Bens weightloss diary

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
It's now been almost 5 weeks since the weight loss began and there have been some hurdles which have got in my way. It's very frustrating because I don't see how I can solve them.

Firstly, and most annoyingly, they have had haylege put out in their field for the horses during the day. It is only supposed to be out during the day when he is supposed to be in his stable, but he has cottoned onto this and will not let the yard staff catch him until the end of the day when he has eaten most of the haylege himself. He is so greedy and will do anything for a mouthful of haylege.

He is out overnight with another horse and I recently found out that someone else has been putting extra haylege out for them when I had gone home because they felt sorry for them!! This has now stopped, but I do wish the people wouldn't interfere. We have loads of grass and while I understand that it isn't very nutrituous, I wish that they would understand that he needs to lose weight to avoid any more serious problems in the spring.

I can't exercise him as much as I woudl like because our school continus to be waterlogged and the fields are like a skid patch. The school is hopefully being sorted this week, but at the moment they have a huge digger and piles of sand (or whatever it is) so I can't even give him a brisk walk round.

I am going to buy my own clippers (hopefully in the sales after Xmas) and will re-do his blanket clip and leave him out naked. Hopefully he will get cold and shiver off some fat. After he has been so naughty to catch, no-one feels sorry for him being naked and he actually seems much happier than when he was wearing a rug.

I can't move his field or put him anywhere else because there is no other option. I would like him to come in and avoid the haylege but if the yard staff can't catch him, what can I do?
 

Rubic

Equine Karaoke Queen
Apr 15, 2012
3,771
571
113
Glasgow
I feel your pain!

I've not been able to ride Rubic at all recently :( Luckily, with the cold temperatures her weight seems to have reached a plateau and is staying around 490.

The only thing I could suggest is a grazing muzzle? I don't particularly like having them on in winter but needs must, it might be worth a try. You'd probably also find that he'd be begging to come in with that on rather than running away!
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
The only thing I could suggest is a grazing muzzle? I don't particularly like having them on in winter but needs must, it might be worth a try. You'd probably also find that he'd be begging to come in with that on rather than running away!

My concern with a grazing muzzle is that i wouldn't want him wear it all night long (when there is not supposed to be any haylege in the field at all) so I would just want it on when the haylege is out during the day. However, he would never let the yard staff near him again if they were to attempt to catch him to muzzle him in the morning before the field haylege went out. I would just prefer that they brought him in every morning, but most of the time he won't let them near him unless every other horse comes in as well. He is an angel for me to catch, but I have a young family and cannot get there in the morning - hence why I pay for part livery for him. It's really frustrating!
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
It has been very frustrating over the last few weeks because I haven't been able to exercise Ben as much as I would have liked. With all the rain, our school became useless over Christmas and even our fields were so waterlogged I could barely manage a short trot, yet alone any faster, calorie burning work.

Then Ben had an abscess in his foot and has been on box rest for a week. This means lots of hay because I can't leave him with nothing to eat. He has it all soaked and double netted, but he has been having 2 full haynets a day, plus eating his bed when it is fresh. He will eat fresh straw but nothing older than a day.

I have my clippers all ready to redo his blanket clip, but have to wait until the farrier (hopefully) tells me tomorrow that his foot is better.

So, bearing him mind everything above, he weighed in at 632kg today. That is 8kg off in the last few weeks and 33kg off since November 15th. We are going in the right direction.

I have also decided that I will try a grazing muzzle overnight from the start of March. I suspect that he will take it off within 5 minutes, but we will see.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
I am pleased as punch to report that when I weight taped Ben this evening, if I pulled the tape tightish, he came in as 624kg.

I clipped him 2 weeks ago (blanket clip) and he has been living out overnight even in the snow. He did have a LW rug on for a few days while the snow was falling, but he has gone back to being naked now. He has been gorging on haylage in the field and I feared that he would put weight on rather than reduce, but the opposite has happened. I am now hoping that I will get him down to under 600kg in about a months time.

I am so pleased that it is working!
 

Ruskii

Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2000
6,218
733
113
UK
Wow ! Well done for the weight loss for him ! Do you know what weight your aiming to get him at roughly ?
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
7,520
2,420
113
Raininghamshire
MP this is great news I know how worried you where about Ben on box rest, but you have done really well. He will look and feel so much better going in to spring.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
Wow ! Well done for the weight loss for him ! Do you know what weight your aiming to get him at roughly ?

I would like him to be under 600kg, but mainly because I can just use one tube of wormer instead of paying for 2. The vet said that he couldn't give me an ideal weight because condition scoring was a much more accurate thing to do. All the weight tape really does is measure that he is going in the right direction.

I would condition him as a 4 now, rather than the 5 he was in November. His rear end and his 'grove' in his lovely apple shaped bottom has much reduced.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
MP this is great news I know how worried you where about Ben on box rest, but you have done really well. He will look and feel so much better going in to spring.

