Thyrol-L

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Dragon Hill

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That could indicate anemia, or that the liver is not functioning at 100%. There are other numbers they look at along with it though. Years ago I remember someone telling me that all miniature horses are slightly anemic, but I never researched it.
 

MindySchroder

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Do keep in mind that Thryo-L directly effects the thyroid. It pays to do some research on it. It is not something you can start and then just stop and it has been known to stop natural thyroid function, meaning you have to keep the pony on it forever. When my vet wanted me to put Sky and Zorro on this to make them lose faster (as he too didn't like how long it was taking for them to drop the weight) I asked about the side effects of the drug and he admitted that it was possible I would have to keep Zorro on it for life if it caused damage to his natural thyroid. He was 4 years old at the time. I am NOT a fan of quick fixes for weight loss and believe their weight should be managed through careful feeding and exercise. I have definitely yelled about this from my bandwagon a ton so it may be old news. LOL!

When you want to wean Midnight off of it it has to be done slowly and carefully so it doesn't cause her to crash. When I had my IR mare, Bonnie, on Thyro-L it made her not want to eat and very lethargic. I worked with a natural vet to wean her off and start her on some Chinese herbs, which completely turned her health around, though it was too late for her liver 😭 I know several people that have their IR and metabolic horses and ponies on these herbs with excellent results, but they are NOT cheap.

Just an FYI that Thyroid-L should be used carefully!
 

Marsha Cassada

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My Dynamite distributor uses someone in Canada for consultation. You send her hair samples and she analyzes the hair. She also is into the herbs and nutrition. Don't know if I will go that route, as I am not sure I want to do the research (and my husband already thinks I'm crazy for starting down the rabbit hole).
I will report after I get home from the vet tomorrow who is supposed to interpret the blood results for me.
I am working to get both of their weights down slowly. I did read about the Thyro-L but saw nothing about it inhibiting their natural action. Thanks for the heads up on that.
BTW, the suggestions for snacks/treats--I gave them some peanut shells yesterday and they gobbled them up. I expected to find 8 feet in the air this morning with colic, but they were super frisky in the unexpected chilly wind.
 

Abby P

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IMO if you're going to go down the mineral-balancing rabbit hole your money is much better spent analyzing what they are eating. It doesn't do you any good to know what's in their hair if you don't know what's in their hay! Also it tells you nothing about the sugar/starch levels in the hay which is going to be the really big target to hit first. I think in the majority of cases, unless there is some serious problem with mineral contamination in the water or something, feeding an appropriate amount of a low-sugar grass hay and a ration balancer or mineral supplement designed generally for your type of hay is going to pretty much check all the boxes without draining your bank account or robbing you of your sanity in the process.
 

Marsha Cassada

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The original vet who prescribed the Thyro-l spent an hour with me going over the blood work. He said over all her blood work looked great. He explained everything to me; I think he sort of enjoyed reeling off the old vet school stuff. He told me to keep her on the 1/2 tsp Thyro-l until she got down to 250 pounds, and then half it. Once she gets down around her optimum weight, I will stop it. I will take her to be weighed this week and see how we are doing.
I asked this vet about hair analysis and he was open to the idea, but didn't know any vets who did it.
We will just stay with what we are doing for now, and have fingers (and hooves) crossed that we can go in the right direction.
I want to mention that Midnight shed off beautifully this year. She looks like she's been clipped, except for fetlocks and a few whiskers. Very glossy, too.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Good news and bad news. I weighed both horses today. Dapper Dan had lost #20 pounds. The bad news is Midnight (who needs to lose weight the most) is just the same as 2 weeks ago. I'm getting discouraged about the dry lot thing. It's a lot of work for me, plus I will need to buy more hay. All this beautiful pasture and I'm buying hay. (Harvesting our pasture grass is not a good option. Hardly anyone around us does small bales, and they don't want to bother with our few acres. And buying our own equipment--we could buy a lot of hay for the price of a baler and wire.)
 

Willow Flats

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Any way to make some sort of track for her to encourage more movement throughout the day? I reconfigured my dry lot with some panels and gates down the middle and it makes them move a lot more.

My hay place tests all their hay and it's surprising how it is always changing. One time the orchard grass is lower in sugar and the next time it's the meadow mix so I go with whatever is best at the time.

I also quit feeding Rocko alfalfa and that helped him slim down.
 

Abby P

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It might be worth weighing - it could be way more than it seems! Are they getting anything else? Is it a true, total dry lot or is there still some grass? My horse's paddock (about 50 x 150') looks like a golf green right now and you wouldn't look and say there is a lot of grass but his hay consumption (he has free choice in a net) went down to almost nothing as soon as that grass appeared so they can get a LOT from what looks like almost nothing - grass is growing all the time and they are eating it all the time! Another boarder (with a big horse, who is elderly) almost panicked because he stopped being interested in his food. Worse, that overgrazed short grass can become extremely high in sugar because it is stressed.

