My horse has been lame and has had minimal work since March. He is currently turned out to either pasture or round bale, and gets a quarter scoop of grain to mix his supplements in. He is one who will eat anything and everything in less than a minute. As I said, he has not been able to be worked other than 15 min walking. Any horse is going to lose muscle and gain some weight without exercise but is there anything I can do to prevent him getting a really “big belly”, especially going into winter?
I was thinking reducing his hay to 3-4 flakes, one at a time, throughout the day? He still needs adequate nutrition but I don’t think he needs to be constantly eating an unlimited amount, because trust me, he doesn’t stop.
-abbreviated grazing times
-1/2 grain portions
-hay net to slow him down (your hay portion/schedule sounds right)
-no supplements with sugar or molasses, and no treats
-a lower calorie grain?
A lame horse heals quicker on less weight, and in some cases, dependent on the cause for the lameness, weight can exacerbate it. (Tendons, laminitis, for example). If his body score is over 5, drop him back. That’s true of any horse. I usually let mine gain at the end of summer to see them through the winter but not over 6.
In the case of lameness, I restrict turn out to a very small area as a safety measure. Any horse with a lameness score of 2 or higher is confined to stall rest and small 12×12′ paddock.
Somehow, having ‘numbers’ to go by takes the subjectivity out of it, and thus the second-guessing.
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