Thank you. Since last weekend I have ridden him everyday (mainly in our snow covered arena). We haven't been able to do any fast work at all, but we have been marching round in walk. Today we went hacking and managed a couple of gentle trots around the fields so I'm hoping to build his workload up from here.

While he has lost weight, he is still far too fat. My vet said that ideally he should be a 2.5 coming into the spring. I still cannot feel his ribs (and I really tried hard today) and his neck still wobbles too much. I'm pleased that I would now class him as a 4, but I still need to take action against the spring grass by either muzzling him, or bringing him in.

I have so many plans to showjump, do long hacks and get him really fit this summer. If I have to canter him around for 2 hours every evening to keep the fat at bay then that is what I am going to do. There is no way that I will risk his health and let him get so fat again. I'm so ashamed that I let it happen in the first place.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
I am so pleased that our school is now finished so Ben and I can start the fitness regime and really shift the fat.

I weightaped him last night and he is now down to 616kg. Thats 59kg lost since November. If I catch him on a day when he hasn't been nibbling his bed, the weight tape shows 608kg. I have bought him a muzzle and we have been going for short walks and giving him treats through it. He certainly knows how to eat through it and seems happy enough with it on. I'm slightly concerned that it may be a little big, but the shop said that if he was between sizes then they would advise the bigger size up.

We have ridden everyday for the last week and he is actually much fitter than I thought he would be. He has lived out in a big field all winter so has been moving around and exercising himself. Last night we did 45 minutes in the school with lots of trot and several short bursts of canter. On the advice of my instructor we are going to gradually increase the canter work, do lots of cantering round our huge fields and then progress to jumping when he is fit enough.

Soon they will be changing fields to the huge one which has been rested all winter and is already full of green grass. He will have his muzzle on and come in for at least 6 hours per day. If this doesn't work (or he removes the muzzle) I will have to insist on a fatty paddock for him. I don't want him to be moved from his friends, but I don't want him to get laminitis either.
 

mystiquemalaika

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2013
4,297
2,005
113
I use a muzzle for malaika and although in theory she is cob size I have her in a full size which looks big but I had rubbing problems with the cob size and have found the bigger size only caused slight rubbing for the first couple of weeks it was on until her skin hardened up,I put talc powder around it when I first start using it,something a farrier suggested to me a few years ago and have had no problems other than hair been ruffled when I first start using so bigger is definatly better I've found.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
I use a muzzle for malaika and although in theory she is cob size I have her in a full size which looks big but I had rubbing problems with the cob size and have found the bigger size only caused slight rubbing for the first couple of weeks it was on until her skin hardened up,I put talc powder around it when I first start using it,something a farrier suggested to me a few years ago and have had no problems other than hair been ruffled when I first start using so bigger is definatly better I've found.

Where did you find that the muzzle rubbed the worse? This muzzle comes with a headcollar attached so I am going to put sheepskin around the metal bits so it doesn't rub on his cheeks. Did you find the edge of the muzzle rubbed round his nose?

I will try talc - never heard of that before.

I have a 'Best Friend' Muzzle and went for Draft size rather than 'Large Horse'. He is a shire x and has a very round nose - he needs X Full in everything.
 

mystiquemalaika

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2013
4,297
2,005
113
That muzzle is the same design as mine,I found the area that rubbed was under the chin where the bucket part ends if that makes sense,if he is sensitive then sheepskin over the metal cheek parts will be a good addition we have a mare who rubs on these areas at the yard and sheepskin helps no end.she doesn't wear a muzzle but her owner can't catch her so she has a field safe headcollar on in the summer months.I did sew sheepskin on around the nose bucket but you have to keep a close eye on it as if it gets encrusted in grease and dirt it will then cause rubbing so it was a few pieces of sheepskin needed on over the summer to keep clean but if you could attatch it with Velcro it would be much easier to remove and wash to keep clean.I had never heard of the talc thing either,the farrier had a sensitive horse when it wore boots and put talc on before boots and it stopped rubbing,its certainly worth a try.
 

Ruskii

Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2000
6,218
733
113
UK
Ah interesting. The largest size I tried on mine was a full or XF. Never seen a draft size one might try that if desperate this summer !
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
Over the last few weeks I have really increased Bens exercise. For the last few weeks we have been riding everyday - either in the school or going for long rides across the fields at the weekends. On some weekend days we have been going out twice. We have gradually increased the intensity of his work and he is now fit enough for a good 45 minutes in the school with lots of canters and long periods of trot. We have started jumping again and plan to do much more of this. The haylage in the field has finally been stopped and his hay that he gets when he comes in has been soaked for at least 2 hours.

I have 3 bits of good news:
1. He now weighs LESS than 600kg. If I pull the weight tape tight (but without cutting off his circulation), he comes in at 592kg!!! That's about 80kg lost since November.

