What am I missing with this belly?

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LostandFound

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My mare was in show shape all summer. She looked great, especially for having been a broodmare. In July I stopped working her as hard and cut back her feed, but she started to get a bit "thick" in the barrel towards her back legs. I put her back on her showing diet and exercise, but now she looks pregnant. Not pregnant like a seasoned broodmare would look, pregnant like a maiden mare would look. I have had the vet out, ultrasound found nothing, we went over diet, worming, the usual suspects, the only suggestion I got was maybe cushings, but I have a hard time seeing that if the only sign is she looks like she swallowed a beach ball. Has anyone got any ideas of what could be going on? Or helpful tips to work the belly? We already trot poles, raised trot poles, and back stretches. I just heard a rumor that there is a super secret show in October and if it's true I would like to take her, so I need to do something.
 

LostandFound

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Same exact hay, She gets very minimal grass, a few minutes at night before she comes in for dinner. I wouldn't think anything of it if she was like this normally. Older broodmares normally look pregnant. But she was fit and looked like she never had a foal in her life 2.5 months ago.
 

Dragon Hill

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Is there any chance she is pregnant? Ultrasounds aren't 100%, especially external. Another thought is you didn't mention her age. As a horse ages their metabolism changes, just like people. I have a mare that I had to cut way back on when she got into her teens.
 

chandab

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What is her exact diet? And, has anything changed in the diet since she looked "good"? Including change in hay source or new load.
 

LostandFound

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Well, I have had her 8 months, so while there is always a chance, she would have to be pretty far along, and I can't see an 11 yo mare that's had a few babies looking that good all summer. Absolutely no changes, same load of hay and its all from the same field and same cutting. She gets omolene 200 with a sprinkle of alfalfa pellets and outlast. I had her on mini feed but she looked dull and lost her topline. She has been on this probably 6 months.
 

chandab

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I'm not sure exactly, a few years ago.
For some mares that might be enough time to regain girly figure, especially if you were fitting her for showing. Might be worth investigating if she could be pregnant, since you've only had her 8 months or so.
 

LostandFound

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You know, after a month of working her regularly I have seen no change. We are doing poles, we are doing hills, lots of cantering, and several stretches to get her to raise her back and nothing.
 

Taz

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I know this has been mentioned, but any sign of an udder starting? Her being fit could be keeping her abs tight and she's not looking it? I can't think of anything other than hay belly/ really fat/ wormy, you have all of those covered. How
frustrating ....
 

LostandFound

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Well. That's hard to say. She has that broodie udder that seems to be permanent. I thought she maybe had some changes in it a few weeks ago but it hasn't changed since then. The vet said it was from eating clover? I even had bloodwork done to check for cysts and that came back fine.
 

LostandFound

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Hmmm, oddly enough she no longer looks fat. It happened overnight which seems a bit suspicious to me, but whatever it was seems to have resolved itself. Hopefully.
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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She had the baby!! She is just hiding it from you 🤣🤣
Yes, look closely in nearby pumpkin and cabbage patches, as that's where the stork is rumored to make deliveries.

In all seriousness though, I hope it was just a bit of loose muscle and/or late summer bloat. You worked her and she toned up. That's what we'll say it really was.
 

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