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Would you buy a really overweight pony......

27 replies

mrslaughan · 20/05/2016 20:11

so I am looking for a lead rein pony, and a trusted horsey person has just been sent a potential lead rain to be "brought back into work".
the photos of the child competing it over 6 months ok, it looks fab. She has arrived at the yard morbidly obese - it has been turned away for winter and has basically stuffed itself. other than the colour, you wouldn't think it was the same pony.......
it seems to have a nice nature, no nasty habits , and not too forward off the lead rein, but it is really really overweight and must be a real risk of lami........things I am worried about is can we get the weight off fast enough, and while it is loosing weight is it at risk of lami?
If ts a lead rein so not doing huge amounts of exercise - though we do have a walker at the yard, I wouldn't normally consider putting a pony of this size on it? Could I? I don't have a suitable horse to lead it from.
Starvation paddock no problem and actually I would probably only allow it in the starvation paddock/corral for a couple of hours a day.....
also once it sheds half its body weight (a little bit of an exaggeration - but closer to the truth than you would think) am I going to end up with a pony that is much more forward?
it is not too much I don't think - so its not the cost of the pony, its just would I be buying a whole host of difficult health issues.......
she's 12hh - mid teens and a little porka

OP posts:
Florinda2016 · 20/05/2016 21:05

Could you loan with view to buy?

Nyama · 20/05/2016 21:10

Yes of course but you have a responsibility to get the weight off it. Lots of work and careful feeding.

Nyama · 20/05/2016 21:10

And yes as she gets fitter she'll be more forward. But that's a good thing.

mrslaughan · 20/05/2016 21:22

Yes - If I go ahead I will be working very hard to get the weight off , but it is not going to happen overnight....... I have never had an animal this fat - she will have to eat something, and I imagine to loose it safely it needs to be slow and steady.

More forward is kind of ok - but then she may end up too forward for my daughter.......

OP posts:
mrslaughan · 20/05/2016 21:23

Florinda - they have said no to LWTVTB

OP posts:
mrslaughan · 20/05/2016 21:27

Thoughts on grazing muzzles? Do they stay on?

OP posts:
Florinda2016 · 20/05/2016 21:29

Yes grazing muzzles were a god send for my boy. Fat when I bought him, he spent all last summer in a grazing muzzle. I had the shires one with the padding. His weight dropped beautifully.

mrslaughan · 20/05/2016 22:08

Great florinda - great to know.

OP posts:
Florinda2016 · 20/05/2016 22:16

I have two, one on one in the wash!

frostyfingers · 21/05/2016 14:21

It makes me so cross when people let their animals get fat, every where I look there are what appear to me overweight horses and ponies - front cover of this weeks H&H being one.

It will be the combination of work and "starvation" which will get it back to normal as you say, I would make sure it had a thorough vetting and a good farrier look at its feet too.

I use the Shires muzzle on my little Welshie and it works a treat although it has given him a bit of bump on his nose which I put Vaseline on - I think they say it reduces intake by 80%. Initially he tried to get it off and I put a head collar over the top but he's resigned to it now and seems ok. He's definitely thinner and happier than last year when I had him in a small paddock. I feed him Dodson & Horrell Safe & Sound which keeps his tummy busy when he's on the yard.

Get the weight tape round her if you can and keep a written record of the loss, it will be amazing to look back and see how much she's lost. I don't have experience of walkers at all, again I'd ask the vet for advice. Good luck. Take lots of before, during and after pics too otherwise you'll never believe you're making progress.

mrslaughan · 21/05/2016 17:49

Frosty they are basically giving her away, I have seen her ridden in a video - and she looks sound...... So because I am not paying much I would be inclined not to vet - I do always insure. What I will be inclined to do is stable her during the day and have her out at night in a muzzle. Esp at the moment - we have so much grass, though as I said I can do her a pen , but my physio likes them moving around ......
I haven't seen her in the flesh yet, but will this week - that may change my mind about vetting, and getting the farrier to have a look.
But I do agree with you - why let them get like this.

