Overweight cob , best way to

motherof2beasts!

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I have a 15.2 cob gelding who is 10 years old usually ridden 3/5 times a week hacking , lots of steep hills. He was living out 24/7 but recently with all the monsoon rain and then the sun has ballooned.

He is out in a 2.5 acre field with 3 others during the day and a total of 6 overnight. He only gets a teeny handful of hifi mollass free a day to add his pollenex into.
 

motherof2beasts!

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Sorry it posted without me finishing !!

what’s the best way to shift weight ?

I can either a) bring him in during the day with some blue horse hage in a greedy net or b) do that overnight as longer? Or c) make a very very small paddock within his paddock.
 

PapaverFollis

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Can you put a track/long thin paddock around the edge of his field... rather than a small square paddock? That might be the best way as it restricts grass but means he still has to move. Small square paddocks restruct movement too.

Also can you increase the intensity or distance of his work?
 

motherof2beasts!

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His work has intensified recently , due to work can’t do daily but the past 3 weeks hacked an average of 35 miles a month and the hills are very very steep.

the yard owner doesn’t want a track unfortunately.
 

pistolpete

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So hard with good doers. If he’ll tolerate being separate from his herd small paddock and soaked hay probably best. Oat or barley straw if he’s hungry and keep going with the exercise. If he’s restricted then put back out he’ll just gorge to make up for it.
 

motherof2beasts!

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So hard with good doers. If he’ll tolerate being separate from his herd small paddock and soaked hay probably best. Oat or barley straw if he’s hungry and keep going with the exercise. If he’s restricted then put back out he’ll just gorge to make up for it.
currently using the blue high fibre horsehage, do you think soaked hay is better?
 

PapaverFollis

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His work has intensified recently , due to work can’t do daily but the past 3 weeks hacked an average of 35 miles a month and the hills are very very steep.

the yard owner doesn’t want a track unfortunately.
OK.

For context mine did just over 100 miles in walk and trot in March and that just about kept on top of the weight gain from spring grass intake.
 
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Grazing muzzle + small paddock maybe grazed bare with the help of others and measured forage of a suitable calorific value spread thinly over the bare ground. Act fast. No second chances with laminitis and EMS. Bring in if no other option. This is critical for him. Also, this isn't a one-off remedy. It's a lifestyle change and he needs to come out of winter looking like something at a rescue, compared to how he looks now.

Also, and I say this with no trace of irony because there are people who think the above suggestions are radical and cruel, leave him out enjoying the grass and PTS when laminitis eventually arrives. Leastways, they enjoy life up to then.

As far as I am concerned, ballooning doesn't happen in an hour or two. He has been doing it over days. You have been caught napping and need to put some concerted effort in FAST.
 

PapaverFollis

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A small paddock with a very small amount of haylage and oat straw chaff put out for him is probably the vest option out of what you can do. I'm not sure part time stabling works unless you restrict the grass too. If you can't put haylage out with him then stable during the day with a bit if forage and put out in small paddock overnight. But that does restrict movement.
 
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currently using the blue high fibre horsehage, do you think soaked hay is better?
Soak that! One hour, rinse well, feed immediately. How heavy is he/should he be? You go with 2% to maintain ideal weight or 1.5% of a very overweight horse or pony. Involve a savvy vet if you get hassle from others over the dreadful cruelty you are inflicting on him by caring about his weight now.

Boils my blood that folks really have NO idea what a healthy weight is any more.
 
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A small paddock with a very small amount of haylage and oat straw chaff put out for him is probably the vest option out of what you can do. I'm not sure part time stabling works unless you restrict the grass too. If you can't put haylage out with him then stable during the day with a bit if forage and put out in small paddock overnight. But that does restrict movement.
If they haven't got laminitis, you can at least up the work! Also don't bed on anything edible!
 

motherof2beasts!

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Grazing muzzle + small paddock maybe grazed bare with the help of others and measured forage of a suitable calorific value spread thinly over the bare ground. Act fast. No second chances with laminitis and EMS. Bring in if no other option. This is critical for him. Also, this isn't a one-off remedy. It's a lifestyle change and he needs to come out of winter looking like something at a rescue, compared to how he looks now.

Also, and I say this with no trace of irony because there are people who think the above suggestions are radical and cruel, leave him out enjoying the grass and PTS when laminitis eventually arrives. Leastways, they enjoy life up to then.

As far as I am concerned, ballooning doesn't happen in an hour or two. He has been doing it over days. You have been caught napping and need to put some concerted effort in FAST.
I have come on here for advice and guidance not a ticking off. I am acting fast he is currently in during the day on horse hage blue in a nibbleze. I will lunge him on days he is not ridden.

I am not ignorant and doing nothing about it I’m trying to do what is best.
 

motherof2beasts!

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Soak that! One hour, rinse well, feed immediately. How heavy is he/should he be? You go with 2% to maintain ideal weight or 1.5% of a very overweight horse ot pony. Involve a savvy vet if you get hassle from others over the dreadful cruelty you are inflicting on him by caring about his weight now.

Boils my blood that folks really have NO idea what a healthy weight is any more.
Soak the blue horsehage? Do you think that’s better than oat straw chaff?
 

coblets

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If you’re going to bring him in, bring him in in the day - grass is less sugary at night. Soak hay, use a slow feeder haynet, a proper one not one of those that you couldn’t distinguish from a normal haynet, or layer a bunch of nets. Also something to entertain him in the stable, a toy or something, if you can.

Could you look at getting a sharer or someone to work him more regularly? Ime once you start restricting, then they gorge themselves more once you let them out.

