150 lbs. We pulled blood to test his thyroid and insulin levels. His thyroid was the high end of normal and his insulin was very high. He was on lush pasture approx 12 hours a day, getting about 3-4qts of grain daily, and 15+ lbs of hay at night.

    He's now moved to a near-dry pasture (minimal grass and very very short-- <1/2"), getting almost no grain (enough to keep him happy when the other ponies get theirs), is on 4oz Quiessence and 3tsp of Thryo-L per day, and gets ~5lbs of hay at night. His weight has not budged on the tape in a month and a half.

    He gets turned out with a pony and horse, so he shares the hay that's put out for them. I had one of those heavy duty grazing muzzle/halter combos for him, but he ripped it apart/off in one day. I could separate him from the other two if need be, but I feel badly since him and the horse are best of friends. He also gets some exercise when he runs around with them.

    What else can I do?? I would love to add in more exercise for him, but between the long hours I work, barn chores, and two other horses to ride, there simply isn't any time (unless I don't want to sleep!). Am I expecting results too soon?
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    I'd cut the 3-4 qts of grain out, and replace with a handful or two of soaked Beet Pulp, or maybe a handful of Alfalfa pellets. Of course, I would then add a good Vit/Mineral supplement. Also, maybe you can enlist the help of a barn rat who can excersize him some?
    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


    • #3
      If he is sharing hay, how do you know he is only getting 5lbs?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
        I'd cut the 3-4 qts of grain out, and replace with a handful or two of soaked Beet Pulp, or maybe a handful of Alfalfa pellets. Of course, I would then add a good Vit/Mineral supplement. Also, maybe you can enlist the help of a barn rat who can excersize him some?
        The 3-4 quarts of grain was what the previous person was feeding- OP said it's already been cut out.
        "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
        So you might as well have a good time"


        • #5
          Well I have a horse like this and also have lush pasture........so I put all my horses out for two hours in the morning 7 to 9 am and then they go to a dry lot and then they go out again from 4 to 6 pm and then come back into a dry lot.......at 11:00 pm they get 2lbs of hay.......no grain.....they do get a cup of wet beet pulp to mix any supplements that they need

          I would prefer to have a horse out on actual grass then on
          1/2" pasture too much chance for sand colic as they are always grubbing at the roots.



          • #6
            I wouldn't assume that short pasture is lacking in calories.

            He doesn't need grain to "keep him happy" at mealtime. He will survive. Eliminate it.

            I would be more determined with the grazing muzzle. Zip-tie it to a TIGHT nylon halter, use halter fuzzies to prevent rubbing.

            Separate him at night from the others, feed him his hay ration in a small-mesh hay bag so it lasts him a while.

            Even 15 minutes a day on the longe line is better than nothing.

            (I might send the same post to myself every summer when, in spite of my best efforts my fatso Shetland starts "blooming")

            If all else fails, you can always clip him and leave him partially naked in the winter--the cold will get him to drop some weight. Works like a charm for my pony. No, I don't strip her naked so she shivers, just a half clip so she has to do a little work to stay warm.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              Is it possible to pony him off one of your other horses, even for 10 or 15 minutes a day?
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


              • #8
                low sugar hay

                either soak the hay a couple hours or find some really low sugar hay. I have clients who had really fat horses (with laminitis) who got sound and eventually too skinny on really low sugar hay, even when fed free choice.
                Last edited by Katy Watts; Jun. 27, 2010, 02:03 PM.
                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


                • #9
                  I also have a Clyde x mare (hackney has been mentioned as a possibility, but she is very Clydy). Also very fat! Unfortunately, she is on grass 24/7 during the summer. The vet was there a couple of weeks ago and I expected a lecture about her weight. But, out of 15 horses she saw, she recommended grazing muzzles for 8 of them... but not mine?!! We are still thinking of getting her one though.

                  I wish we could exercise her, but it's a catch 22 with her. Exercise and ringbone flares up, don't exercise and she gains weight just looking at the grass... Sigh... She and I both need to go on a diet!

                  She gets NO grain and NO hay, a few carrots when we visit. That's it! No supplements either.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by LMH View Post
                    If he is sharing hay, how do you know he is only getting 5lbs?
                    That's what he gets in his stall at night. He shares the hay that's put in the paddock during the day.