I'm sort of waiting for the winter coat to finish shedding out to see where we're at - I might have to fence off the center of the paddock to create a track. Either that or get him a buddy to keep the grass down. ;)
 

Abby P

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I'll also add, as someone trying to lose weight myself at the moment, it's not a linear process. I made a bunch of pretty big changes and lost a couple of pounds off the bat and now have been stalled for like a month. It happens to horses too! It doesn't mean it's never going to happen.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I'll also add, as someone trying to lose weight myself at the moment, it's not a linear process. I made a bunch of pretty big changes and lost a couple of pounds off the bat and now have been stalled for like a month. It happens to horses too! It doesn't mean it's never going to happen.
That is what I am hoping.
I take them out every day, or at least every other day for 2 mile walks or behind the golf cart. I have not driven Midnight lately but my sister and I plan to drive next week. We do some ground games to keep her mind busy.
I don't have a way to test hay. I asked the hay producer about it and it was like a foreign topic. No one here even knows about such a thing.
I know many people say alfalfa is a no-no, but I believe it is a good thing. She eats the thyro-l well with it.
We're just doing our best. I know as her owner I have the responsibility for her well being, but it is very hard to do this dry-lot thing. It is a large corral. Absolutely no grass in it. It is dry, drier, driest.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Photo of the corral which I use for a dry lot. There is a divider; Dapper Dan is confined to the smaller section while they eat, then I open the gate and they have the whole area and the shelter. Also a photo of Midnight taken this morning. Not a good angle, but you can see she needs to lose more weight.
I am so appreciative of everyone who has chimed in here! I need lots of moral support while I deal with this, and you are all founts of wisdom, experience, and excellent suggestions. As with all horses, I am learning a lot.corral.jpgmidnight 5-21.jpg
 

Taz

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Is there any way you could put up even a small track and put her (them) out there with a grazing muzzle on? Maybe temporary posts with electric? I'm a big believer in reduce food and increase exercise (for me too I just don't have someone making me do it). Once it's eaten down they could go on grass for a couple hours with a muzzle first thing in the morning when the sugar is lowest then back to the track without a muzzle if it's beat up enough to not have much, but some, grass left. They'll have something to do and get more exercise, you'll have less work, not be feeding so much hay and not have to look at them in a dry lot and an empty grass paddock.
 

Cayuse

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Another thing that might help with the weight loss is magnesium. It has helped take weight off mine, especially the metabolic one. Big difference in his crest. I use Remission which has good stuff in it for their feet along with the Mag. and I also supplement that with Magrestore. The Magrestore gave me the biggest result.
Also, if you are working her, don't forget muscle weighs more than fat. Hang in there, your doing good!
 

Willow Flats

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Hi Marsha! I just weighed a flake of my current hay and it was a little over 5 1/4 lbs. That fluctuates each time I get new hay but that would be too much for my horses that are not active working horses.

At the last HDT I was at I discussed feeding with a seasoned mini driver and he said he only feeds 5 lbs to his mini when he is in training for the marathon.

All this to say I am encouraging you to weigh your flake to see how much you are actually feeding.

I had no idea how much work (for me and them) it was going to take to keep my minis fit. 😯
I get frustrated sometimes too because it's such a commitment.
 

Kelly

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I agree with weighing hay, it takes a true commitment to keep my little ponies slim & trim! They have to feel better when they are fit, I know I do.

To make it easier on myself, I ordered these hay nets a few days ago. The smaller nets hold 1 pound of hay and the larger net holds 3 pounds. They come in different hole sizes, I like the 3/4 inch holes. I ordered 2 smalls and 1 large since my 4 little boys get 5 pounds of hay twice a day (10 pounds of hay total a day). So I’ll be able to fill up the hay nets and hopefully I won’t have to weigh the hay anymore.... Anything to make my life a little easier :)


 
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Abby P

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Hang in there, Marsha! You're doing just fine. The dry lot certainly is dry so that's great. I assume the alfalfa you're referring to is just a small amount of soaked pellets or something to get her supplements into her? If so it's probably OK but should still be counted in the daily weight of food she's getting. If not and you're feeding more than a few ounces, then I would really consider stopping it or cutting back on it - there's nothing wrong with it per se but it has WAY more calories than grass hay so it's hard for them to lose weight on it.

Bermuda hay is generally low in sugar, is my understanding, so I wouldn't stress too much about testing at this point. If they're leaving some behind then unless it's really stemmy this suggests what you're feeding is essentially free-choice which may just be too much. I agree with others - preferably weigh each feeding. Nets can be helpful too, they waste less and it takes them longer to eat it (thus reducing the amount of time you have to suffer sad-starving-pony eyes) if you get the small hole version. I have the 1" holes and it's just right - you also have the potential to double up the nets and slow them down even more if need be. Or, as Kelly mentioned, there are ones with even smaller holes!

She definitely does need to lose weight but she really looks OK otherwise. You can see the crest on her neck but it's not huge, and there are probably some fat pads along her rump too, so rather than worry too much about her exact weight, you'd want to see those go away because that means she's metabolically healthier. And once they do, she'll probably have lost weight too. In the meantime, I think you're doing everything right - just get the amount correct and I bet you'll start seeing some results. But it can take a while and you're also doing a lot of exercise with her so she'll be building muscle at the same time.
 

candycar

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Here's how/where to test your hay. Equi-Analytical haytest I use the "fast track" option, costs about $20 Maybe your extension agent has a hay probe. Or you can cut a sample in 1inch pieces.
I went ahead and bought my own hay probe because I test every batch I get.
If you need an easy way to fill hay nets, I have an "app' for that. :)
 

Cayuse

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Candycar, tell me about the hay probe! I can only get hay in small batches (about 3 months supply I keep ahead) so I never test it. Would a hay probe work? ETA: Never mind 🤣 I figured out the probe get the hay and doesn't test it, I was hoping it was a at-home testing device.
 

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