Fat, fit, or just plain fluffy?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Mapale Mapale 4 years ago.

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  • Liz Original Poster Liz
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 17

    Does anyone else have trouble evaluating body condition in the winter time?

    I have an 8 year old miniature horse gelding and, if anyone else here has a mini or pony breed, you can probably understand the insane winter coat they grow.

    So my question is, how do you tell whether or not your horse is fit or fat through all that hair? I don’t want to be surprised either way come spring.
    He had always been on the skinny side due to competition for food; but now he is fed in his stall before going out with other horses so he gets all of his hay.

    I drive him twice a week minimum and usually lunge him twice a week as well. He doesn’t tire easily (nearly impossible to wear him out with lunging….), I usually work him for an hour when I drive and usually about 40 minutes to an hour lunging. We sometimes cut the lunging short due to Mirage getting bored with it.

    He looks pretty good to me, but never having seen him this heavy before I’m not sure how to tell what’s muscle and what’s not! I will attach a picture from last week for reference.

    Any suggestions or opinions would be appreciated!


    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    He is TOO cute, Liz! I bet you have a grand time out with him 😀

    With the amount of time that you and he spend out and about and the energy he exudes, he should be reasonably fit or better but that does not always mean in proper weight by default. Put your hands on him, head to toe to be sure. Is he squishy or solid? If solid, is it bone hard or flesh/muscle firm? Adjust diet if/as needed.

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    even with his winter coat, he looks great.
    Not too fat, not too thin.
    Like Pheets said, get your hands on him, you can feel ribs through his fur and that’s how you’re going to know. Once you get used to his body weight in the winter you’ll soon be able to tell just by looking at him.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Fat deposits on the neck which make it “cresty”, fleshy clumps near the shoulder, and over-fullness on the rump, indicate that it is time to diet. Also, looking down the topline of the horse is there a V shape on the croup or an A shape or flat? A “V” means diet.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

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