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mdegner

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we are getting ready to show our yearlings and they still have a bit of a belly. We treadmill in morning and round pen in the afternoon total time approx 30 minutes. They are being fed the purina food and beet pulpt with one small handfull of hay. Should we also be sweating the belly area? Cut back even more on food??? The rest of their bodies are not at all overweight......how do you get that tight belly??
 

Jill

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Can you post pictures of her?

I know over the years, some people have thought they had a fat horse, but it was actually underweight!!! Even remember myself years ago having that problem with my horses at my former trainers and I did not "see" their condition for what it was until I was up in the stands at a show and could see the "fat" competition in the ring... Standing right on top of them looking down at her stable, to me they never looked thin at the time (but I've learned...), but from up in the stands, I really saw how they were way underweight when just the night before I'd thought them too fat with a big belly.

So not trying to say your horse is too thin but have seen it over and over through the years here where an owner says their horse is fat when it actually needs weight.
 
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kaykay

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I would never give advice without pictures. Too many times a belly means they are not fed enough especially if its a yearling. Can you post a couple pics?? Please be careful putting yearlings on a treadmill.
 

Irish Hills Farm

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You need to post pictures. Belly could be from several things, and I would suspect a small handful of grain is one of them. A miniature horse has the same daily requirements as its large counterparts as far as nutritioin goes. Your horses could have hay bellies, be wormy, there are so many possibilities. It would really be helpful to have pictures to look at.
 

mdegner

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You need to post pictures. Belly could be from several things, and I would suspect a small handful of grain is one of them. A miniature horse has the same daily requirements as its large counterparts as far as nutritioin goes. Your horses could have hay bellies, be wormy, there are so many possibilities. It would really be helpful to have pictures to look at.
I'll try and get some pictures later. They've been wormed a couple of times and they haven't had hay in quite some time except for the small handful of alphalfa they get after their meals...thanks for your response
 

Miniv

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I agree with everyone above..........Pictures are a must before making a comment.

(We personally don't withhold forage -- hay/alfalfa -- from our show horses, so I'm probably not a good judge.)
 

hobbyhorse23

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Oooorrr, you could let your babies be babies and go out and play for their exercise!
Regular treadmilling and round penning is VERY hard on young legs and I would not recommend it for yearlings. I know some people have great success with feeding mostly grain/beet pulp but horses were meant to eat roughage and to me that sounds like an awfully unbalanced diet from the way you've described it. Personally I'd be giving them more healthy grass hay, some beet pulp and a junior feed for supplementation and letting them out to play in gender groups. They are still babies and a good judge should be able to see conformation through growing stages or a little (if not a lot) of baby fat. I'm more concerned that my foals grow up to be healthy happy horses with long useful lives than that they look like greyhounds as yearlings.

I have custody of Nootka's young champion gelding Pyro right now and have kept him on her feed regimen of lots of grass hay, 2.5 wet cups of beet pulp and 1.5 cups of LMF Development feed twice a day along with a little BOSS and some canola oil I added and I've very happy with his condition. He's growing well, smooth bodied with a solid topline and no exaggerated belly and his coat since adding the canola oil is gorgeous. He's not getting as much exercise as I'd like because his older buddy is recovering from surgery but I think once he can play again instead of just going for one mile walks with me he'll tuck up quite nicely. So it's possible, even with hay!


Good luck and we'll look forward to pictures.

Leia
 

AnnaC

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I was interested to read Leia's and Miniv's postings, as I have always wondered, when reading postings on LB about 'showing' diets, How do these 'diets' really fit in with what we understand a horse needs to eat to be in optimum health.

And the most important fact that is drummed into us from childhood, is that horses are trickle feeders. If allowed, most of them under natural circumstances, would graze for up to 22 hours per day. Lets be generous and say they need to trickle feed for only 20 hours a day. How does this fit in with 'little or no hay/fibre'? Do the owners feed small 'corn/mixed' feeds throughout day AND night, so that the horse follows as near a natural feeding programme as can be?

Not meaning to be critical here, but I am seriously interested in how this works, especially with youngstock.

Probably going to open a 'minefield, so hasten to say I'm hear to learn, and genuinely interested in the different way that folks do things!

Anna
 

kaykay

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we are just a small farm but we do bring home some ribbons
I would NEVER withhold hay from any horse -- not even a show horse. For me a handful of hay is not enough nor is a handful of grain.

