Feeding a fat competition pony!

PurBee

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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?
I used fp balancer over 1 winter and yes, the mag is a good level in it, for maintenance balancing dose….is it around 10g it has in each dose? (cant remember right now)
Youre exercising dolly 6x per week, so you know she needs more electrolytes due to that workload, hence why i wondered what mag dose was in your electrolytes youre using?
Then off the back of the total mag content of your FP balancer and electrolytes, a dose of extra mag can be worked out.

NB The rda is for ‘elemental magnesium’ - and all feed forms of mag are attached to something else, i.e mag ox is magnesium attached to oxygen….so to work out the elemental magnesium dose they are actually getting we need to know the forms of mag theyre receiving…if its only mag ox…then as an example, the 13g daily would give (roughly) 9g ‘elemental’ magnesium…when we deduct off the ’bound oxygen weight’.

With a horse in considerable work their needs for minerals/electrolytes will increase quite dramatically due to harder work than maintenance of standing about stuffing their faces!
 

ycbm

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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.

I have recently read that many low sugar hays and haylage are also low protein. I've just bought whey protein isolate to bump it up for my mare as she's lost a bit of muscle over the winter while I was reducing her weight.
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PurBee

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Purbee my brain hurts! I'll buy a tub of mag ox and try and work it out. But might shout for help!!
im sorry amber!
i got brain ache the first time i realised the dose given of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of nutrients is in their ‘elemental’ form. Meaning, just that pure nutrient alone, in its unbound form. Every nutrient available to mine/make by man is bound to other molecules…..those other molecules have weight too, so we do some subtracting of those other molecules to find out the weight of the molecule we want to dose.…in this case ‘pure’ magnesium.

So we need to know the dose and mag form in the FP supplement - think they use mag ox dont they?
Also the dose and type of mag in the electrolyte (could be mag citrate?)

From those values, we can work out the ‘elemental’ magnesium dose dolly is currently getting.
Then considering her workload, the extra needed can be more accurately worked out.

Or, save all the maths, give an extra tsp - see how she does!

Its just very useful to work out exactly what she’s on currently.

Here’s an useful link about minerals and dosing maintenance dose table (elemental dose).

https://www.mbequineservices.com/dietary-minerals-for-horses/

It states 7.5 grams magnesium 500kg horse no work from all its food sources. That doesnt mean 7.5g of mag oxide. it means pure magnesium.

I just checked: mag oxide contains 60% pure magnesium - other 40% being oxygen. So 1g mag ox gives us 600mg ‘pure’ magnesium.
So 7.5g divide by 0.6 = 12.5 grams of magnesium oxide needed to supply 7.5 grams pure magnesium to a 500kg horse maintenance dose/no work.
In work, a horse needs more, considering its muscular /metabolic type work for the horse, where magnesium is essential for energy/muscle health.
(The above dose of mag ox is if the horse gets none from forage/balancers/hard feeds etc, so we work out current diet, to gauge what to add on top)

Bear in mind, whatever nutrient we eat/supplement 100% of the dose is never absorbed. Some gets excreted. But that’s only worth considering if the rda isn’t having any effect - all bodies are different, their capacity to absorb nutrients. For horses, its roughly 30-40% of magnesium dose they absorb, so we have wiggle room for dosing. Magnesium is excreted easily. Start at baseline, work from that dose.
 

ycbm

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Purbee my brain hurts! I'll buy a tub of mag ox and try and work it out. But might shout for help!!

Cheapest mag ox is calcined magnesite at £25 for a 25kg bag from Chelford farm supplies. I have just opened a 25kg bag, again would be happy to drop some over tomorrow to tide you over til you can buy it. There's a theme here 😁
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honetpot

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I have a pony with EMS, who would eat a whole bale of straw if you let him, he is just obsessed with food, he has had laminitis and been starved in the past. Being out with others on a track, keeps him moving, and has kept him slim and fit, apart from holding his coat you wouldn't know he had it. I think it's the standing around that lets them hold the weight, I do not stable at all. I do not rug, and also clip, a modified trace in summer.
 

Pinkvboots

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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.
The thing is you can reverse the effects if ems some vets won't prescribe metformin or other drugs for it, some give you a feed and management programme if you are not managing them in that way already.
 

Ambers Echo

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I don't think it is difficult to understand what has happened. I'm just so annoyed with myself. She has always been a good doer but has always stayed trim by ensuring she comes into spring lean, cutting back on hard feed when needed and through work. She has had extensive turn out and ad lib hay since being with us and has stayed slim and fit. But Katie stopped riding because of her collar bone at exactly the time the grass exploded and I just did not act quickly enough to change her management. She blew up over the course of 2 weeks! And getting back on top of it is just so hard and needs drastic measures.

