Feeding a fat competition pony!

Ambers Echo

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So Dolly is still heavier than I want her. She's got a fat pad behind her shoulder, is a bit cresty and her ribs are AWOL.

She's muzzled, has trickle nets with soaked hay and has a small amount of pink mash to carry forage plus balancer, electrolytes and salts. She's worked 6 times a week and is out eventing regularly. She's fit and well muscled.

The weight is just not shifting! If I cut back any more she lacks energy for work.

Any ideas?
 

PurBee

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Whats the ratop of magnesium to the other electrolytes?

Magnesium is essential for the body to create the primary ATP molecule and actually make use of all the calories a horse eats instead of it turning into fat. Hence why when you feed her less, she’s lacking in energy. She’ll be getting energy via other biological energy mechanisms, yet ATP synthesis is the primary molecule for energy in all mammals, and without magnesium levels being adequate, ATP energy synthesis will be low.
Hence the fat pads forming.


Magnesium is critical for turning food into energy

Magnesium binds to ATP and causes it to change shape so that hydrolysis can take place and energy can be released into the cell. Without magnesium, ATP is just a sprawling string of atoms with no nutritive value.”

https://soreandtired.com/about-magnesium/


Go slow adding magnesium oxide btw. Add 5 grams daily....see how she goes on that for a few days/week...then add 8g. Off the top of my head i cant recall the mg of magnesium per 100kg horse recommendation, but for my horses at around 450-500kg it turned out to be around 13g. I dont feed that amount as there’s mag in other stuff, so i add mag ox to fill-in the shortfall Of the other feeds.
Its so low in hay as to be negligable. Bagged feeds add some, but not much. You mention electrolytes so take the mag in that supplement into account.
Your working her several days a week so her need for mag will be much higher than resting horse rate which my 2 are on.

my welsh d X arab had severe fat pads despite no change in exercise, even a butt fat pad! she had them since ive had her, and those first couple of years i was ‘weight watching’ soaking feed etc. Cutting down food didnt help. In the end...upon deep research magnesium made sense when i calculated everything. The fat pads disappeared! She got livelier too as she has more energy to burn.
Hence why i say go slow adding extra mag ox at first....as well as being a ‘calmer’ due to muscle soreness/tension being relieved = less pain, calmer horse -it also helps make use of the nutrition she’s currently getting by creating more atp energy to use - so she’ll be more energised. Which is why some people say mag ox turns their horses into fruit bats. The horse has energy and wants to use it. Its not spooky, its more energy. So the dose is what you’ll need to gauge with your horse...start low and work up to the dose that works - keeping at a dose for a week at a time to gauge changes.

So you may, like me, be relieved of soaking hay, and muzzling, instead actually needing to feed less, and she’ll trim up, have loads of energy by adding just a bit extra magnesium.
I couldnt believe the change in my mare.....after trying so many different things, the cheapest mineral on the market was the missing ingredient. Horses are very muscular so magnesium needs are really quite high to maintain those muscles, and produce energy from the kilo’s of food they eat daily.
Most forage sources are horrendously low in magnesium.
 

scats

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In desperation, I bought some NoMetSyn for Millie. It was very expensive for a small pot and I’m only a couple of weeks in, but I will let you know how we get on.
She doesn’t have a crest but she does have the apple bum and is absolutely impossible to shift weight from, despite being muzzled on a pretty bare field, weighed hay and small token of fast fibre for supplements.
She’s on magnesium but I’ve not found much difference.
 

Ambers Echo

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I'll try Mag Ox. Let me know how you get on Scats with the NoMetSyn.

I know I am feeding too much hay. She is so efficient that it runs out super fast. She's also capable of eating grass speedily with the muzzle on so her turn out is restricted and I hate her being stood in with no hay. Urgh it's so hard!

More exercise maybe?
Or a low cal hay so she can have more.
 

Ambers Echo

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Google informs me that Simple Systems do munch blocks marketed for fatties on restricted grazing. Any good? I imagine she would demolish anything quite quickly so the more robust the better!

I also want to switch to Timothy hay but can't find anyone selling it. But I guess lots of farms are not big enough for t'internet. Anyone know of anyone selling and delivering?
 

paddi22

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Google informs me that Simple Systems do munch blocks marketed for fatties on restricted grazing. Any good? I imagine she would demolish anything quite quickly so the more robust the better!

I also want to switch to Timothy hay but can't find anyone selling it. But I guess lots of farms are not big enough for t'internet. Anyone know of anyone selling and delivering?
I got these and they literally lasted two minutes in the stable. the flakes are tiny in them so they seem to break apart very easily I found. I had a very determined fattie tho and she seemed to just demolish them immediately.
 

