I have just bought a mini mare that is pregnant and due in late November. She arrived here yesterday, and she is really overweight. The previous owners warned me that she does carry a bit of excess weight, but has never ever founded, and has never had any problems foaling. This mare still has about three months before her due date. Should i try to get her to drop some weight before foaling? Should i leave her as is? I want to put her straight back in foal again, will dieting her, or leaving her fat effect her settling? She is suppose to be a nice easy breeder, and great to foal out... but she is incredibly overweight... what do i do??? Any help would be great.
LRidgeway, Thanks for the input. I dont like the idea of her being so fat either, so i will try to get some weight off her. She is let out onto pasture for the day (about 8 hours) as she lived on permanent pasture for her whole life, and i dont want to change anything too dramatically to quickly. Then she is put in a dirt yard for the afternoon/night. I give her about quarter of a buscuit of hay at night as i feed all the other horses then, so it gives her something to keep her happy. I will add a casual walk to her routine once she has settled in better, and i will slowly increase it. I was reading Jos' comments about the thinner mare gaining weight to be bred, and she recommended keeping the fatter mare about the same weight until she's pregnant and then getting her to drop some. A moderate weight mare that can be gaining weight is the best. So i dont know if my dieting this mare now (3months before due date) will affect her fertility when i try to breed her after foaling. Or if i get her to lose a little now, and then gain some just before breeding her... When should i stop dieting her if this is the case??? I dont know what to do...
If, by the time she foals, she's still over weight, the foal nursing should pull some additional weight off of her, but probably not starting until the end of the 2nd month.
If she's a decent age and has a good repo history..there's a good chance she'll get pregnant at the drop of a hat no matter what shape she's in..but for 'optimal' blah blah blah, then yeah, she could be thinner.
How overweight is she? What's her size? Is she overweight by 10% of her body weight or by 40%?
Guessing of course.
Just do the best you can, You might try using a grazing muzzle during the day...maybe slowly work to 4 hours grazing time?? Does she munch all day...or just nibble here and there?
How much does a quarter of a buscuit of hay weigh? (that's such a cute saying).
If she's an average/small mini (in size) I would guess (major guess) that she SHOULD weigh around 200/250 lbs (US) which means she only requires about 5 lbs of forage a day total! As an overweight mini, she may only require 3-4 lbs a day.
She is probably about 20% overweight for a broodmare (i like to keep my broodys a bit fatter anyway). So she is about 20% bigger than i would like her. She stands at 34 inches and probably weighs about 200kilograms (not sure what that is in pounds), where as my other broodmares her size that are at optimal weight (in my opinion) probably weigh about 150kg. I estimate that a quarter of a buscuit of hay would weigh about 1.5kg. When she is in the pasture, she normally spends about the first hour having a nibble here and there, and then having a little explore and then going back to eating. The rest of the time, she just seems to eat. I do plan on cutting this time on pasture down after another week or so (she hasnt been here a week yet) then i will cut it down by an hour each couple of days until shes only out on grass for about 4-5 hours as you suggest. She is 12yo, and has settled every year that she has been bred, without much effort. So she is a nice easy breeder. I think i will try to get her down to about 10% over optimal weight, and leave her to foal. Then see how she goes after the foal starts draining her a bit. Do you think that sounds like a safe theory? I just keep thinking that seen she has managed 12years being overweight without any problems, i dont want to change anything too dramatically, as it has obviously worked until now. But then i go to see them, and whenever i look at her, i think "that cant be good for her". I dont know...
I think your doing the right thing by trying to slim her down a bit..yes, she's been going well for 12 years, but she could also be a ticking time bomb...
I think what you have planned out would work well, do try to take walks with her also, excersize will speed the process..
I also breed Andalusians, and the breeders/owners for whatever reasons tend to keep them overweight, really, really, overweight..and it's amazing how many of them die so young and have reproductive problems....
Really?? I knew that being overweight couldnt be good for her poor little legs and joints carrying around all that excess weight. And obviously there would be other problems that this excess weight would be causing, but to die young and have reproductive problems!! Certainly dont like the idea of that! I will start to add some excercise to her routine and slowly increase it as she gets a little fitter. Should it just be a walk do you think? Or should i lunge her at a trot for 5 or 10 mins once she's used to the walking? Would this bother baby?
There seem to be so many Stallions that are having heart attacks in their mid to late teens.
As you said, I would start slow and increase the length of time speed as she got fitter. If you have a riding horse, you could also start ponying her on short trail rides (as long as they get along). Moderate exersize shouldn't have an ill effects on her foal.
Ok great. Thanks so much for your help. I have never had the problem of an overweight horse. Normally when i buy them they get here underweight. I dont understand how people find it so hard to keep their horse at a nice healthy weight. Anyway, i will start her walking in the next few days. Just start off with 10mins or so, and slowly increase it. The excersise will do me good too!!! I have taken all measurements of her and i will be able to monitor how much she is losing this way. Thanks again for your help.
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