Horsey weight watchers

alexomahony

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12 January 2015
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I’ve started this thread to share weight loss tips and progress of our equine pals.

Many of you will relate when I say it’s hard work to keep a good doer slim at this time of year! Couple that with arthritis so only light work and you get a real headache!

My Welsh started the summer off in a big lush field which wasn’t ideal but we managed to keep him from exploding by sectioning a tiny area for him to eat and strip graze.

About a month ago, we moved onto a bare field and I was eventually able to control what went in his mouth!

I’m really pleased with the results so far - he still gets hay morning and night and a small feed for his Flexibility (handful of chop and balancer) so I don’t feel too cruel either which is a bonus!




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AdorableAlice

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Excellent idea for a useful topic.

I am thinking of spending Ted's birthday money on a trickle net or Marts net. Can I ask for opinions please.

My other cob has lost a lot of weight with increased miles in walk, no grazing and well soaked hay. My main problem with her is the rate she eats the hay. Tried Eliminet recently, total waste of time with hay inhaled in minutes.
 

Casey76

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Excellent idea for a useful topic.

I am thinking of spending Ted's birthday money on a trickle net or Marts net. Can I ask for opinions please.

My other cob has lost a lot of weight with increased miles in walk, no grazing and well soaked hay. My main problem with her is the rate she eats the hay. Tried Eliminet recently, total waste of time with hay inhaled in minutes.
My preferred nets are Shires Greedy Feeders. The nets are smooth (no knots) which is much less wearing on teeth. The holes are 1.25in, and the nets are fairly hard wearing. I would normally get 2-3 years of daily use out of them, including soaking, before they developed larger holes.
 

alexomahony

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My preferred nets are Shires Greedy Feeders. The nets are smooth (no knots) which is much less wearing on teeth. The holes are 1.25in, and the nets are fairly hard wearing. I would normally get 2-3 years of daily use out of them, including soaking, before they developed larger holes.
agree re greedy feeders nets! I have those for when they’re stabled and they work a treat.

While turned out they get a small pile each on the ground to fill their bellies as they can nibble the grass to trickle through the day so the nets don’t need to last all day x
 

Melandmary

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26 January 2021
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Wow, what an improvement. I wish I could figure out how to get photos on here. I have 2 fattys. 1 lost about 30/40 kg whilst on boxrest for lami for a month. It was a massive wake up call. She has been turned out now for a month and has lost a further 20kg by being muzzled 12hrs turnout and then coming in to a double net of 2nd cut haylage mixed with oat straw. She is on a steady weight loss now. The other little fatty has just had a muzzle on. I felt really mean but exercise wasn't reducing her waist line. She can't be stabled and she is an escape artist. 24/7 muzxling is not ideal but I bring her on the yard each day and take it off. I am waiting for a flexible filly muzzle which will be more comfortable for both of them. I have never had to muzzle before but it clearly works a treat 😊
 

windand rain

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The old girl and the laminitic one are on a largish short grass field with about 3 meters squared added in each day a feed of grass chaff and veteran vitality damped with soaked grassnuts no hay they will be moving on to the track at the weekend as we had the field sprayed and fertilised a month ago (contractor was late coming) been setting up the track this week
 
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Sossigpoker

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Huge improvement! Well done!
The Shires soft mesh haylage nets have even smaller holes than the greedy feeders , at 1 inch.

There is just too much grass where I am so my boy can only be out 3-4 hours per day. He gets a small dry net morning and afternoon and a soaked net (large ) for the night. I try and work him most days.
Currently he measures 461kg on the weight tape and doesn't have fat pads although his ribs I need to keep an eye on. He does have a bit of a belly but that will go with more strenuous work (Im not cantering him yet plus I'm not that fit !)

There is a properly obese cob on the yard, owner wants it out more and keeps feeding it plus the only exercise it gets is a walk around the block a few times a week. It is quite unpleasant to watch and how it hasn't got laminitis is a total miracle ! If I let mine get to that state you have my permission to slap me!
 

