How to get weight off unbroken 3yr old?

brown tack

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
Weight taped my youngster today and as I thought he has put a "tad" bit of weight. But how on earth do I lose it from him, he's a welsh cob x so prone to gaining pounds. I can't muzzle him as the grass is too short he's on about 1/2 acre that I can't make any smaller, it's my winter grazing paddock. Hes worked for 3-4 times per week for 20-40mins depending on what it is (40mins) would be a inhand walk around the block once a week. He's not broken and im reluctant to push him too hard for a 3yr old.
I could bring him during the day or night, out 24/7 ATM but then he's on hayledge when stabled, we don't have any hay and got to buy from the landowner. Could I soak the hayledge? Thought you couldn't do this, but am I wrong? Don't won't to go down the no food route, the only hard feed he's getting is a mug of baileys lo-cal balancer.

Normally I'd just up the work load and muzzle, but don't have these options open to me, any suggestions?
 
Joined
13 August 2006
Messages
12,949
Location
Well north of Watford
You can muzzle in the stable to spin his haylage out - does it have to be ad-lib? I take it he's just three and not three 'off' or chronologically three? He should still be growing and taking energy up that way.

Otherwise, yes, it's a tricky one. No harm at all in the 'exercise' he's getting. In the wild, he'd have been scooting about the Welsh Mountains in all weathers and speeds from day one. That's maybe the problem :p
 

newbie_nix

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 November 2011
Messages
93
I can relate to your problem, I have a rising 4yo Clydie X who is a very good doer.

Unlike yours, he was broken in at 2.5 (before I got him at 3) but this was definitely too early for him, I am allowing him to mature a bit more before he is re-started so we are also doing ground work only.

We are on very lush ex-cattle pasture (down in NZ) and the combination of slightly warmer climate and rich grass is a challenge.

I exercise him a similar amount to yourself and this helps. But what I think is really making a difference is I have my horses on a track system. I have used electric tape to create a track around our paddock, about 8 metres wide with a few areas that are wider - have 3 horses so need to give them a bit more room. They get a small patch of fresh grass every day but then have to forage around on the track. I have made use of the natural hillocks shade tress etc, made it as interesting as possible and put mineral lick one end, trough the other to encourage them to keep moving. Research has shown horses on a track system take many more steps than those in a regular paddock and it is closer to how they would graze naturally, i.e. take a few bites and move on. I have been doing this for a few months now, his weight has stabilised and I think it is now very slowly coming off. But I am still monitoring him closely! At least we are heading into winter down under so I am hoping this will help...

Like you I don't want to rush my boy work wise so I am just trying to make a few small changes here and there. I have a grazing muzzle as a last resort - haven't had to use it yet. However I heard they work quite well on short grass so might be an option? My other option was to yard mine during the day with a slow trickle haynet but given the choice I would rather he got the exercise out on the track 24/7.

I don't know if this is possible to put in place where you are but just thought I would mention it.

Another idea I had was to let mine loose in the arena with one of those giant horse exercise balls as a form of exercise. Some horses seem to love chasing those things around. But unfortunately he is terrified of it! So its back to the drawing board there.....
 

mcnaughty

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 August 2009
Messages
2,297
If he is now 3 you could start long reining him round the fields and lanes. I have a welsh a and he lived on a starvation paddock with another fat shettie last year - field was literally 1/4 acre with "rabbit nibbled length" grass - he lost all his baby fat he put on from living on a lush welsh hillside as a 1/2 yo. Now looks fab.
 

brown tack

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
He has one net small holed net and 1/4 of a net on the floor of hayledge, he's only in one or two nights a week depending on the weather. In the paddock he's constantly playing, galloping and leaping about most of the day which is one reason why I don't get how fat he's gone, none of the liveries never see him eat he's too nosey as too what's going on. He's 4 in September
 

brown tack

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
He's long reining, lunging almost ready to be sat on, but his work load won't increase a huge amount once he's broken in as want to take him slowly due to him being rather sharpe. Can't do the track system as not allowed to put up eccy tape in the winter paddock and my summer paddock is so long and lush is unbeluevable
 

tallyho!

Bring me Sunshine...!
Joined
8 July 2010
Messages
14,826
You can soak haylage. Not for too long, you only need to soak for an hour for the sugars to leach out. You want to keep the good stuff in.

Can you mix haylage with straw? Small holed nets, or double up on nets.

Cut out the lo-cal. He doesn't need it. Buy a mineral lick instead. Can you free-school? That burns up a lot of calories and keep up the walking and long-reigning and there is no reason you can't lunge on a big circle at this age but just don't make it fast work as that will put strain on young joints.

Can you put a track in the summer paddock? I am sure if you discussed it with yo they will let you do this for the health of your horse.
 

Kaylum

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 May 2010
Messages
4,733
So you bring him in then feed him haylage? I would leave him out as you are just feeding him grass inside and a lot more than he would get outside if your grass is short. Plus he is just stood there munching.
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
12,603
Location
Ireland
Yes, you can soak haylage. If he's running and bucking about, he is getting TOO MUCH food. One of my "rules of feeding" is if horses are running around the fields, I cut the feed immediately (I have run large stud and training farms with over 50 horses). He is rising 4, presumably a stocky, cobby lad? No reason not to start working him, judiciously - obviously.
 

posie_honey

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 December 2008
Messages
2,908
ditto whoever above suggested the fatty track system - really helped my mare when she was off work - def gets them moving more - so fitter and leaner.
also makes sense to me as by restricting grass in a small patch you are also really reducing movement - which - for animals who are desgined to walk up to 20miles a day - including in the development stage - is not a great idea IMHO
 

brown tack

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
Right got to bribe one of the other liveries to graze down my summer paddock for me, then track the paddock. I've got some very knowledge people on my yard, and I've had horses all my life we just can't see how he's got fat!

Can't push him too much with the work load as he got his foot stuck in the stable a few months ago and hurt his back and leg, so can't push it too much, then of course he's a rescue so hasn't been ready in the head for too much. His paddock is pretty much dirt, hes coming in 1-2nights a week and having a net of hayledge when he's in only, then 125g of balancer, daily! This horse is living on thin air!
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
12,603
Location
Ireland
Yes, they can apparently live on nothing - it took me years to get my Friesian on the right amounts; I simply couldn't believe how little she needed! I was used to feeding big young warmbloods; she needed less than a quarter of what I'd been feeding. Felt really mean, but would have felt far worse if she'd succumbed to laminitus or metabolic disease. Also, excercise is key.

And consider feeding straw, best thing I ever discovered.
 

brown tack

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
That's the thing always had cobby/fatty types! But this horse still shocks me, hopefully once he's broken and building up his work load it will come off
 
Top