How to lose weight from unbroken youngster???

brown tack

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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, 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?
 

Maesfen

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But how do you know he's overweight if you're only going by a tape as they are notoriously useless when it comes to youngsters let alone those of cob breeding which you haven't a hope of knowing what his correct weight should be?
On the grazing turnout he has, TBH, I wouldn't be doing anything but it would help if he had a far bigger area to roam so he could use himself more; has he company as they play then and keep themselves trim that way?
If you feel you should do something then do away with any hard feed; he's a cob and should live on fresh air!
 

Miss L Toe

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Yes of course you can soak haylage [2 to 12 hours], this will remove sugars, you need to add mins and vits though.
It is difficult to believe he is getting fatter on his half acre of winter grazing.
I would not want to keep a young horse stabled more than eight hours a day max, it is not fair on him.
Try Fast Fibre as part of his diet, this provides mins and vits , and is another source of fibre for him.
The eye is a better judge of fat than the tape, which is for an average animal. You should be able to see/feel a few ribs and there should be no "gutter" down the back or soft fat at the tail-head or crest on the neck.
Walking needs to be fairly brisk to make him lose weight.
I agree he should have company he needs to socialise and play with his friends.
You could start him in long reins if you want, walking is not hard work, depending on his overall strength and maturity, he may be ready for light backing this year, I would certainly do plenty of in hand stuff and ground work with him, avoid lunging as this will strain the joints of a young animal.
 
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brown tack

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He looks fat, and I use a tape to just give a figure so I can see an increase. He's out long reining and walking in hand hopefully to be backed in the next month. He has company in the way of horses to the side paddocks and behind him, but unfortunately no one at the yard wants to double up. The pasture he's on is old cow pasture and due to the good winter is in fab condition. I want him out as much as possible. He's 4 in September, the lo-cal is just for vits
 

brown tack

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He looks fat, and I use a tape to just give a figure so I can see an increase. He's out long reining and walking in hand hopefully to be backed in the next month. He has company in the way of horses to the side paddocks and behind him, but unfortunately no one at the yard wants to double up. The pasture he's on is old cow pasture and due to the good winter is in fab condition. I want him out as much as possible. He's 4 in September, the lo-cal is just for vits and mins
 
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I have the same problem with my rising 3 yr old. She will be lightly backed at the end of the year. In the mean time i am trying to fit in a couple of days a week of ride and lead with my older boy. I am soaking her haylage for 12 hours, she has been on soaked hay all winter but we've run out. She has purposely not been rugged all winter, but comes in at night due to lack of grazing, and has 200g bailey's lo-cal a day. I'm at my wits end as she just isnt losing any weight and hasn't all winter.
 

Rollin

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I am interested in this post as I face the same problem with my 3yo CB. We have great grazing in this part of France so ALL my horses had hay weighed all winter - adlib for two weeks only when it was bitterly cold.

I cut hard feed at the end of Feb and they now get one feed of Safe and Sound, plus non-molassed s/b. They still look good.

For me the only consolation is that CB's can grow upwards till 6yo, by which time she will be in work. I hope she will slim down as she grows.

Because they are slow maturing I don't want to cut feed altogether. Although they all get licks in the field I am about to try a new vit/min supplement.
 

brown tack

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That's the thing mine was a rescue so was rather lacking when I first took him on 6months ago and in that time he's grown 3inchs!!! He's looked just right till about 3weeks ago and now he's just pilling it on
 

competitiondiva

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I do ride and lead, and.having 2 youngsters out together helps as they play alot. Only other suggestion is the grazing muzzle.... How about muzzle on in day and off over night when less sugars in the grass????
 

competitiondiva

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Forgot to add you may be better to feed straw than soaked haylage, there would still be I'd imagine more sugars in soaked haylage than straw, straw is long fibre so keeps the gut moving but there is little nutritional value in it. I'd advise oat straw as it's the most palatable, but if you can't get it and your horse eats barley or wheat straw then this is good too. I'd also advise a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure he's getting everything he needs. Good luck.
 
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