OP posts:
Micah · 21/05/2016 17:53

I would think if she's that fat and she isn't crippled by laminitis already then she's not prone. A good thing.

mrslaughan · 21/05/2016 17:57

Frosty - she is very similar shape to the one on the front of horse and hound - her belly is slightly bigger - but at 12hh is just looks wrong
I have a weight tape - I used on my sons 12 2 hh welshie to make sure she didn't get fat! So I am ok there

OP posts:
Nyama · 21/05/2016 20:08

Can you not lunge her?

mrslaughan · 22/05/2016 09:35

Yes I can - but I think she will need as much movement as possible! With an little food as poss

OP posts:
Gabilan · 22/05/2016 15:43

Just watch with a grazing muzzle that the pony doesn't get picked on, especially being a small animal with a strange herd. The muzzles limit some natural behaviour and expressions so horses will sometimes pick on the one with the muzzle on.

If you have no other horse to lead her from, I'd be inclined to take her walkies on foot. It's a great way to bond, get her out, and get her accustomed to her new home before any children ride her.

Florinda2016 · 22/05/2016 17:19

The other horses here have in the past removed a grazing muzzle from the fatty for them.

frostyfingers · 22/05/2016 18:23

I walk my small pony in hand when I take the dogs out, people have laughed at me for it as I suppose it does look a bit strange but it works. I expect you know to be careful with the lunging to start with, it can be a very intense form of exercise and if she's podgy may not be so good for her feet and legs, but it's certainly great when they're a bit further on.

She sounds to be definitely worth a look, good luck!

psicat · 20/06/2016 19:57

My old horse was over 200kg over weight when I took it on.
It takes a while to get weight off as it has to be slow and steady but they were worth everything once it came off.
There's some good tips on the laminitis thread for restricting diet. I would second the in hand walks too - good for building bonds and won't be too much pressure on joints etc. I would be careful with lunging, taking it slowly as the weight would put lot of strain on limbs if worked too hard too quick.
No reason why shouldn't be able to turn her around though, do get a weigh tape and do it religiously - we had it marked on a calendar in the tack room so could see the downward progress!

froubylou · 20/06/2016 20:09

How old is she? Does she have an equal cover of fat or does she have fat pads? Is she cresty or does she just have a big tummy?

Have a look at EMS as well as cushings and lami. If she doesn't have any symptoms other than the tummy I would go.for it.

I used to put my 12hh pony on a horse walker. She used to go in with the 16hh showjumpers and had to jog every so often to keep up. Kept her weight down beautifully!

Also get her on a decent balancer designed for lami prone ponies. And some of the supplements are supposed to help with weight loss. Freestep has been recommended to me in the past.

And if she gets too fit and sharp by the exercise regime you can always drop it down a bit once she fits back in her jeans!

CatherineDeB · 20/06/2016 20:13

I bought the fattest unbroken 11 year old pony on the planet. Walks with the dog (good colour match) and restricting grazing by bringing her in at night and a dinky muzzle had her sorted out in three months.

I agree that it isn't all bad if she hasn't got laminitis when so fat. You can easily do something about weight, less easy to change bad habits or temperament.

mypropertea · 20/06/2016 21:38

I would advise a simple vetting of heart etc, like the ones ridding schools do.

I would worm it ASAP as if they haven't watched it's food they may have been lax in other ways too.

Keep it mooving by walking in hand a few short walks a day, if you need to keep it in for any reason. For some reason standing still seems to make problems develop.

I advise giving her a very small hole hay net with another very small hole hay net inside it and a section of hay morning and lunch time then turning out at night. Supplement wise I would use formula for feet as it doesn't need to be added to a feed as it is very palatable.

Good luck :)

CatherineDeB · 20/06/2016 22:12

My very fat pony is the least greedy person I have known, her obesity was just down to bad management so a small holed net would not have made the slightest difference.

mypropertea · 21/06/2016 06:37

The small holes are so they don't eat it and then have to stand there bored till they get there next slice. Not so they eat less.

CatherineDeB · 21/06/2016 07:35

Thanks for that - but if they are not greedy and don't wolf it down then they don't need slowing down at all.

Believe me I know, I have got two very very greedy horses and one that isn't, the very fat pony isn't.

Even then I prefer to feed from the floor. I did used to use the two hay ledge net technique many years ago but prefer not to.

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