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Melody is getting fat

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Brandi*

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I give her a little over a cup of Strategy in the morning and at night. She is turned out in the big pasture all day and then at night I bring her in. I also give her hay at night. I started her on oat hay about 3 weeks ago and she loves it! Cleans it all up. I also mix a couple of handfuls of alfalfa in for her ulcer problem(if that's what it was). But lately her tummy hasn't been looking nice and slim in the morning. She used to look really bloated when I brought her in at night and then look good in the morning after she had been off the long grass overnight. Also her neck is feeling thick to me. And it seems to have ridges on the sides. Maybe I can take some pics tomorrow so that you know what I am talking about.

My question is, should I limit her pasture time to half a day, cut back drastically on the hay, stop the strategy or something else? I cut back on the strategy a few months ago when I started leaving her out all day so I think it is the combination of the grass during the day and the hay at night that is doing it. I just want to catch it before it gets really bad. I really don't like the way her neck is right now. Or her belly for that matter.

Thanks!
 

lilhorseladie

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During the summer, my horses don't get any extra except for the pasture. They stay nice and healthy looking. All horses are different, but if she doesn't have a foal at side, I would consider cutting the extra feeding. It is probably the hay at night leaving her looking bloated. Just a suggestion, as I know there are more experienced opinions out there!
 

Ashley

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HOw old is she? that will make a big deal on what she needs to eat.

I have 15 horses here, all but 3 are in the same pen. Ages foal on up. The only one that gets grain is the fatty gelding that is on dry lot, and only a quarter of a cup in the morning to give him his thyroid medicine. The rest are all on pasture, they come in at night. No hay, no grain. Just free choice salt and minerals.
 

Alex

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Is the oat hay stemmy and corse? IME that can easily give a horse a bloated look. If not, I would first cut down on hay. Keep her outside half a day etc but dont give her a lot of hay a night.

Dont take her grain away, cut back to only a cup a day or so. Grass doesnt provide a lot of nutrients, so I cant possibly see how people give their pastured horses no hay or grain. Yes theyll get fat but I thing they need the nutrients.So cut back on the hay, and some grain.
 

Brandi*

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Melody turned 1 at the beginning of June. And the oat hay is coarse. But thats why she likes it. She always picks out the coarse pieces in any hay that I give her.
 
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Alex

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Its possibly the hay, but most likely the fact shes a yearling.

We really need a pic to see if she is fat or protien deprived. When most people have yearling they see the belly and cut back on food, but the correct thing is to up the feed. Growing babies need lots of groceries. My gelding when he was a yearling got 2 large flakes of grass mix, and a total of 4 cups of 12% grain. He could of probabally had more grain now I think about it. No he wasnt on grass.
 

maplegum

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Hi Brandi


This is one of those discussions that will result in everyone having a different opinion.

Here is my input on what I have discovered


* low quality hay can cause bloating along with not enough protein. The hay sits in the hind gut for a longer period of time as the body tries to extract more nutrients from it. This in turn causes bloating.

* I am of the opinion that you can cut out all hard feed as long as she is still getting all her vitamins and minerals some form. Bailey and Willow used to have a mineral lick but I didn't trust they would use it enough. Now I buy my minerals loose and they get the recommended dosage each night in a small amount of speedi-beet. They both still have some hay at night as we are in winter here.

* Has Melody been recently dewormed? I gave both Bailey and Willow the 5 day course of panacur and they both look amazing now. Not a touch of bloating.

* During the warmer months, I don't feed anything extra. Grass only 24/7, along with minerals and vitamin mix.

The truth is, her bloating could be caused by so many different factors. It's trial and error. Each time I see photos of Melody, she looks fabulous, so this must have happened rather quickly.

Some photos of her would help.

xox Leonie xox
 

Brandi*

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I know I am probably being a bit fussy but I if she is getting too much food than I would rather catch it now than wait till we really have a problem.

I just dewormed her two weeks ago with Equimax.

Since her neck is what is bothering me most I will show those pics first. I have seen these lines before but they were on very overweight horses. Her neck feels thick.

Do you see what I see and can feel? Is it just from lack of exercise?





Front view



Back



Side



Top



She didn't look as bloated today as she has. Sometimes her little tummy just sways from side to side.

This pic was taken over a month ago but you can kind of see how bloated her tummy is.



Just tell me to "shut up already" if I am being silly! :DOH!

P.S. Please excuse all the grass, dirt and hay she is wearing
She has been rough housing all day out in the pasture
 
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love_casper

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To me, she doesn't just look bloated.....she looks fat.
I see what you're talking about on her neck. It comes from intaking more food than you can burn off. At her age I wouldn't force exercise her, so just cut down a bit on what youre feeding.

I say, if she's on that much pasture she certainly doesn't need that much hay. As I was reading all the stuff you were giving her I kept thinking each different thing would be the last! LOL. Up until the last one where I thought "my goodness that's a lot of feed, no wonder she's fat."

I would cut out the extra hay. You could give her a bit of the oat hay, she obviously likes it. But nothing makes a horse gain weight faster that grass, so what I would mostly do is cut the pasture time. At night give her her oat hay and she can have a bit of pasture, but I wouldn't let her have as much as she's been getting. As a reference, all my minis get just under 1 flake of hay a day (no pasture) and 2 cups of Omelene at night, and they're all in good weight.

The food cut shouldn't take long to work, let us know how she is.
 

Ashley

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She is a bit heavy but I dont think her neck should be that bad for her weight. I think there is something underliying. I would be worried about that neck.
 

Brandi*

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Thanks everyone! I don't think there is anything wrong with her besides just being fat :DOH! And that's my fault! So I have started her on a diet. She got a very small amount of hay last night with her stategy and than she didn't get turned out today until this afternoon. Usually she gets turned out around 9am and is out there until 7pm. My hope is that I can get her weight back down and then go back to all day pasture turnout with very little to no hay at night. We shall see. But thanks so much for all the advice and hopefully she will have her figure back in no time
I am happy I came here and asked
It happened so fast! She was looking great and before I knew it she was a little fatty :DOH!
 
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Marty

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I wouldn't mess with her strategy one bit and I'm feeding the same thing. She is still a youngin and needs her food. But I would be cutting down on that pasture to half a day. I'd also keep it mowed down for her. You'll see a big difference just by doing that in about a month or so. Also that hay of yours would not be my choice and is coarse so be careful she doesn't get choked on it. Hay should be soft. Mine are on that same schedule for summer here because by noon, it's so darn hot outside they are really happy to get in under the fans and out of the scorching sun.
 

midnight star stables

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Horses need hay and grain, even more so when they are growing (and breeding). I wouldn't cut them too much. Possibly her grazing time, cutting an hour or so.

Have you thought of getting her a grazing muzzle? I know this has worked for some farms.

IMHO, I'd be changing her hay. It sounds a bit too hard for her little tummy to break down.


Best of luck
 

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