HelenBack

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Have you looked at things like Timothy Horsehage if you're struggling to get hold of suitable hay? It's really low sugar and at least you'll know exactly what you're giving then. I've found through hay analysis that it can still be high sugar and energy even when I'd have thought it should be suitable. Could be worth a try anyway.
 

maya2008

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I would go for more exercise if you can. Our Shetland cross is in sufficient exercise that she doesn’t need muzzling (very enthusiastic little boy rider who likes to go fast all the time!). My NF is holding her own (no crest, not put on weight since winter) while husband’s coblet’s waistline is expanding and is going to need riding twice a day soon. All to do with how fast we all like to go!
 

I'm Dun

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Can you set up a track? Its the easiest way to manage good doers. The only other thing that worked for me is fast work. So twice a week an hours interval training in canter. Slower work doesnt seem to have much of an affect, but once you get the heart rate up the weight starts to drop off.
 

Pinkvboots

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I find my 2 have dropped weight by keeping them in during the day and out at night, they get 2 soaked haynets while they are in and a few handfuls of spillers speedy mash and 1 of grass chaff just for there supplements, they get mag ox most of the year and I feed more in summer I try to exercise everyday even if it's a 10 minute run round on the lunge.

My hay is so rich I didn't realise until I was feeding it ad lib and unsoaked in January and February and I wasn't riding much, they really piled on weight but I have managed to slim them right down with different management.
 

Roxylola

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Charlie gets alfa oil, baileys performance balancer, and literally no more than a tablespoon of outshine for a bit of extra sparkle as I felt he was lacking some zing but I do not want any weight on him.
He comes in through the day about 50% of the time, and gets a bit of hay.
Could you give dolly straw instead of hay? Or soak the hay?
 

Ambers Echo

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I got these and they literally lasted two minutes in the stable. the flakes are tiny in them so they seem to break apart very easily I found. I had a very determined fattie tho and she seemed to just demolish them immediately.
Thanks. I thought as much. I won't bother with them then. Thanks x
 

Ambers Echo

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Have you looked at things like Timothy Horsehage if you're struggling to get hold of suitable hay? It's really low sugar and at least you'll know exactly what you're giving then. I've found through hay analysis that it can still be high sugar and energy even when I'd have thought it should be suitable. Could be worth a try anyway.
Just ordered a load of Timothy Horsehage. It looks like what I need! Thanks x
 

Ambers Echo

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We will up the exercise too. More fast work. How long can a pony wear a muzzle for? She's out for a few hours muzzled in the day. But ideally I'd like to turn her out overnight. But feel like that's too long to have a muzzle on. And too long NOT to have a muzzle on too!
 

ester

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another for the magnesium train especially in her scenario (ie fat, and not being fed much) Frank threw up a crest and tail head pads off it, disappeared once back on it again and they've not reappeared even though I consider him metabolic.

I will add that when muzzling he did get adlib hay during the day, as then he didn't go out 'hungry' in the evening.
 
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We will up the exercise too. More fast work. How long can a pony wear a muzzle for? She's out for a few hours muzzled in the day. But ideally I'd like to turn her out overnight. But feel like that's too long to have a muzzle on. And too long NOT to have a muzzle on too!
Just get the caro lite test done for EMS and then you're not guessing.
 

tda

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Bit of a faff, but for one of my fatties I mixed hay and straw, really mixed well together then netted.
Second the magnesium
 

Ambers Echo

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She's on the Forage Plus Balancer which already has magnesium oxide in it. Do I need more? If so, do I feed the 'extra' as per the tub instructions (building up slowly as Purbee suggests) or do I deduct what's already in the Forage Plus?
 
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If your pony has EMS - main indicator being feed restriction combined with hard work does not reduce fatty deposits - no amount of safe dieting or fancy supplements will have any effect. Get a vet out and rule out this possibility. I am assuming you understand how much feed your pony actually needs to fulfil its requirements.
 

ycbm

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you can leave the muzzle on overnight :) keep an eye out for rubs etc but it wouldn't concern me to muzzle overnight at all.
I do. My mare is really relaxed about muzzle wearing. I alternate 2 types and have various bits covered in sheepskin because they all rub, ime, if left on for 15 hours a day.
.
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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Pretty standard answers

less/no feed
12hrs soaked hay
More exercise
Restrict grazing. Track/stabled during the day muzzled at night/smaller bare paddock.

Plenty of ways of doing it that really are ownership 101. Nothing really new in the management department. Could test for EMS if after 8weeks of restriction measures and doubled Workload the weight doesn’t shift.
 

SEL

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I did have to increase protein with one of mine who just wouldn't stop eating, but lacked energy. I think the hay was low in protein and maybe its like humans where you need it to feel full. I just fed amino acid powders in her tiny hard feed. She does have elevated insulin levels so I'm careful about grass and soak hay

Magnesium has helped with my little native, but too much makes her dopey! So I feed it on days where she isn't doing much and extra linseed on the days where she's being ridden - weight has dropped off her.
 

ycbm

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Just ordered a load of Timothy Horsehage. It looks like what I need! Thanks x

If you need to start it before yours arrives I have plenty to sub you with that you can replace when yours gets here. I could drop some over tomorrow.
.
 
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