Should you be able to see a cobs ribs?

ShadowHunter

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I've always battled with my cobs weight. Never managed to get her down to the right weight and stay there, no matter what work she was in. However, she's having the winter off, unrugged and the weight is coming off really nicely. Her ribs and spine can be felt very easily, the gutter on her bum is almost gone. She has more to lose but with winter not even started yet (officially), her ribs may start showing by the end. Is this a good thing? Or should ribs only be seen on a tb or similar?
Definitely not complaining about the weight loss, just want to know what to look out for.
 

teapot

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I'd rather a horse came out of winter looking a bit ribby than the alternative, but that's how I was taught back in the day. It means you're not fighting to lose the weight as the spring grass comes through.
 

paddi22

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yeah i'd be happy if my two cobs were slightly ribby coming out of winter. once the grass starts coming through it piles back on!
 

FfionWinnie

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No I wouldn't want to see ribs. Feel them yes. My cob was eventing fit and you couldn't see any ribs. Well muscled without any fat but no, ribs on show isn't right on a cob imo.
 

ycbm

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I would be happy to see ribs when the horse moves, but not normally when it's standing still. It wouldn't worry me in March, though.

I might finally get my cob right this winter. I've found pure Timothy big bale and things are looking really good :)
 

MissTyc

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Slightly ribby coming out of the winter for my uber-good doing cob. This leaves me more relaxed going into the spring grass ... He is fit and lean, so I can usually see a shadow of ribs when he is working.
 

JJS

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Or clipped! They have thick skins, you shouldn't see ribs on a fit muscled cob imo.
I agree, it's just that I'd be especially concerned if I could see them through a thick winter coat.

Actually, unclipped, I wouldn't be happy about seeing them on a TB either. Mine was far from fat, but she never had visible ribs on show even when she was clipped.
 

ihatework

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Depends on the whole picture for me. A horses condition score isn't just based on ribs. It would be rare to see a cobs ribs unless it was genuinely too poor, but they are all different, and a shadow of the ribs when moving on a super fit cob would not concern me.
 

Goldenstar

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Ooh, yes, forgot that bit, unclipped. No, neither would I.
It about using a bit of common sense isn't it .
OP it's ok to see ribs as the horse moves and bends it's body but you don't to be about see all the ribs when standing in an unclipped cob.
However if the horse was to be that lean it would it no harm , as they get that slim you need to keep an eye on their muscle bulk should that start to reduce then you know they are using energy sorted in muscle to fuel the body and you need to up the food .
 

fishy

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You mean cobs have ribs!?! 😂 Lol. I'd like to be able to feel them come spring and maybe just about see them through a summer coat. As Goldenstar says I would also be watching muscle tone too x
 

ozpoz

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I'd be concerned if I could see ribs through a thick coat and skin. They shouldn't be apparent on any immobile horse imo, especially types bred to have "sprung' ribcages, barrel shaped cobs and some natives.

There is fitness, and there is lack of condition and it can be hard to get condition back when there is no visceral fat to keep warm. The good thing about cobs is that with forage they will usually keep themselves looking very well!
 

Pigeon

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I wouldn't want to see ribs on anything tbh. It should be easy to feel them, but at a standstill they shouldn't be clearly visible. When you look at racehorses you should bear in mind that these are generally not mature horses, and adolescents have less body fat. It's not really appropriate for a teenage riding club horse to be as thin as an 18 month old racehorse. You see so many poor looking tbs out there and people always use the excuse that it's a tb... Er, either you aren't feeding it enough or it has ulcers :x
 
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