Coblover63

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Bridgnorf, innit!
My traditional cob mare has been on "fat camp" since last August and has lost nearly 100kg. I still have to prod really hard to feel her ribs 🤦 I swapped her straw bed to shavings and weighed her hay over winter and have upped her workload.

She was also diagnosed with ulcers earlier this year and needed omeprazole injections which made her footsore, so it was a "rock and hard place" situation trying to balance her intake with no exercise for eight weeks. She is now muzzled when she's turned out and gets to spend three or four days a week in her stable to give her a rest from wearing it. I've just ordered a Flexible Filly one for her because they do seem a lot more "airy".

I'm amazed at how much more stamina she has now (but it's obvious really as she's lost 15 stone!). We're mainly hackers but her canter in the school is way more consistent.

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windand rain

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Your point is a good one about the 15 stone weight loss if you think about it it is the equivalent of a mighty big rider which is why I always say when people ask if they are too fat for their horse only if your horse is very fat in itself
 

scats

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Great idea for a thread. I’ve had noticeable success with NoMetSyn for general body weight and body fat. I got desperate because they were muzzled, on short grass overnight, in of a day with weighed/soaked hay, but nothing was shifting. Millie is on NoMetSyn and Polly is on metformin due to her crest but inability to do much work with her PSD issues.

Unfortunately Polly’s crest is not wanting to go. Ribs are easily felt and visible at some angles and vet is very happy with her overall body condition, but that crest is a nightmare. If she gets a whiff of mag ox she won’t go anywhere near it, so that’s out (I’ve tried everything over the last couple of years to get mag ox into her).
Millie has lost a lot of weight. She isn’t cresty but carries it on her shoulders, belly and bum. Belly and shoulders have shifted... bum is a work in progress.

Any suggestions for crest shifting would be appreciated. Polly is on Metformin in a token handful of light chaff.
 

Melandmary

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26 January 2021
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Out of interest would you class a pony that was muzzled 24/7 as being on restricted grazing? She has only gone on to this regime in the last few days because she is just getting fatter and fatter but I wonder whether she will need a vit/mineral supplement now. My other mare that has 12 hrs muzzled grazing then stabled with low sugar haylage gets prohoof. I am just trying to add photos /video but it just keeps telling me my files too big. Any tips on making those smaller too? 😂
 

alexomahony

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12 January 2015
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Wow, what an improvement. I wish I could figure out how to get photos on here. I have 2 fattys. 1 lost about 30/40 kg whilst on boxrest for lami for a month. It was a massive wake up call. She has been turned out now for a month and has lost a further 20kg by being muzzled 12hrs turnout and then coming in to a double net of 2nd cut haylage mixed with oat straw. She is on a steady weight loss now. The other little fatty has just had a muzzle on. I felt really mean but exercise wasn't reducing her waist line. She can't be stabled and she is an escape artist. 24/7 muzxling is not ideal but I bring her on the yard each day and take it off. I am waiting for a flexible filly muzzle which will be more comfortable for both of them. I have never had to muzzle before but it clearly works a treat 😊
i bought him a flexible filly muzzle which he got on really well with when on the fat grass field ❤️

Good luck with them - it’s such a struggle isn’t it 🤦‍♀️ Lots of canter work used to keep him slim but he can’t do that now so have had to figure out other ways xx
 

atropa

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26 September 2012
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My mare weighed in at 575kg last October and was bordering on laminitis. Big wake up call for me as I was blind to her weight at the time and looking back at photos am disgusted with myself. It was a vicious cycle as it had been going on for several months with the vets actually believing the lameness was structural so she had the entirety of summer 2020 off work.
Started strictly weighing her hay to 2% of her current body weight, it was soaked for 12 hours and fed in double nets. She had a large tub trug of straw chaff every night over winter. She had a blanket clip and was left unrugged except from a rainsheet and a 100g stable rug when it got down to -8C. Her muzzle didn't come off until mid November last year and went back on at the start of April this year.
Her exercise has slowly increased until she is doing 6 days/week including some long slow hacks, hillwork, up to 50 minutes high intensity schooling or jumping. Once onto summer grazing she began spending 8-12 hours off the grass in her stable.
She initially lost approx 115kg, and was maintaining this until maybe the 2nd week in June where I noticed the weight starting to creep back on slightly. So far I have combated this with a more restrictive muzzle and am planning to increase her workload even more. If this doesn't shift the balance back down the way I will look to reduce her turnout time more.
Such a worry and such a lot of work.
 

