Condition

carthorse

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Out of interest what sort of condition do you like to keep your horses in, particularly cobby or more substantial ones? Real answers please, not copied from the text book because you know that's what the answer should be!

Luka has been on a diet since he came because I think he's too fat. A few people have asked how many kg I want off him before he's no longer on a diet, the answer is I don't know but I want to be able to easily feel at least some ribs and I want more of his crest gone. The concept of cobs having ribs that can be felt seems to upset some people judging by the comments about that's too thin for his type. So what are your views - he'll be dieting anyway and I won't be offended if people don't agree :)
 

Ale

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Thin coming out of winter. But maybe holding a little bit of fat going in, but only a little. This is Ale right now, I've just started strip grazing so he will gradually put some weight on over summer I think. He's slim, the winter coat over his ribs is deceiving, they are very easily felt. IMG_20210610_073354.jpg
 

carthorse

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You're so right about coat giving a misleading look @Ale , and it's why I always like to feel a horse before giving an opinion on condition - extremes can be seen but that's about all. I stable at night in the winter so I like mine slim then too, if anything reduced work if the weather is bad plus hay and rugs can mean that's when they get fatter.
 

Frances144

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Depends....

If in regularly work - trim and fit. Not having to lug around extra weight as well as mine.
If old and retired - happy and fat. It can drop off quickly if ill. But coming into summer, I want them a bit thinner to fatten up over summer, and go into winter with spare.
Mine all live out 24/7. Very few have rugs and only if they start to lose weight.

My "Fat Kob" - was a round shape but he was fit and worked regularly. No crest, but a good bottom with a shape to it. Not fat, though.
 

Huggy

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No crest on Hogan, he doesn't seem that way inclined. However, I'd have liked him slimmer coming out of winter - I've got so much weight to shift off him now. I like to feel the ribs with pressure, but not see them. I like a peachy bottom! I don't like the cresty look too much. Hogan is definitely too fat this year. :(
 

Kite_Rider

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I don’t like seeing too much fat on Belle, don’t mind her going into winter with a bit of chub, but even then people still tell me I’m cruel and she’s too thin!
I do what I do to help her lead a healthy laminitis free life, hard as that may be and while other folk tell me she’s too thin I’ve had vets, farriers, physios and Edt’s all say what great condition she’s in and I should be proud of my management of her weight, so I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and I’ve learned to just accept that other people think cobby types are meant to be round.
But yes personally I think too many people think it’s acceptable for a cob to be fat, when the same people would be horrified if their ex racer was 🙁
 

Kite_Rider

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No crest on Hogan, he doesn't seem that way inclined. However, I'd have liked him slimmer coming out of winter - I've got so much weight to shift off him now. I like to feel the ribs with pressure, but not see them. I like a peachy bottom! I don't like the cresty look too much. Hogan is definitely too fat this year. :(
Interestingly Belle has never lost her peachy bum, even at her absolute slimmest she still retaines that and you can easily see all her ribs, maybe that’s a genetics thing? Bit like us, some fat goes round the middle and others it’s bums and thighs.
 
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carthorse

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I find it interesting that a few have you have said about cobs being round, maybe it's that naturally rounder shape that misleads people? They expect to see a rounder body type than, say, a TB and so think fat is ok because it's more roundness? But a cob with easily felt ribs will still be round in shape.
 

Kite_Rider

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I find it interesting that a few have you have said about cobs being round, maybe it's that naturally rounder shape that misleads people? They expect to see a rounder body type than, say, a TB and so think fat is ok because it's more roundness? But a cob with easily felt ribs will still be round in shape.
Maybe yes, I remember being mortified at HOYS a few years back by the fatness of some of the natives in the ring, they were in ‘show condition’ nope they were massively fat! You could see it wobbling, I thought it was disgusting actually that the show vets didn’t say anything. No wonder most people think fat cobs are normal.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Buddy is deceptive, he can look quite good but he is a bit hollow on the pelvis and you can see his ribs sometimes quite clearly. I would like him to carry a bit more muscle and a bit more covering. This is him today at a show, from a distance he looks fine but close up he is a bit hollow on his haunches. He is 26 now and despite having a lot of veteran food, linseed etc, keeping him from looking like a toast rack is hard. He has gone down to 504kg his nice weight is 538kg, he has no crest.

20210612_152636.jpg
 
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MrC

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I like round and fit. I don’t like seeing ribs personally and I’ve kept good doers that could do a 25mile 6hr ride out and still not have any ribs showing and not be blowing. I get that the official party line should be a wee bit of rib but I think they should be covered with muscle not fat.

