Severely overweight horse...HELP!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FluffyPuff, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. FluffyPuff

    FluffyPuff Chirping

    My neighbor has a 8 yr old small horse/pony that she's currently training and is possibly going to sell her to me but she is extremely overweight. So overweight that the vet said if she doesn't lose weight or if it gets worse she could start to have some thyroid issues etc. she is a pony and yes I know they put on quite a bit of weight and are easy keepers, but still. My neighbor and I are trying to find a way to help her lose weight. We don't know what to do though since the horse doesn't get fed she just grazes. By the way is there such a thing as a DNA test for telling the breed of a horse? I know there's one for dogs. Thanks!
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Well, since the vet is already involved, I would suggest you consult with him/her for a good starting plan for this. Did the vet do any bloodwork to determine that underlying health problems are not already at play in the cause of the obesity? What is her currently body condition scoring?
    Generally speaking - it is like human weight loss. The trick is to put in fewer calories than are used during the day so that you "burn" excess in the form of extra weight/fat.
    In your position, once I knew the horse was otherwise healthy, I would suggest taking her off natural grazing, putting her in a dry lot and providing only quality grass hay for her diet - with a "ration balancer" to round things out (it is not the same as using supplemental grain, etc). I would feed 1% of the horses body weight, per day - meaning one pound of hay for ever 100 pounds of body weight she currently is at. The key is to track her weight loss and continue adjusting the hay being offered because as she loses weight you will be increasing the caloric intake if you are not also decreasing the amount of hay being offered. You mention the horse is being trained - so she is in work - what degree of work is she in at the moment? That will play into any other adjustments of the overall amount of hay to offer because a horse in heavy work is going to need a little extra vs. a horse in very light/minimal work.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    You need to restrict how much she is able to eat and you need to up her exercise. You need to either buy her a grazing muzzle or build a small pen (even just a few panels) and limit the amount of time she is able to graze.
  4. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    She's currently in training and still not losing the weight? I would think the thyroid problem is already there. I think the Vet needs to come back and collect blood and test it for this little pony. Start with that. Good luck.
  5. Sfraker

    Sfraker Songster

    Feb 17, 2014
    Western NC
    I agree with limiting the intake of grass and having the vet test the thyroid levels, for Cushings and for insulin resistance. All three can cause weight gain and difficulty losing it.
  6. FluffyPuff

    FluffyPuff Chirping

    She is being worked pretty hard but not constantly since there are other horses being trained for competition every day.
  7. FluffyPuff

    FluffyPuff Chirping

    My neighbor thinks she just has a gas problem but that should not make a horse look pregnant should it? I mean she is not just a bit heavy shes HUGE. She looks like she's ready to pop. Half of her neck is pure fat. And none of this makes any sense there is hardly and grass because of the drought. I'm starting to think I shouldn't buy her if she's got a health problem.
  8. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    Steer clear. If the horse doesn't look right, she isn't right. She might have a thyroid problem or something a lot more serious. It shouldn't be that hard to find a healthy horse suitable for you.
  9. FluffyPuff

    FluffyPuff Chirping

    Your right.
  10. Kathryn123

    Kathryn123 In the Brooder

    May 19, 2014
    Grazing muzzle,check for cushings,if problem is not addressed and it sounds like it needs to happen fast,ponies founder easily and will be unridable for a very long time if he/she recovers

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