Celtic Fringe

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13 April 2014
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My cob is strip grazed but usually is allowed onto some longer grass for an hour or two in the morning. He has a very definite view about how much grazing is adequate so keeping him moderately happy but within reasonable limit is a bit of a juggling act. He can visibly put on weight overnight developing shoulder rolls of fat but a hangry cob can be a challenge. His paddock looks like a bowling green! He is 14.3h and was recently weighed at 560kg. He is fine at this weight but we don't want him to get any heavier - can just feel ribs! He is fit and well muscled and has plenty of energy. He is currently clipped out and only rugged if it rains as he gets very hot. We will up his work rather than reducing his food if needed.
I think he would be really miserable with a grazing muzzle and the youngsters in the next door field would have a lot of fun removing it for him. We often play hunt the fly mask as it is!
 

J&S

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17 June 2012
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I have a 13 hh native type who came very well covered. she intitally lost weight through being ridden regularly either by my self or stepdaughter. Step daughter got married and lost interest, I had a bad fall from her and at my age (73 at the time) decided not to ride her. So, she got fat again. Last summer my vet told me she needed to lose weight so she was partially clipped and unrugged through the winter but no weight loss at all! Just a huge fluffy bear of a pony. Greedy feeder haynets and sparse grazing didn't do the trick either. I was doing ride and lead from a bigger pony several times a week but not really getting any where. Then one day, riding through the village a neighbour popped out and in the conversation i asked her (as a very experienced horse person/rider) if she would perhaps like to try the pony. That was February, now pony has gone from (on a tape) 490kgs to 425 kgs. We hack together twice a week, about 9 -10 kms and she takes her out at other times. Pony is transformed. Vet due in the next week or so and I am hoping he will be pleased. In her case, exercise was the key. We walk miles, only trot up hill and are hard pushed to find more than one canter per ride. I also do ground work with her and lunge her over little jumps and poles. They are on a grass track and still have a tiny pile of hay in the evenings. Larger older pony gets Veteran vitality and small one has Happy Hoof non molassed with mag ox.
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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Great thread.

I'm having a lot of success with a muzzle at night and in during the day on Marksway timothy horsehage.

It's also clear that if she wasn't my second string and got more exercise that she would barely need to be restricted at all.
.
 

cauda equina

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2 February 2014
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My mare weighed in at 575kg last October and was bordering on laminitis. Big wake up call for me as I was blind to her weight at the time and looking back at photos am disgusted with myself. It was a vicious cycle as it had been going on for several months with the vets actually believing the lameness was structural so she had the entirety of summer 2020 off work.
Started strictly weighing her hay to 2% of her current body weight, it was soaked for 12 hours and fed in double nets. She had a large tub trug of straw chaff every night over winter. She had a blanket clip and was left unrugged except from a rainsheet and a 100g stable rug when it got down to -8C. Her muzzle didn't come off until mid November last year and went back on at the start of April this year.
Her exercise has slowly increased until she is doing 6 days/week including some long slow hacks, hillwork, up to 50 minutes high intensity schooling or jumping. Once onto summer grazing she began spending 8-12 hours off the grass in her stable.
She initially lost approx 115kg, and was maintaining this until maybe the 2nd week in June where I noticed the weight starting to creep back on slightly. So far I have combated this with a more restrictive muzzle and am planning to increase her workload even more. If this doesn't shift the balance back down the way I will look to reduce her turnout time more.
Such a worry and such a lot of work.
It is a worry and a lot of work, and expense too
I hate having to buy in forage and bedding while most of the grass is thigh high
 

MuddyMonster

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22 September 2015
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Waves 👋 Definitely joining in my with my PPID & EMS native 🙊

We had a shocking last 12 months - he had months off over winter and into late Spring/early summer due to illness/injury/saddle woes and I had no control over his feeding, so he ballooned.