We feed a really good grain plus hay. For example our yearling show horses get 2 lbs of 16 percent feed 2 x day plus 3 flakes of hay split into 2-3 feedings
 

mdegner

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Can you post pictures of her?

I know over the years, some people have thought they had a fat horse, but it was actually underweight!!! Even remember myself years ago having that problem with my horses at my former trainers and I did not "see" their condition for what it was until I was up in the stands at a show and could see the "fat" competition in the ring... Standing right on top of them looking down at her stable, to me they never looked thin at the time (but I've learned...), but from up in the stands, I really saw how they were way underweight when just the night before I'd thought them too fat with a big belly.

So not trying to say your horse is too thin but have seen it over and over through the years here where an owner says their horse is fat when it actually needs weight.
Thanks Jill, you may be right.....If I look in some of the mags, the belly doesnt protrude on sides and is somewhat flat and in line with the top of the leg up front and then tucks up near the back.....ours just seem to sag a little bit.......I'll send pics
 

kaykay

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A horse at proper weight always has a totally flat back. Feel along the back and if its sticking up they are not getting enough feed. Cant wait to see pics of your guys!
 

Jill

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A horse at proper weight always has a totally flat back. Feel along the back and if its sticking up they are not getting enough feed. Cant wait to see pics of your guys!
That's not always true, Kay. A roached back horse will not have a flat back. Hopefully that's not the situation with the OP's horse, but wouldn't want someone reading and owning a roached back horse to assume they need to feed it to the point of obesity since they can see the back bone.
 

mdegner

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I should clarify diet. They eat twice a day at which time they receive the Purina yearling found amount recommended for their individual weights, 1 cup of beet pulp, 1 cup of dry oats, 1 tbsp of golden flaxseed and 1 handlfull of alphalpha or grass hay. We've been told by mulitple people to restrict the amount of hay during show season......In terms of exercise, they play/run all the time (in fact just came off the snow filled pasture about 1 month ago) and do 20 min round pen and 5-10 min treadmill. So, yes the babies are allowed to be babies and I too want happy, healthy horses.....I suspect Jill was right and it may be a perception thing or they may need to eat more.....I'll send pics a little bit later......Thanks to all for your responses!
 

Jill

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I do restrict hay to show horses during show season and it works well for mine so it can be done and have healthy horses especially as you're using a complete feed. That's what I do, too, but they get "a lot" of complete feed (and a small amount of orchard grass hay)
 
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kaykay

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Thanks for clarifying jill. I will re state: A horse with good conformation---that does NOT have a roach back (or any other back issues) should have a totally flat back if it is at a proper weight for that horse.

I would hope since these are show horses they are not roach backed but I guess one never knows.

I was just trying to give an easy way for them to check their horse's weight
 

mdegner

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A horse at proper weight always has a totally flat back. Feel along the back and if its sticking up they are not getting enough feed. Cant wait to see pics of your guys!
That's not always true, Kay. A roached back horse will not have a flat back. Hopefully that's not the situation with the OP's horse, but wouldn't want someone reading and owning a roached back horse to assume they need to feed it to the point of obesity since they can see the back bone.
Nope, no roached back and no backbone showing......

Thanks for clarifying jill. I will re state: A horse with good conformation---that does NOT have a roach back (or any other back issues) should have a totally flat back if it is at a proper weight for that horse.

I would hope since these are show horses they are not roach backed but I guess one never knows.

I was just trying to give an easy way for them to check their horse's weight
Thanks, I appreciate it. Like I said in the other one, no roached back, no backbone showing. Nice and flat...
 

Jill

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Yes, that's right Kay but you know how it can be... And horses without great halter / breeding conformation can show successfully in some classes like color, costume and some performance.
 

Miniv

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Oh gosh. I hate being judgemental to folks.........But from what you described for their diet, I would bet part of their problem is that the have tummies because they are lacking Protein.........plus they aren't getting near enough in general. I'm saying that just from your list and without seeing a picture.

All mammals get puffed bellies when they lack protein in their diet.......
 

mdegner

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Oh gosh. I hate being judgemental to folks.........But from what you described for their diet, I would bet part of their problem is that the have tummies because they are lacking Protein.........plus they aren't getting near enough in general. I'm saying that just from your list and without seeing a picture.

All mammals get puffed bellies when they lack protein in their diet.......
What additional protein should they get? They currently get the Purina Jr Equine based on their weight and the oats and the alfalfa. Is there an additional protein supplement you would recommend??
 
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