Fat horses/ponies/cobs

(11 Posts)
newfavouritething Sun 08-Sep-13 23:38:18

Why are there so many grossly fat horses around? Is it a fashion thing? Is it the cob trend influence? ok they're heavier in build than the typical tbx that everyone used to have, but still seem to be carrying a huge amount of excess weight, not just a grass belly in the summer. I was shocked at the size of cobs in the showring, they look as if they'd drop dead at the suggestion of work, what has happened?

Littlebigbum Sun 08-Sep-13 23:41:18

yeap fat cobs in showing just a fashion, drives me nuts

Butkin Mon 09-Sep-13 13:22:56

I think the more novice showing people get confused between condition and being overweight. I used to hunt my show cob and get him really lean and fit over the Winter. I then used to pack the weight back on from January to March so he was in top showing condition by the RI qualifier. He always looked in prime shape and could still gallop - the pre-requisite for cobs wanting to do well on the county circuit. He won the RIHS and went to HOYS 4 times so he didn't do too badly having been fit!

Some of the new people to showing never really slim their cobs off. They show them during the summer and then rest them or hack them occasionally through the Winter so - especially with all the fancy new feeds, balancers and supplements that are available - they are just putting fat onto an already well conditioned animal. They then give sluggish rides and generally don't do enough to keep themselves show fit.

carabos Mon 09-Sep-13 15:34:10

We were judging affiliated dressage yesterday and most of the horses were way too fat - rippling in some cases. The exceptions were the eventers and a couple of ponies.

People don't seem to understand the difference between condition and fat. A friend of ours is a culprit for this. Her dressage horse has no top line, a massive belly and is unfit. He's difficult and resentful to ride. I can't get her to see how a fit, trim, properly conditioned horse will be easier to ride - she thinks he would be too fizzy. he even got colic last week after someone else had been exercising him while she was away and made him do rather more work than he is used to.

Don't kill with kindness!

mrslaughan Mon 09-Sep-13 17:16:25

Thats exactly why I gave my share up Carabos - she was getting fatter and fatter and sourer and sourer, and was so not interested in working. Difficult and resentful, is a great way of describing it.

Butkin Tue 10-Sep-13 09:13:27

Yes I should add that my heavyweight cob was exercised 6 times a week - a mixture of long hacks (where he was also schooled rather than slobbing along) and work in the school. I expect many of the "fat" types are only ridden 2 or 3 times a week and do too well on Summer grass in addition to their hard feed. My boy wasn't slim by any means but he was well conditioned through exercise and the right "straights".

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 09:16:30

Is it connected with the fact that people are generally getting fatter too?

Someone commented to me yesterday that DS is very skinny - he is actually totally normal! Maybe more overweight people has shifted our perceptions?

carabos Tue 10-Sep-13 13:06:52

Agree with Sunny on this. What used to be "fat" is now normal. What used to be "normal" is now thin or skinny. I am 5ft 4in, weigh 8 1/2 stone and have a healthy BMI. I am constantly described as thin or skinny. I am neither of those things.

A horse in the wild is a very lean, long-muscled creature - so lean that many owners would faint if their horse looked like that. Most people and horses would be better off slightly too thin than slightly too fat. I realise this is not a popular view on MN wink.

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 13:14:20

Interesting Carabos - the ideal bmi for TTC is towards the lower end of the 'normal' bmi bracket according to my Gynae!

fait Mon 16-Sep-13 13:09:51

We show our cobs - they are all pretty sharp, and often have a couple of hours proper work before we take them into the ring. They are extremely fit and even after that amount of work, are still very pingy. They also do pretty well in their classes, and have a lovely top line. But they are big framed horses and I hope that people don't look at them and assume they are fat!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 17-Sep-13 11:40:05

Because people forget that horses eat grass!
We are surrounded by so many food ads, free samples, quick fix topline improvers, horse food everywhere. Horse owners are advised to feed this or that for every little problem. No topline? Feed it into a shape. Laminitic? Feed it happy hoof. Fizzy horse? Feed it some non heating mix...
Food is not the answer.
The average happy hacker is more than capable of living on grass. Even in winter.
Horses are the same as people. The ONLY answer to being fat is to put less in their mouths and exercise them more!

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