Low energy/lazy

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I'm really struggling atm with Hogans laziness. To all intents and purposes, he's generally bright and happy. Walks forward nicely to and from the field, marches over to the gate when I arrive, eating happily (of course!) and has now lost his last 10kg. Since he's been on his diet his energy levels are dropping, to the extent that he's walking slower than ever, and getting him into trot is damned hard work. Once he's trotting, I can keep him going, but it's exhausting. Schooling would be difficult, because I was warned when I got him that he hates schooling, I try to do it while we're out. He does like going out, he's perfectly happy, doesn't nap at all. I thought his energy levels would go up once he lost weight - they did initially, but then dipped drastically. Does anyone know of a supplement or feed specifically to raise energy levels? He gets 2 feeds a day, of 2 handfuls dengie pure grass, 1 handful of hi fibre nuts, and a sliced carrot. The grass is sparse in his bit of field, but he stiĺl manages 10 or so poos a day. I've cut out molli completely, because I felt his naughtiness was due to to high sugar levels, and he has indeed improved since. I take him out every other day. Hope someone can help, because it's ruining our rides, and I don't want to be nagging him continuously.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I have a booklet that I ordered from Spillers (I wanted some specific mashes for Chloe) but I did notice they had a wide range of balancers and other feeds, and I am sure there is one targeted to give energy not weight?
I'll have a look - I like their products and they are generally easy to source. However, I've got a Rowan Barbury mash for Chloe too and I know they have a good range too.
 
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Lollykay

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Feb 11, 2017
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If you haven’t had blood tests done on him in the last few months, please start there.

Eliminate health issues before revamping his diet.

Even though he has lost weight, it doesn’t necessarily mean his insulin numbers have come down and high insulin numbers definitely can cause a horse to be lazy.

i would also have them draw blood for an ACTH test for Cushings.

I would also spend money on a CBC and a Chemistry panel to check his bodily functions.

Then there’s whatever other inherent illnesses or vector-borne illnesses he may have.

Everything needs to be eliminated, IMHO:)
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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After watching Albi deteriorate so badly and then losing him, whenever anyone mentions "laziness" the alarm bells ring for PSSM, tbh. Does he have any other symptoms if you think about it?
 
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Huggy

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After watching Albi deteriorate so badly and then losing him, whenever anyone mentions "laziness" the alarm bells ring for PSSM, tbh. Does he have any other symptoms if you think about it?
No, none. He's bright in every other way. Perky as anything in the field, never lame (touch wood) not overly sweaty, his pee is light coloured, his food intake is 99% forage (ie grazing and pure grass feed) and he shows no sign of muscle pain. He's not a "stoic" sort - if he was in pain or discomfort he would let me know in no uncertain terms! It does feel as though its happened since he's been on his diet.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I would agree with bloods. When chunky lacked energy it came back anaemic. He was recommended red cell, which i had him on for several years. I never really noticed any change in his energy levels once on it though. Im told they feed it to polo ponies for extra oomph. However i took him off because i read it can cause other problems.

Sorry not really helpful, but if youve got the vet coming out for anything i would discuss.

My only comment based on what you have said has the number of poos gone down since hes been on his diet. Im just comparing poos to mine, although mine are probably on more grass than Hogan and i would question if 10 in a day is enough going through the system.
 

Huggy

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I would agree with bloods. When chunky lacked energy it came back anaemic. He was recommended red cell, which i had him on for several years. I never really noticed any change in his energy levels once on it though. Im told they feed it to polo ponies for extra oomph. However i took him off because i read it can cause other problems.

Sorry not really helpful, but if youve got the vet coming out for anything i would discuss.

My only comment based on what you have said has the number of poos gone down since hes been on his diet. Im just comparing poos to mine, although mine are probably on more grass than Hogan and i would question if 10 in a day is enough going through the system.
We're moving his fence tomorrow - I wouldn't be happy if it dropped below 10. He'll get about 5 hours on grass then into the paddock overnight. I'm not overly concerned about his general health yet - though I'd really like him to lose more weight. I'm thinking I'll walk him out in hand, the days I don't have time to groom and ride, the bonus being more time off the grass, and exercise, albeit only a little, over and above what he's getting. If it doesn't resolve, I'll certainly get the vet to check him over.
 

carthorse

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I would start by adding a good balancer or vit and min supplement, I know he's a cob and they're good doers but his body still needs sufficient nutrients. If you're getting the vet out to check him over then maybe discuss diet with him, they aren't nutritionists but they should have a basic knowledge of what's needed.


Generally if the vits and mins and basic nutrition is adequate then the sort of feeds and supplements that will increase short term energy by giving a bit of a buzz are fairly high sugar and/or starch simply because that's what the body can metabolise quickly. You could try giving him a handful of naked oats or something like Top Spec Turbo Flakes half an hour or so before riding and see if that gives him a well timed energy burst rather than adding them to his diet all the time. but then if you felt the naughtiness was due to the sugar in the molli you may have the same problem doing this. The alternative is changing how you ride, get tough on him and don't accept him ignoring you or doing the absolute minimum - when I was a kid I was taught ask, tell, tell off but don't ever nag or allow them to ignore you.

As others have said though it probably wouldn't hurt to get the all clear from the vet first.
 
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Huggy

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I would start by adding a good balancer or vit and min supplement, I know he's a cob and they're good doers but his body still needs sufficient nutrients. If you're getting the vet out to check him over then maybe discuss diet with him, they aren't nutritionists but they should have a basic knowledge of what's needed.


Generally if the vits and mins and basic nutrition is adequate then the sort of feeds and supplements that will increase short term energy by giving a bit of a buzz are fairly high sugar and/or starch simply because that's what the body can metabolise quickly. You could try giving him a handful of naked oats or something like Top Spec Turbo Flakes half an hour or so before riding and see if that gives him a well timed energy burst rather than adding them to his diet all the time. but then if you felt the naughtiness was due to the sugar in the molli you may have the same problem doing this. The alternative is changing how you ride, get tough on him and don't accept him ignoring you or doing the absolute minimum - when I was a kid I was taught ask, tell, tell off but don't ever nag or allow them to ignore you.

As others have said though it probably wouldn't hurt to get the all clear from the vet first.
You wouldn't believe how tough I've been with him, to no avail! Interesting, after what chunky said, YO and I looked at his gums - very pale, even compared to her old boy. She has some NAF EnerG, which I've read is good for exactly this scenario. Apparently they get more energy, but not fizzy. I'm going to try it for a short while, and if no improvement, then vet it is. I read that slow exercise doesn't help a horse reproduce red blood cells, and that would fit as Well. Rock and a hard place, as he needs more exercise to lose weight but atm the energy's not there to put that into practice. So, supplement, exercise and finally vet. Until things kick in, I'll up his outings and vary things more to keep him interested.
 

carthorse

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That would sound like he's anaemic or something, and that being the case I would want the vet involved as I'd want to know why. I've always been told that horses aren't often anaemic because of diet, but maybe if he's restricted then that could have an impact. Do you have worm counts done? I believe they can be a cause of anaemia and while modern wormers are good resistance is a problem.
 

Huggy

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You read my mind - I was going to do a worm count, haven't done one for a while. I'm taking things one step at a time, not too alarmed yet. First, worm count, and I'll take it from there.
 
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chunky monkey

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I'll tell you what, lets do a horse swap. You have Billy and I'll have Hogan. You want speedier horse, i need chilled. lol
 
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Kite_Rider

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I’m not sure my answer will help but Belle seems to go very lazy this time of year, although she’ll still trot when I ask and she’ll maintain it if I insist, she seems to be very deflated, this is the third autumn it’s happened, the last two I’ve had the vet out and we’ve run every test they can think of but they always come back normal, with her it seems to be temp and coat related as once we get into winter properly she gets lively again, although I imagine Belles lively is most people plod! I hope you get to the bottom of it and it’s something simple.
 
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