                    Deltawave- by enough grain to "keep him happy," I literally mean like 15 pellets. Is that still enough to be making a difference with his weight loss? I'll keep trying with the grazing muzzle...was just a bit of a disappointment after spending all that $$ on a really heavy duty one and having it demolished in one day.

                    I'll try soaking his night hay and seeing if that makes a difference.

                    The pony and horse have both lost weight, so I don't get what's up with the fat one
                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                    • #11
                      How much hay is he sharing during the day?


                      • #12
                        take the night hay away...we have an air fern haffie, and he was in the same boat.

                        He now is on a pasture like you described (mostly dirt, some short grass) and also get like 15 pellets of Purina's new WC (weight control) food. When the horses are in the stalls,everone else gets a few flakes and Doc gets like 5 strands of hay. Period. No amount of pleading gets him more. His weight looks fantastic now, but he's pretty sure he's being abused!! LOL
                        Cornerstone Equestrian
                        Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
                        RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated


                        • #13
                          He needs to be ingesting less calories than he is using. If you are not working him to help reduce the weight, then you likely have to cut back even more.

                          I agree with soaking the hay to reduce the calories, and with putting the hay in the fine hay bags to increase consumption.

                          I also think you (or someone!) needs to make this horse work a few days a week...as someone said, even 15 minutes on the lunge might make a difference.

                          Perhaps put hay out in the am, then turn the other horses out...then lunge Mr. Fatty before putting him out. That way the other horses will have eaten a higher percentage of the food than Fatso will...and he will have a few minutes of excercise.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CHT View Post
                            even 15 minutes on the lunge might make a difference.
                            For that matter, if even the time spent getting out a lunge line and surcingle is precious and hard to spare--and it might be if you're already riding two other horses--teach the Fatty to free longe.
                            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                            • #15
                              I don't believe soaking hay reduces calories, just sugars.


                              • #16
                                Taking out sugar takes out calories.
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  Well...I guess it does...

                                  I just never thought of it to that extent!

                                  (Maybe because low sugar cookies don't always have less calories! LOL)


                                  • #18
                                    I have a fatty shetland/hackney cross....she wears a muzzle attached to her halter...zip ties are a great suggestion.

                                    My pony is definatly P.O.ed. But oh well, no laminitis is better than a fat lame pony.

                                    The upside is~it's easy to catch the little turd...cuz now that she has the muzzle...she comes and stands next to me...basically begging me to take it off...Mwhahahahahaha


                                    • #19
                                      The "very very short (1/2") grass is worse than tall grass because that is where all the sugar is.

                                      The two years my area was in an exceptional drought, pastures were threadbare and looked like burnt sugar, were the two years my farrier saw more horses on starch overload than at any other time.

                                      Others have addressed feeding issues. My pasture thought would be to dry lot him if possible and kill every stinkin' piece of grass and weed with a salt/white vinegar solution. It is safe and non-toxic.

                                      Or, if he will tolerate a muzzle, do that. And good luck with it. Neither my I-R horse nor the wanna-be I-R horse will tolerate one. One horse beats it of his head, the other runs around not knowing what to do, getting himself worked up and overheated in a worse way than if I just let the Lard-butt eat grass.

                                      Anyway, 1/2 inch grass NOT good as that's where all the sugar is. There's a reason why the ideal grass height should be around 6-8 inches, but from the sounds of this horse he needs taken completely off pasture until winter

                                      Hope this helps


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thanks for all the suggestions. I've ordered a new grazing muzzle and halter fleeces and will try the tight halter/zip tying on the muzzle. He does move around more with the other horses, so I'd like to encourage him keeping slightly active rather than penned alone in the sand area. Will the grazing muzzle (I got the "best friends" one with the small hole) make it a lot harder for him to eat the hay in the paddock too? This would be ideal.

                                        I've been soaking his hay and putting it in a hay net, but the barn worker has taken to throwing it out and hiding my clean soaking bucket when I'm at work Would love to be able to keep soaking hay so he has a little something to munch on at night, but I may just quit giving him hay in his stall all together...

                                        Thanks again for the insight. This horse is very nervous around people since he hasn't been handled at all in two years besides roughing putting a halter on and off him every day and having the farrier out. Through handling him on a daily basis, he now trusts me, walks right up to me in the paddock, and I'm the only one who can catch him and the only one who can safely lead him around (if you read my bolting topic, this is that horse). He's won me over so I'm even more invested in getting him healthier now
                                        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"