Rapid weight gain

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dano 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Jenn_Sciortino Original Poster Jenn_Sciortino
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 3

    My 16 hand OTTB mare was the perfect weight when I bought her in August 2014. She has about a every other day workout that consists of about 30 mins flat work and 30 mins over fences. She gets half a scoop of grain in the morning with a flake of hay at lunch she gets 2 flakes and at dinner she gets half a scoop of grain and 2 flakes for dinner. Since August she has gained quite a few pounds since then. We have cut down on her feed but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Any suggestions?

    Run like the gate was left open

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I would suggest more flat work and less jumping, but that is just my opinion.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Cut back on the grain or increase the work load, or both. Being overweight puts all sorts of undesirable stresses on the horse and makes them vulnerable to laminitis, EMS, and injury. From the amount of grain you are giving, it sounds like you could cut that one/third, and give hay 2flakes 2/d. – no more than 4/d. We are going into winter so the extra weight – if not too much – will help her to deal with the coming cold weather. Most horses lose weight in winter anyway.

    I hesitate to mention it – but she is new to you and a mare – but is there any possibility she is expecting? That would explain the weight gain, too. If there is any possibility – I’d verify before altering her diet. (My sister bought a horse years ago, then discovered that she got a 2-1 deal. It happens.)

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

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Mapale – I also wondered if perhaps she had been covered and no one was aware of it! In my opinion, the number of flakes of hay is not as important as the weight of the flakes. It isn’t easy, but one should be aware of how many pounds of hay one is feeding, as they are not all equal. The quality and components (alfalfa, timothy/clover, orchard grass) should also be considered, as they affect weight.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Jenn_Sciortino Original Poster Jenn_Sciortino
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 3

    Thank you that seems like it will really help. And as for the whole pregnancy thing she was completly checked before we got her. Thank god a a general wellness exam!

    Run like the gate was left open

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    A general wellness exam doesn’t usually include an ultrasound, does it? Sometimes that is the only way to tell, until she bags up just before foaling. If there is any possibility that she could be in foal, you certainly wouldn’t want to be jumping her or putting her on a diet!

    It is never the horse's fault

    Jenn_Sciortino Original Poster Jenn_Sciortino
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 3

    I can guarantee that she is not with foal she has always been alone in the pasture and her previous owners had all there horses gelded and all the males at my barn are also gelded

    Run like the gate was left open

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Good point Joe-Joe about the quality of the hay. I was just thinking in ratios – and ways to drop the amount without losing the all important forage as the temps drop. I don’t like to cut out grain entirely on working horses – they need it. But I have had to drop weight on a horse – and I start at 1/3 cut on the grain, that usually does it.

    Jenn – you did all the right things – and kudos for your workout schedule – which also looks balanced. Sometimes it takes a while to balance a horse’s diet when moved to a new place. Changes in quality of pasture as well as hay can surprisingly affect them. If she moved to a lush pasture the winter will take care of that for you, but next spring you’ll need to adjust grazing hours accordingly.

    Even though your mare is not expecting, thanks for the memories anyway, Jenn. In my sister’s case – she is a nurse – teaches at a university – raised on a farm around horses just like me. Yet she was really surprised at the pregnancy, but took it in stride. (We teased her a bit about that anatomy thingy) That surprise foal/colt turned into quite a nice horse after all, and when the mare was older, turned into great comfort when my sister had to put the mare down. Although it was in the desert of NM, a cactus rose grew from her grave outside my sister’s kitchen window. She was loved. Thanks for reminding me about that little mare – I rode her in the snow and in the wilds of the continental divide near the red rocks – many a time. Favorite memories of mine – my (9mos old) daughter’s first ride on a horse was that mare. You brought a smile!

    “When I am old and gray and full of sleep, nodding by the fire, I will remember some great horses along the way…” (my apologies to Yeats) If I listen just so… I can still hear the soft whisper of her footfall in deep snow… and my sister’s lilting voice on the wind.

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

    Dano
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 21

    Have you asked your vet? If you are not the one feeding, make sure there is not a misunderstanding and that she is getting the right amount, lowest carb pellet they have, NOT sweetfeed. I have seen warmblood types and certain other breeds in regular work be “air ferns” who gain weight easily, get cresty etc. Your vet may check blood work to be sure she is not insulin resistant or may have a thyroid or other metabolism issue you can address with hopefully a change in diet and exercise. She may need less turnout on grass, esp. in spring or a grazing muzzle.

    Purina and Nutrena and some feed stores have equine nutritionists too that can recommend a program. Go online to: Purina feed calculator or see Nutrena’s website. Let us know what helps!

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