Great thank you. Before I got her she had been wintered in, I tried to keep her out but she was dropping too much condition. I am working towards getting more weight on her with 2x hard feeds and hay/haylage at night in her stable. She has previously had adlib hay but is now in a field with some grass so currently doesn't have any out.
I'm keeping a close eye on her - I can't use summer to get weight onto her as she appears to be a Lammy
Wouldnt want her a lot fatter to be honest I would rather see a bit off I know she is a big breed but her chances of avoiding laminitis will be greatly improved if she dropped a bit before the spring grass gets here
Based on the second picture and importantly on the later disclosure the horse is a laminitic, I wouldn’t be concerned at this time of year to see a fraction less over the rib and shoulder blade. I certainly wouldn’t be aiming to put more condition on coming into spring.
If she is laminitic and difficult to keep weight on, I would insist on a Cushings test (TRH). I lost a lovely young Shire with similar symptoms, when she foundered, owing to lack of diagnosis after 3 months of vet visits. I now believe that she had Cushings, despite only being 6.
Yes rib and shoulder area I certainly woouldnt want a lot more on. I too would make sure she was treated as ems and tested for cushings. A horse her size and weight wont get much of a chance of recovery if she does get laminitis and if she has shown signs already I would be ultra cautious but thats only my opinion
With regards to the Laminitis, it wasn't diagnosed but I have 2 friends at the yard who's mares are prolific for Laminitis. In the summer, whilst on lush and plentiful grazing Bonnie presented with extremely hot feet and a strong digital pulse, I immediately took action moving her off the grass which wasn't ideal as she is not a good doer and ideally i'd have liked some weight on her for winter.
As far as i have researched and been told by breeders/Shire folks that she will continue to grow up until the age of around 8 and won't stop filling out til 10ish. I want to make sure she's well kept whilst growing so she has the energy to grow big and strong.
She was extremely ribby and sunken around a month ago and it was for this reason I started bringing her in, hardfeeding twice a day and giving adlib haylage at night - She now has hay back out in the field as she was very sunken again the other day when I brought her in.
She looks alot better in the second photos than she actually is I think. I may try to get better photos over the weekend.
Her feed currently consists of Calm and condition, Micronised linseed, Alpha A Oil chaff, Turmeric and a Min/Vit supplement (Selenavite E).
Sounds like an okay diet for her but again if she is at risk of laminitis (which sounds as though she is she is) it is better if you can feel her ribs and even see them when she turns. Too many heavy horses and cobs are lost to this horrid disease as their feet cannot deal with their weight when they have an episode. A forage based low sugar low carb diet with a correctly formulated mineral and vitamin supplement would be your best bet. It will keep her growing without letting her get too fat or a carb overload. She is lovely and I hope you have a long and stress free life with her
Thank you so much W&R. I also have another mare, Belgian draft x Comtois. She is older and has a really bad foot that i have been told will be the end of her so I want to look after Bonnie and her feet as much as possible. Since she was off the grass and sugary feeds she seems ok and i imagine she will get into better shape quite quickly once back in regular work. But i will keep a close eye on her and may even invest in a weight tape to allow me to see wether she is getting bigger or smaller
She has a large split down the centre of her front right foot, my farrier is doing a great job working to get it closed but realistically that foot is probably going to be the end of her in time.
The sole sunk as well, we have been working since the summer to fix this problem and i'm glad to say she is getting better. I don't know alot about ring bone but my farrier is saying she is at a real risk of laminitis due to the condition of the foot so I need to be really careful with her.
She a really good doer so I can literally keep her in a starvation field all summer and she doesn't have any negative responses to this, other than being hangry of course!
She never been lame on the foot in the nearly 2 years i've had her though so there is that.