2. He has what I am pretty sure is MUSCLE developing! He has a much clearer distinction between this neck and shoulder. While he does still have fat pads, they are much smaller than before.

3. He visably looks much leaner than he did in the pictures I took of him in November. I will try and get some more at the weekend and post them here. He now looks much healthier and the differences between the pictures are obvious.

We still have a long way to go, and spring will obviously be a challenge for us, but I feel that I know much more about weight management than I did last year. I am hoping that when the vet comes to do his jabs again in November, he will tell me what a lovely, healthy, muscled horse I have and I won't feel like such a bad owner again!
 

Joyscarer

Active Member
Dec 30, 2006
20,300
5
38
49
Hampshire
That's amazing. I really can't wait to come to your knock of the woods to drool! You've done so well, all that could be asked of you in the face of the detractors. Ben is very lucky indeed to have you x
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
13,254
4,301
113
Visit site
Today Ben was turned out into his summer grazing field and has got his muzzle on for the first time. Surprisingly, he didn't object to it but simply starting grazing. I hope that this is because I have spent many hours getting him used to it in his stable and in-hand. I hope that he manages to drink through it and I know that I am going to worry myself silly until tomorrow morning.

I have some updated 'after' photos. He has lost about 80kg and while he does look much slimmer, I know that he still has some way to go. I'm so worried about him getting laminitis - I would be devastated if that happened to him because I didn't get enough weight off him.

What do you think of his weight now? If you compare to the first photos at the start of my thread do you think that he looks better? Would you still think that he was overweight? Please be honest!
 
Last edited:
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Mary Poppins Removing Bens front shoes Hoof Care 19
Mary Poppins Where to start sorting out Bens leading issues Training of the Horse and Rider 37
Mary Poppins Sores on Bens heels Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 31
Mary Poppins Interval training for weightloss Training of the Horse and Rider 7
Mary Poppins Weightloss tips needed!!!! Horse Care 43
Roxy's Mum "This Is It" MFP weightloss blog. Members Diaries 24
Native Lover Forum TOTAL weightloss thread Cafe 29
WeeBarraxO My weightloss - what do you think ? Cafe 21
Roxy's Mum Weightloss inspiration & motivation - OMG! Cafe 4
R Weightloss advice for a horse not in active work - Help ! Horse Care 8
Ladyknight Widsucking and weightloss Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 11
J Weightloss and Fitness Horse Care 11
Jane&Ziggy Sid's diary Members Diaries 298
Jane&Ziggy Charlie Charles's diary Members Diaries 30
domane Picture Diary of a Horse-fly Bite Cafe 16
N Does anyone else keep a work diary for their horses? Cafe 18
Jessey Dan's Diary Members Diaries 83
sophie33 Lesson diary 2018 Members Diaries 61
Prjsmk PRJ and his human's diary. Members Diaries 13
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's hacking diary: lots of trots Hacking 0
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's hacking diary: miles and miles Hacking 6
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's hacking diary: I am BAD Hacking 1
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's hacking diary returns Hacking 3
SeeingSpots Diary of a Pony Squisher Members Diaries 46
chev My lesson diary 2017... Members Diaries 35
Native Lover From fat to fit ( A plus size riders diary) Members Diaries 148
chunky monkey Keeping a diary of your rides Hacking 4
P My diary Members Diaries 10
Skib Dressage Diary - Medium Trot Cafe 3
domane Date for your diary! Cafe 36
Jane&Ziggy The return of Ziggy's hacking diary - Roman Temple day! Hacking 4
New Rider Nic Diary of Nic - The Nervy Novice Members Diaries 44
Cremola Foam Pedro's riding diary :) Members Diaries 5
Skib Dressage Lesson Diary Members Diaries 41
Jacob Wright Jacobs' Diary Members Diaries 48
Jessey My big ride diary and the first of the pics Cafe 20
KarinUS The Single Rancher Girl's Diary Members Diaries 54
P Pete's Diary: FatBoy to slim ... Members Diaries 20
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's hacking diary: all those hills! Hacking 2
Cortrasna Dolly's soundness diary. Members Diaries 27
popularfurball Diary of a pony on steroids Members Diaries 16
chev A diary of lessons and my return to riding. Members Diaries 44
Jane&Ziggy Ziggy's diary - out on the long reins - pictures! Cafe 4
OwnedbyChanter Food diary - one for all of us Cafe 123
R Driving Diary Members Diaries 2
joosie just put an important appointment in Mouse's diary Cafe 8
Tina2011 My giving up smoking, getting fit diary Members Diaries 21
mystiquemalaika Diet diary? Cafe 21
joosie Joosie's pony diary 2013 Members Diaries 33
B Ups and Downs-Diary of a Menopausal Old Witch Members Diaries 57

Similar threads

newrider.com