Kia was never a good doer, even when he was younger so I could put him on dairy pasture and not worry about it at all. Faran I don’t think I’ll be able to do that. Once hes working and under saddle I don’t think I’ll have to worry too much about weight as I do a lot of hacking and long rides but he will defo be a chunky boy and I’ll have to keep an eye on him
 
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chunky monkey

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Real answer, i like well covered. But not rolling in fat. I dont worry about feeling for the ribs. Very rare i can find them. I did find the back couple on Chunky coming out of winter.
Chunky is still ok at the moment weight wise. I dont want him to put anymore on.
Im another that worries because of his age and the type of grazing we have, and the steep banks, that if he is thin going into winter he will look very poor coming out of it.

Billy has put on more than id like over the last couple of weeks. He has a grass belly.
We are just cutting hay this week, so i had to widen my track this last week so the grass dindt go to waste. Weve also run the mower over the bit of track we will be driving up. So when the fence goes back in later next week they will be restricted right down. Im also going to close off the two acre paddock they also have access to currently. So theyll have about an acre of track to browse round.
 
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carthorse

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@MrC I'm happy with feeling rather than seeing, and I'll be the first to admit that after years of dealing with laminitics I can be paranoid about weight and condition.
 
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MrC

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@MrC I'm happy with feeling rather than seeing, and I'll be the first to admit that after years of dealing with laminitics I can be paranoid about weight and condition.

Definitely I agree and that’s a reason to have them the way you want them 😃 I don’t want a laminitic and I had to work hard to keep Stella fit not fat, that girl breathed in calories 😅😅😅 I have the funniest feeling Faran will be the same once his body stops taking growth spurts 😅 x
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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For Mattie I like him as fat as possible in every season, but he is an old Arab ex-racer and skinny as a coat hanger.

When I was looking for a new horse I saw lots of cobs in slender, hard-working shape. They looked good. Sid is too fat and lacks muscle tone. He's a bit better since going on the track but if he has a rib I haven't felt it yet. He is a big, wide-chested, well-sprung, flat-backed horse and I would never expect him to look slim, but I'd like to feel a rib.

Here's a pic from Horsequest of a cob for sale in Ireland. This is the sort of shape I would like Sid to be in (though even this horse looks a bit cresty).
Screenshot 2021-06-13 at 06.34.56.png
 
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carthorse

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I think crest is another genetic disposition, but a potentially dangerous one since it's linked to a laminitis tendency - apparently the fat laid down there has a different composition. Luka sounds a similar sort of build to Sid, no matter how slim he is he'll always be a cob.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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This is the shape Sid is right now, alas. A fine specimen of the common-or-garden ribless cob!

He is dozing after having a massage in his favourite stretched-out stance :)

IMG_1199.JPG
 
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carthorse

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This is the shape Sid is right now, alas. A fine specimen of the common-or-garden ribless cob!

Lol, I love the description!

Luka has less belly but more neck and, I think, a bigger shoulder. I'd love Sid's wither, our lack of one is making keeping the saddle is place a bit problematic at the moment - hopefully he'll remember to grow one very soon!
 
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Skib

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If one doesnt see a horse for a long time, then one notices differences that are not seen by the people looking after the horse all the time. When I returned to Ella after 13 months I could see that she was rounder than she had been and when you groom her there are no ribs. YM rubbished this and was as cross as if I had told one of the staff they had put on weight. However I rode another bigger ID this week and she too was round and no ribs.
Do you think one should see or feel ribs when one grooms?

I also noticed riding these very round horses, how much swing they need as they move the belly side to side in walk. I was almost bounced out of the saddle in sitting trot in my lesson and for the first time understood what people meant when they suggested letting the horse rise you in rising trot. Only of course. I was supposed to be sitting.

I was told Ella has a very bumpy trot and canter and I should shorten my stirrups when hacking her. but does the trot and canter become bumpier if the horse has put on weight and rounded out?
 

diplomaticandtactful

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This is the shape Sid is right now, alas. A fine specimen of the common-or-garden ribless cob!

He is dozing after having a massage in his favourite stretched-out stance :)

View attachment 106955
Horse 3.jpg This is Rose when we got her, as she almost as wide as she was big....this was before 2000, the second picture is 2012 the day we moved here, she had been retired for a number of years as she poisoned herself P1010240.jpg
 
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