Looking at her today and I can see results though compared to last week. She is up a girth hole and her crest has gone down since eventing on Sunday. So that hard fast work must have burned through a fair amount of fat!

Looking around the farm today, she is still one of the least fat natives on the yard!!! I keep being asked why she is muzzled.
 

Ambers Echo

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Ycbm another very kind offer! Thank you. I am going to post a pic of the analysis of the Forage Balancer and Electrolytes in a minute and ask Purbee (or someone!) to work out if she needs more. Mag Ox seems to be the main ingredient in the balancer and there is magnesium in the electrolyte too but I don't know how to work out if that is enough.

I hacked her out for 45 minutes before work this am and she's being schooled tonight too. We will get there! Urgh fatties are very stressful.
 

Ambers Echo

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She gets a 3/4 of a scoop of each per meal but I can't remember how big the scoop is! I'll have a look later x
 

PurBee

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She gets a 3/4 of a scoop of each per meal but I can't remember how big the scoop is! I'll have a look later x
To work out via the pictures what mag shes getting we need to know the weight of each 3/4 scoop dose you give.

Do you have digital scales?…anyone of the yard you can borrow from? Kitchen scales arent sensitive enough for 10’s of grams normally.

FP give % of minerals per 87g dose (3 scoops), and electrolytes give value per kilo. It would be much easier if they simply said 1 scoop= 2g magnesium…make our lives easier…these feed companies work hard to screw our brains up! 😜
 

PurBee

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She has 130g per day of each.
FP gives her @ 130g dose = 14.95g mag ox = 8.97g elemental magnesium
Electrolytes @ 130g dose = 2.08g magnesium sulphate = 208mg elemental magnesium (hardly anything - but it has other good trace elements)

Total elemental magnesium = 9.178g.
(of which she’ll be absorbing 30-40% very roughly)

So she’s just over the RDA for a horse not in work, so you can safely add mag. Ox to her diet, and the 9g shes currently getting suggests she’ll be needing more as she’s in 6x weekly work - so you can happily start at 1tsp / 5g mag ox…even that is low considering absorption rate, but a good start point to increase from, which you probably will as shes in such active work you could give another 14g to get another 9g elemental magnesium into her.
Its always best to start low dose with any supplement, allow her body to adjust to the added extra, even though it is needed.
 

Bernster

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I feel your pain. Finnegan is always tricky to manage but this last week he’s got a big grass belly 😖. Not sure if he’s still managing to get too much grass in the thin line muzzle. He keeps breaking his haylo feeder which is supposed to slow down his eating. The hard ground and heat also makes it more difficult to do fast work at the moment. Resorted to doing laps yesterday in the school!
 

Ambers Echo

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She's looking better. Hurrah. What do people think? Her fat pad is smaller. Her ribs can be felt more easily. Her crest has reduced.

Can I relax a bit now or would you want her leaner still before allowing her more hay/ turnout. I want her leaner overall but feel losing more slowly now might be ok. Excuse the sweaty girth area - this was just after competing!

Screenshot_20210619-152218_Gallery.jpg
 

Ambers Echo

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I think she is pretty spot on now. No crest, no fat pad, ribs can be readily felt. She feels fantastic to ride at the moment. Fully recovered from her haynet mishap. What a relief. I am NEVER losing control like that again.

If anyone is interested the key really has been getting her off the grass.


 

ownedbyaconnie

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Well done AE for getting on top of it. Im another with a “least fat native on the yard” but still give her a boring sugarless feed and panic about being fat.

Completely agree re you thinking it was her coming into summer a bit porkier than you’d like, I have found the weight 10x easier to manage if they come out of winter lean.
 

HashRouge

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Nice job AE! I'm currently trying to get my native to lose weight and am really pleased with where we're at. He's retired so it's even harder, but he has lost quite a bit of weight on current regime. He just came out of winter too fat and I never managed to get on top of it. Normally he comes out of winter at a great weight.
 

Ambers Echo

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Winter was just too warm plus lockdown meant a lot less riding than most winters. And then spring grass coincided with even less riding as Katie was injured.
In the past I’ve adjusted hard feed to manage weight but have never muzzled or restricted hay. But once I got serious about keeping her off the grass and reducing her hay then the weight did come off quite quickly.
 
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