We moved yards a couple of weeks ago onto DIY for control of his management and he's now muzzled overnight and in during the day on soaked hay with tiny holes haynets.

Now he's well and we have a saddle, he's in light work 6 days a week with the goal to have in light-medium work by the end of Summer and maintain that over winter.

Girth does go up an extra hole now though 🎉

I have ordered a Flexible Filly muzzle I *might* have been scammed as it's not turned up & I've just been told 'leave it with me' by the owner .... we'll see I guess 🤣🤷‍♀️

My goal for this week is to create a chart I can track his weight & BCS to fill in every week, as I think that'll keep me motivated to keep up the exercise regime even on early mornings & rainy evenings.
 

holeymoley

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18 November 2012
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We’re doing really well despite yard owners crazy field management. It’s so difficult when you’re up against someone that’s hell bent on insisting they need to move when there’s not over 4 inches of grass in the fields.

Mine is IR laminitic, he wears the flexible filly muzzle and has his hay soaked and eaten out of a haycube. I found the smaller holed haynets didn’t make much difference other than making him grumpy so he has free access out the haycube which seems to steady him a bit more. He also has ad lib straw to nibble on when wants.
 

suestowford

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I got my small pony down from 283kg to 210kg. Muzzled him when he was out, kept him in during the day with small feeds of soaked hay mixed with straw to bulk them out. It still took about a year to lose all that weight though, he's the sort that will get fat on very little.
But now he is slim it's easier to keep him that way, he looks like a little racehorse without all the blubber :)
 

Marnie

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My little Welsh has put on weight since I lost my other horse 2 weeks ago but we now seem to be back on track and in a routine of out at night and in during the day - although I have taken on a yearling who is quite poor and so working on a balance that suits both of them. I bought a flexible filly muzzle and she has been wearing that for the last few nights out and that certainly seems to be restricting her. I want to better control her hay intake during the day, can anyone recommend a reasonably robust and accurate spring balance for weighing haynets? The one that I have does not seem to be very accurate at all and I also appear to have lost my weightape so have just ordered another.
 

tda

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18 April 2013
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I might as well join in, 13.3hh dales pony, lives on fresh air
Weightaped last week 603kgs 😮
My set up is free range as she lives with oldies/brood mares and youngster, so she has been living in the entrance to the yard(mainly hardcore) with a small net. I have no grass so no point using a muzzle. I do have a track system set up so once she settles down she can go on that overnight
She's been ridden 3 times, walked out twice in the last 8 days, however she is an awkward baggage a bugger to shoe so is now a bit footsore.
I have boots so that's today's job. She has not lost any weight yet 😐
 

tda

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my 13.3 highland is 460kgs so can imagine how big you dales must be mine isnt backed yet but lives out 24/7 on short grass with no hay
I know, I'm disappointed with myself. I'll try and add a pic. She doesn't look too bad from far away, no crest, just a layer of blubber over all body, think a black pudding 🙄
 

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Melandmary

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26 January 2021
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@Marnie I got my hay weigher from my local tack shop. About 6 quid. I have the bigger one. Weighing my nets has been crucial to Mel losing weight as I have stuck religiously to 2%of her ideal bodyweight. She was about 650kg, possibly more as she was off the scale. A 15h tradional cob. She is now about 580 and losing gradually turned out in a muzzle 12 hrs. I was worried about what her actual intake would be but I am guessing at 5kg from grass and 6kg in her stable. It must be fairly accurate as it is still going down. I include her bucket feed in her allowance. I can't exercise her yet but in another month I will be able to add exercise to the armoury. Guessing net weights you could be 1 or 2 kg out
 

Melandmary

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26 January 2021
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@windandrain if it makes you feel any better my 12.2 tradional is weighing in at 470kg. She lives out 24/7. I had been exercising her in hand bit weren't getting anywhere. She is now muzzled 23hrs a day. She did manage to get the blinkin thing off this morning which has resulted in her stuffing her face I think as she has a squitty bum now. It is firmly back on now🙄
 
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