I have a 9 year old Morgan mare that is a VERY easy keeper. She is fat and I'm trying to slim her down a bit. She has fat deposits along the crest of her next, fat around where the girth goes, fat at the base of her neck along her shoulder.... she just looks like a Mack truck right now and I'm really worried.
She only gets 1/3 cup of oats twice a day along with her Source micro-pellets and she is out on pasture as much as possible. The pasture isn't dry or dusty but it's not knee-high either. We've had a pretty dry summer. In crummy weather she gets free-choice 1st cutting orchardgrass/timothy hay when in her stall. We dewormed her about a month ago and she is regularly dewormed.
We did have a hard time getting her in foal via AI. She had a foal in 2002 (our up and coming bay stud) and one two years prior - both live cover to the same stud w/no complications. We were unsuccessful with 2 AI attempts last year and finally succeeded with our 2nd AI attempt this year (but had to do 14 days of Regumate w/a Lutalyse shot on day 15 to get a good follicle). She was confirmed pregnant on July 15. I'm hoping to have the vet come out this Friday to make sure she's still pregnant. She is on 10cc of Regumate daily because her level was low-normal. She's been tested for insulin-resistance but she is fine.
She is exercised lightly. 3 hrs a week or less since Spring. After her 2002 foal was weaned and we got her back in shape, I discovered that this mare has more stamina than any horse I've worked with. She has a huge, ground-covering, Currier & Ives trot and can keep it up all day. I've taken it easy on her during the Spring/Summer this year because she is very attached to our 20 yr old gelding and gets very worked up and upset when taken away from him. I didn't want to stress her out in any way. The gelding will let you pony her but she doesn't want to be ponied and she won't let you pony the gelding when you ride her. Augh!
So, my question is: how can we slim her down more? Using a body scoring chart of 1-9 with 1 being poor and 9 being obese, I would say she creeping into the 8 range and is, indeed, a FAT mare. Will more exercise do the trick and at what stage in her pregnancy should I ease up? If she continues to remain pleasantly plump into her 3rd trimester, should I make any changes to her feed? I don't want her to founder. She is my first 'very own' horse and we want to keep her around for a long time.
I have what I call a Jenny Craig paddock here for fatties. It's a wood chip turn out pen where they only get hay and Lo Cal. You can also buy grazing muzzles to restrict intake of grass. With a pregnant mare you have to keep up Vits and mins, but I don't think she should be getting anything else. But you seem to be doing that all ready. Then you have the company issue. Tough to do. Maybe a bit more exercise would help.
Our vet was out to tend to our 20 yr old gelding this past Friday. I had him palpate the fat mare. She's still pregnant (thank the lord)! He said she is borderline obese and that she got that way from our pasture. I didn't think our pasture was anything great, but our vet said that drought-stressed plants have a high sugar content. Since she's been out close to 24/7, that's why she's beefed up so much. Since there is only one month of good grazing in our area, he said there was no need for a grazing muzzle.
On another note, our newest addition is putting on some weight. We brought home a 12 yr old mare 3 weeks ago and I would say she was in thin/moderate condition. She had weaned her foal 3 weeks prior to when we picked her up and being pregnant and having a foal at her side really took a lot out of her. She's looking good now and has settled in and, of course, won a huge place in all of our hearts already.
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