Help! My pony needs an exercise program..

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Rising_Phoenix515, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Rising_Phoenix515

    Rising_Phoenix515 Full Member

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    Hello everyone! So here is the whole story of Lincoln, my obese little pony. He is a 14hh Morgan/TWH gaited guy. Talk about an easy keeper! He has always been a little on the chunky side, excluding when I first got him 6 years ago. He was a stallion until the age of 7 when I got him (I do not know why. I can only imagine the little piglet foals....). His neck has always had a bit of “crest”.
    I have been very focused on my 3 year old filly this summer. Her training has taken all of my time but now I’m giving her the rest of the summer to just be a horse. I have let Lincoln graze on a large pasture with friends all summer. Needless to say, he has become fat.
    I got him up a little over a month ago, body clipped him, fresh shoes and put him on a dry lot with a run in to his stall. He has been getting hacks out on the trails 5 days/week. Started with just walking but have built up to spending around an hour gaiting (6-8mph) down the trails on contact and hill work. Just this week have started incorporating some canter/gallop up the hills. Trail rides are 5+ miles. He breaks a good sweat.
    He hasn’t lost a pound! :cry: He is getting 15lbs of Timothy/Orchard grass hay and free choice minerals. How is he not losing any weight?
    My question is, what are some good toning workouts for him? Is 15lbs of hay too much? How is he still such a chub? Any recommendations for getting him fit would be really appreciated!

    Some pics of him taken yesterday.




     
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  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    From the pic he's not that fat. Crests don't go down easily. Keep him riding longer, no gallop, just long trotting. Takes WAY more effort to long trot than to gallop.

    Start with a mile of trotting every day, one day off. Then, after 5 days, add half a mile. Keep at 1 1/2 miles until he can do that without breathing too heavy. May take longer than 5 days. Keep it up, adding a half mile at a time, until he can trot 5 miles without killing himself.

    I guarantee you, he will be muscled up and trim~!! This is how we condition our race horses.
     
  3. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    I would test him for metabolic issues.

    I would make sure to feed him tested low NSC hay... sometimes many grass hays need to be soaked to leach out the sugars. If that's not an option I'd probably look at alfalfa in a slow feeder net. He needs to be eating about 2-2.5% of his desired body weight in forage per day. If he's on pasture, put a grazing muzzle on him.

    I would cut any and all soy. Low sugar treats (if any.)

    I would start with 25 minutes of a marching walk... then after a week to ten days, add 2-3 minutes of trot. Gradually add more trot time. I wouldn't canter until you're up to 10-15 minutes of trot, and when I started cantering I'd only add 2-3 minutes at a time.

    Look into chromium supplements. Quiessence is a good one. It helps metabolic horses.
     
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  4. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    My chunky monkey is about that fat and it's an all summer long effort to keep him from looking like a beached whale. Keep at it and do a looooottt of trot/gait work. I do two or three days of "cardio" which is us cantering up hills and letting him cruise along down a mile long farm field. The other two or three days we do long hacks with extended trot work. Best of luck! Doesn't hurt to have him tested for cushings and metabolic conditions.
     
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  5. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

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    Agree test him. Another flag besides the bloated tummy is that you said you had to body clip him in the middle of summer. His sheath also looks slightly swollen, another metabolic symptom.

    Make sure any grain you give him is low NSC under 12%. What helped Foxy supplement wise with his IR and bloat is magnesium, ground flax and chaste berry. I found out he still bloats when I let him graze just twenty minutes at the barn.
     
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  6. Rising_Phoenix515

    Rising_Phoenix515 Full Member

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    Will do some testing! That is what is bothering me so much is the large abdomen. The body clipping was just a personal preference to have super short, sleek and not sunbleached hair on him. He had shed off just fine. His sheath has always appeared that way even when thin. Never really understood it.
    Thanks!
     
  7. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    Timothy and orchard grass can be very high in NSC..... if you can get Blue Grass or better yet Teff hay Which both are often below 12% NSC toy can cut a lot of calories from his diet while still allowing him plenty of forage.
     
  8. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

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    Its the middle of summer he should already have a short sleek coat. My IR horse when he had undiagnosed IR and hind gut ulcers had a very bloated tummy and sun bleached hair despite being inside and it was only April 2014 after two and half months stall rest which contributed to the ulcers. FoxyLumpyTummy04122014.jpg

    And him just last week. Still a work in progress, but much improved. FoxyJuly242018.jpg
     
  9. Rising_Phoenix515

    Rising_Phoenix515 Full Member

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    Your boy is lovely! :)
     
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  10. Rising_Phoenix515

    Rising_Phoenix515 Full Member

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    A shot of him from 2016 without body clipping but being kept out of the sun. No issues with not shedding out or bleaching. Coat looked the same this year just a bit more red after 3 months of intense summer heat and not using the run in shed in his pasture. I guess I’m a little weird (or vain) with just liking how a clipped horse looks, even in the summer, especially when travelling to shows and events.

     
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