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Are my babies too fat?

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  • Are my babies too fat?

    We're reasonably experienced breeders. Our objective is upper level eventers for our own rider (Megan) to compete. Our 2011 foal crop is, IMO, exceptional - but when I showed Megan their pictures, her comment was "They're FAT!"

    Our babies are out 24/7 with access to shelter (barn). Their pasture is pretty poor right now due to the drought, but with some grass and these guys eat EVERYTHING in reach (weeds, trees, bushes, etc.). They get Legends 16 mare and foal twice a day, 1.5 scoops until Megan's comment and 1 scoop now, but they're fed in group and the most aggressive get the most. They also get a bucket or slightly less of soaked alfalfa cubes (i worry about P/Ca ratio) every day I'm in town, which is about 1/2 the time.

    They're active as hell and love to run/jump/roughhouse as shown:
    They're all by eventing sires out of TB mares with eventing bloodlines, except for Bacon who's dressage bred. Here's their pix:
    Bacon: Chestnut gelding by Contuci out of Oldenburg mare, 16 hands at 18 months.
    JR: Dark Bay gelding by son of Windfall out of TB mare, 15 hands at 16 months.
    Diva: Grey filly by Catherston Dazzler out of Grindstone mare, 14-14.2 hands at 17 months.
    vortex: Bright bay filly by Riverman out of Secretariat line mare, 14-14.2 hands at 17 months.

    I can see (faint) rib lines on all the foals except Diva, more so on the colts than the fillies.

    Am I feeding too much?


  • #2
    They do look well fed but I'm not going to judge them, mine are too lol. You can send Bacon my way and I promise to monitor his diet, I just love his chrome.


    • #3
      Hard to tell, with the photos and videos shown. Maybe a bit on the chunky side but not by too much, especially going into winter, living outside...everyone has a different idea of what is too fat or too thin, honestly. I err on the side of seeing the faintest of ribs with babies, as being fat is too hard on their growing joints. But someone else might be totally offended at seeing a single rib so it's hard to tell. If they're playing, seem healthy, are shiny and have the bloom of a nice young growing horse, I try to not worry about their weight too much.

      Unrelatedly, interesting to see your Windfall. I have worked with 4-5 Windfalls and really see the resemblance! One of them is going to be a great eventer and did her first a few events last year. My boss (a jumper trainer-turned eventer) was very impressed with the Windfall babies rideability and jump.


      • #4
        psshhhh i think most of us have chubbly horses and ponies


        • #5
          I think they look good for going into winter but not too butterbally. Just remember not to cut out too much or add a vitamin/mineral, cutting down the feed might now be giving them all the nutrients they need.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies


          • #6
            I love your videos and your horses! Fun!! I agree with the others - they are a bit roly-poly, but going into winter I'm OK with that. Ditto what Pennywell said re vitamins/minerals.
            Sunny Days Hanoverians


            • #7
              Well, if yours are too fat, then so are ours! Lovely babies by the way. Gorgeous way of going in the videos.



              • #8
                They are fine. Lovely kids!


                • #9
                  I will be a dissenting voice and say that I do think they are heavier than I prefer my babies to be. Mine are kept fairly lean until they are 3y or so and under saddle. I always err on the side of thinner rather than thicker as it is better for joint health and slow steady growth. I'm with Megan on this one!
                  Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan



                  • #10
                    PS: A close friend is a nutrition advisor for KER and we feed Hallway Feeds which is readily available for you guys. My yearlings get 1/4 scoop of Edge 14 and about a half pound of Stamm 30 twice a day which is per her recommendations.
                    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan



                    • #11
                      They sure are cute....Mine are on the leaner side until about 3 as well....I get skert when thinking about more weight on their joints....



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SleepyHollow View Post
                        They sure are cute....Mine are on the leaner side until about 3 as well....I get skert when thinking about more weight on their joints....

                        And yet the Hanoverian study found that the heavier colts had less incidents than the lighter fillies. That the stress actually builds stronger joints (within reason). The same way that racehorses build bone under presser. But I have read that glycemic reaction has a negative effect on joints.

                        I think they look healthy and have room to move which is one of the biggest issues with joints, horses that grow up in small areas are very prone to issues.
                        Last edited by stoicfish; Oct. 5, 2012, 11:23 PM.


                        • #13
                          They are not too fat but on the fat side. I like mine a bit leaner but at the farm they are at, the grass is so good my current 2 year old is huge to my eyes. I keep telling the farm she may need a muzzle. She is out on hills 24/7 and gets a balancer.

                          This was her as a yearling....some times the WB just comes through more I called her a chunkster and would have been happier if she was a bit more lean...but some times they are just rounder by nature. The events are just more used to looking at fit leaner horses. I go to a dressage show or Hunter show and think most of the horses are FAT.

                          But your youngsters are not so fat that I would be worried....
                          Attached Files
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **