Wwyd; haybellies and general conditioning

Pixxelated

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
9
7
3
My horse went from grossly obese over last winter, to his perfect weight over the course of a year.

A bit worried he’s seemingly lost / going to lose a few too many pounds now the cold has set. He’s not showing signs of illness. But I’d really like to resolve this before he loses more, as I feel he’s gotten a bit ribby over the last few weeks. He’s currently on;

3 cups of Saracen Shape-up
A good handful of Thunderbrook Herbal Chaff
1 scoop of glucosamine

+- 25lbs of haylage daily.

This is for a 14.2 - 14.3 Welsh cross. Last weighed in September and came in at 472kg, which was the ideal according to the specialist. He was not ribby then.

He’s not got any known health issues and is somewhere between a light to moderate amount of work. Turned out every morning currently until 4pm-ish.

Pony is now muscled fairly nicely, but the topline does need work.

Partly because of this godforsaken haybelly... As his workload was upped slightly over summer, it’s reduced slightly but it’s still there driving me mad. Pony has been subjected to the dentist, no issues with chewing. He was wormed not that long ago either.

Unfortunately, I can’t really change foraging as that’s provided by the yard. But I can up the amount if necessary.

But I was thinking about adding a probiotic to his feed to aid his digestion, and what you would recommend product/brand wise?
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,766
113
40
Suffolk, UK
Are you feeding the recommended weight of Shape up? If not I would reevaluate that. The haylage should be sufficient for his size, so adding something like linseed would be good to add a few more calories to the diet. A hay belly is just the slightly bloated result of the gasses given off by digesting a high fiber diet, it's not actually fat at all, you could try feeding fennel seed to help reduce the gas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pixxelated

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
7,222
4,223
113
Yorkshire
Just as a thought - weight/muscle loss, lack of topline and pot belly can be signs of Cushings. Hopefully not in your horse's case as you say he is well otherwise.

Linseed is an excellent idea, or you could try adding oil to his feed for extra calories. Never heard of using fennel seed before @Jessey, does it work on humans too? (Asking for a friend ...)
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,353
5,289
113
@Bodshi it's meant to work for humans too.

@Pixxelated the hay belly is just that, the result of large quantities of long fibre. If it really bothers you that much then you could reduce the mount of haylage slightly since 2% of his ideal bodyweight is 9.44kg (20.81lb) and add something like a conditioning cube to give calories. Personally I prefer long fibre, but it doesn't work for everyone and as long as he's getting a minimum 1.5% of ideal bodyweight including grazing you can play around to find a balance that suits your horse. As @Jessey asked, are you feeding the correct amount of Shape Up? Also that's a feed + balancer designed for good doers to help keep the weight off so may not be what you want at the moment.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
10,048
8,079
113
Just as a thought - weight/muscle loss, lack of topline and pot belly can be signs of Cushings. Hopefully not in your horse's case as you say he is well otherwise.

Linseed is an excellent idea, or you could try adding oil to his feed for extra calories. Never heard of using fennel seed before @Jessey, does it work on humans too? (Asking for a friend ...)
Fennel is wonderful for upset tummies and gas in humans Bodshi.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bodshi and Jessey

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
6,886
5,091
113
I know you say hes out grazing during the day, in at night. But theres grazing and theres grazing. Just how much grass is on the field would be my first question.
 

Pixxelated

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
9
7
3
@Jessey when we had him evaluated and conditioning scored in September, a feed rep came out as well. This was the recommendation to use, to keep his weight fairly equal. But I might need to re-evaluate this

@Bodshi I don’t think it’s cushings, he’s not got any other symptoms for it and the vet didn’t think so either. He didn’t have a topline to speak of as he’d been out of work for over a year, and was quite obese (before I got him around this time last year). With the first lockdown happening, we’ve had loads of time off again so didn’t get to make the progress we needed. But he’s come on leaps and bounds since then, and his topline, overall condition and muscle tone are much better then they were.

He’s been a bit cold, especially with the wet weather. we’ve since started rugging him and this has helped a little bit.

@carthorse well, I’m going to have to re-evaluate that. At the time it seemed like the best option for him, but I think he needs something just a little more fattening. I think I will give the fennel and linseed a try.