Boils my blood that folks really have NO idea what a healthy weight is any more.
Given that OP is asking for help, and hasn’t provided a picture of horse so you don’t know how much he weighs, I don’t know how you can make this comment..?
 

JennBags

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I have come on here for advice and guidance not a ticking off. I am acting fast he is currently in during the day on horse hage blue in a nibbleze. I will lunge him on days he is not ridden.

I am not ignorant and doing nothing about it I’m trying to do what is best.
Brighteyes did give you great advice and you're being over sensitive if you think she was "ticking you off".

You've said your horse does 35 miles a month, that's only just over a mile a day, you really need to up the work if you want to keep on top of his weight.

Bring him in during the day, take him off haylage and give him either straw or soaked hay, or a mixture to eat if he has to have something.
 

motherof2beasts!

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If you’re going to bring him in, bring him in in the day - grass is less sugary at night. Soak hay, use a slow feeder haynet, a proper one not one of those that you couldn’t distinguish from a normal haynet, or layer a bunch of nets. Also something to entertain him in the stable, a toy or something, if you can.

Could you look at getting a sharer or someone to work him more regularly? Ime once you start restricting, then they gorge themselves more once you let them out.


Given that OP is asking for help, and hasn’t provided a picture of horse so you don’t know how much he weighs, I don’t know how you can make this comment..?
Thank you he won’t be rugged ! I’m going to start lunging him for 20 mins a day on days I can’t ride. Also hard to find an ideal
Of what he should weigh he is heavyweight/maxi cob a lot of bone (I’m measuring today) and is 15.2. He can get very bloated (bloats out loads when girth done!) and sometimes he looks very round but that same day can look a better shape.
 

Pearlsasinger

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does the oat straw chaff replace hay/horsehage?

Yes, I successfully dieted an obese Draft horse on a diet of a small hay rations and trugs full of oat straw chaff - she wasn't impressed but she ate it. I'm not sure how much she lost as she was off the weight-tape but it could have been as much as 200kg at 16hh- she was a very big girl!
 

windand rain

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I would say if you had ever had a serious laminitis acute attack you wouldn't feel like you were being ticked off. The advice given is from someone who has seen the devastation it causes. As to getting his weight off and I know most disagree but hay and haylage are the work of the devil for fat good doers. Oat straw is your friend as is standing foggage in winter. No or minimal hay and enough grass to take hours to eat because there is so little of it. Must restrict food all year round until the animal is thin enough to see it's ribs coming into spring. You can then have a chance of controlling his weight from the right end and keeping his mind in the right frame. As you cannot use a track you need to work him more to keep his movement up. Once you can see his ribs he will likely reset his metabolism and be much happier for it DSC_0024email (2).jpg
this is my little chap 6 weeks post acute laminitis age 3 my fault never even thought of a baby getting it
opening the track a bit.jpg
this is him Age 16 has not had laminitis for 5 years since being on his current regime he is fed a feed of chaff and grassnuts now with vitamins and minerals every day the area he is in here is about the size of a stable but his metabolism is now reset and he no longer gorges so can now graze almost normally year round. He is a pain but is far nicer than he was when he was hangry all the time
 

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I'd do all the following;
1. Restrict his grazing to a smaller paddock within the paddock.
2. Bring him in and give him low sugar haylage (Horsehage timothy is best, but the high fibre isn't too bad). Don't soak it - you can get secondary fermentation which you really don't want.
3. Don't use soaked hay - the sugar levels are too unpredictable even after 12 hour soaking.
4. If you want to reduce calories further, consider giving him some low sugar chaffs in the stable instead - Top Chop Zero (very low), Hi Fi Molasses Free, Honeychop Lite and Healthy, Bailey's light chaff, etc.
5. Weigh tape him (round his girth area) and keep a record so that you can tell if he is actually gaining or losing weight.
6. The Blue Cross website have good charts for condition scoring (and I think some videos too).

Good luck.
 

Pearlsasinger

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does the oat straw chaff replace hay/horsehage?

Yes, I tried long straw but she got colic. She was obese when I bought her, 16hh Westphalian Draft horse who was used to being fed haylage and cheap coarse mix, loaded with starch and sugar. Her weight was off the tape and and I got it down to 800kg, over a couple of years (loss of about 200kg).
She wasn't a fan of chaff but she ate it when she realised there was nothing else. I hate haynets and will not use them, soaking hay/lage is a complete PITA and it either freezes in cold weather or goes off in hot weather, so for me chaff was the obvious answer.

ETA, I used Honeychop or Halleys oat straw chaff with obsolutely nothing added, I didn't want to encourage her to eat more than she felt that she needed to keep body and soul together. I also gave her Aloe Vera juice in a very few Agrobs Weisencobs to ward offgastric ulcers.
 
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I have come on here for advice and guidance not a ticking off. I am acting fast he is currently in during the day on horse hage blue in a nibbleze. I will lunge him on days he is not ridden.

I am not ignorant and doing nothing about it I’m trying to do what is best.
Yeah, sorry. I just think rain = grass = act now. I do a daily assessment. You have to do. As you have discovered.
 
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I have come on here for advice and guidance not a ticking off. I am acting fast he is currently in during the day on horse hage blue in a nibbleze. I will lunge him on days he is not ridden.

I am not ignorant and doing nothing about it I’m trying to do what is best.
With the best will in the world, nobody who is doing the weight thing as a priority ever gets to this point unless they have taken one on and need extra ideas on what to do.

My comment was a general one about the knowing what healthy weight is, but if the cap fits...
 
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