The grass is poor where we are at the minute. Nothing much in the field, so we do make sure he eats before he goes out now. I suspect he’s also bloating because of this.

Thanks for your replies so far everyone!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bodshi

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,353
5,289
113
@Pixxelated no diet is set in stone, you need to review it on a regular basis as their needs change. I weigh tape weekly, not as an absolute figure but as a way of keeping a check on any changes, and adjust feed accordingly. I haven't seen your lad so I don't know how strong the welsh cob influence is in him, but a hay belly is something the breed tend towards not least because many of them are bred with a slightly dipped back and a high head carriage that exaggerates it - the combination can make any hay belly very noticable.
 

Pixxelated

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
9
7
3
@carthorse it’s a pretty strong influence. He looks more Welsh than the other parent.

I’ve been following the advice in here, and I’ve re-evaluated what’s being fed. He’s doing a bit better now, and actually is gaining a little bit of weight slowly.

His topline isn’t looking as terrible as it was either, but still needs work. Overall he still looks like he’s dropped, but it is coming back on.

I’ve held off on clipping him for now, which I was going to do at the beginning of the month. That and a stable fleece on the coldest of nights seems to have helped.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,353
5,289
113
@Pixxelated I find mine often looks a better shape when clipped, his coat seems to highlight any belly and the way it lays over his ribs can make him look ribby too. Unfortunately the top line - proper topline - will, as you say, need work and that takes time. At least you haven't fallen into the common trap of thinking you can feed for topline and ended up with a fat horse!
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Jane&Ziggy Soooo girthy - WWYD? Tack & Saddlery 10
Jessey Fence - WWYD Cafe 12
Jessey Wwyd? Cafe 4
Jessey WWYD - muzzles Metabolic 17
L wwyd... Loaning!!! Cafe 9
P A yard WWYD? Cafe 10
L Wwyd YO... Cafe 14
domane WWYD? Sorry bit of a long one... Cafe 15
Jessey Yard WWYD? (now seen it) Cafe 43
Trewsers Help and NR wisdom, wwyd please? Cafe 12
Jessey Jess' knee - WWYD? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 15
Jessey Introductions WWYD? Cafe 7
CharliesAngel WWYD - sorry long Cafe 31
L Wwyd Horse Care 11
N A wwyd Cafe 32
L WWYD Cafe 14
L Urghhhh!! Bloody yards!! wwyd update Cafe 41
L Urgh! It doesn't rain.. wwyd Update Cafe 46
L WWYD? Cafe 11
CharliesAngel WWYD - damage to car Cafe 44
domane Moral dilemma.... WWYD? Cafe 5
Wally WWYD? Cafe 29
CharliesAngel WWYD? Cafe 29
CharliesAngel following on from my moan... another wwyd Cafe 14
L Not again.. Yards!! WWYD? Cafe 32
Kite_Rider WWYD? Updated Cafe 22
CharliesAngel WWYD ? ? Cafe 5
Star the Fell Pony has a slight cough WWYD.?? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 3
L WWYD Lameness? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 10
squidsin Competition dilemma - WWYD? Cafe 15
N WWYD Cafe 7
Jessey Bit of an update and WWYD Hoof Care 20
juliecwuk WWYD - family woes!! Cafe 14
L WWYD? Horse Care 8
juliecwuk WWYD permit to ride on private estate Cafe 41
OwnedbyChanter Surprise or call wwyd - update with video Cafe 35
N A wwyd question, re a dog Cats, Dogs and other Animals 8
R In a pickle - WWYD ? Cafe 15
Jessey Vets WWYD? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 114
Jessey Asking for help, WWYD? Cafe 24
squidsin Colt problem - another WWYD Cafe 11
squidsin Is blood really thicker than water - WWYD? Cafe 14
L Yards again! WWYD? Cafe 16
Ale Muzzling 24/7 wwyd? Horse Care 18
squidsin WWYD if you think the physio has missed something? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 15
Jessey Planning my Wales Ride, WWYD part 3 Hacking 13
Jessey Planning my Wales ride, WWYD part 2 Hacking 4
Jessey Planning my Wales ride, WWYD questions part 1 Hacking 24
L strae WWYD? Horse Care 8
Ale How much hay should I give tonight? wwyd? Horse Care 5

Similar threads

newrider.com