Hogan now on serious diet!

Huggy

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Well, I had to google 'Irish Cob' as I realised I didn't actually know what one was. I've heard the term of course but didn't actually know anything about them. I was really surprised to learn that Irish Cob is another name for Gypsy Vanner, I had never, ever, made the connection before! Also found out that Shires, Clydesdales, Fells and Dales were used to create the breed, which explains the wide variation in heights. Absolutely fascinating, so thanks for prompting me to educate myself ?
I found a lovely video on YouTube, "way out west, Irish cob." Could listen to the woman's voice all day!
 
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Huggy

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Well, Hogan has lost 30 kg. I can now get his girth up 4 extra holes. I'm not as worried about him gaining in the spring/early summer, but he could lose a bit more. He's not as bum high as he was, and still very hairy! Honest opinions on how he's looking please. (Cushioned in kind words lol )This pic is today. 20210409_171414.jpg
 

Huggy

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He has a beautifully round bottom and looks very well. A colour co-ordinated grazing muzzle would enhance his handsome features.
I walked in to his box last summer with a muzzle - he shot to the back wall and said "Try it. Go on, just try it" I'll give it another go this year. 🤞
 

Huggy

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This is him end of last summer - girth on last hole on either side. Soooo fat. He didn't lose it over the winter either. Screenshot_20210409-201924_Gallery.jpg
 
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Mary Poppins

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I think muzzles can be really useful but it is important to teach a horse to eat wearing one. I started by putting Ben’s muzzle on in the stable and feeding him bits of carrot through it.

Is Hogan out 24/7 or does he come in during the day or overnight? Perhaps some more time off the grass might be useful? I’m bringing Ben in between 8am and 6pm at the moment and he just gets a small haynet during the day. So far I have avoided the muzzle but when the sun comes out I will have to put it on. It is so hard keeping the round tummy at bay.
 
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Ale

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Do you use body condition scoring? Honestly can see significant difference between the two photographs but it's so hard to judge in current one. Yes he has a shapely bottom but doesn't necessarily mean he's overweight. Give him a gentle poke, easiest area to start with is the ribs. Easy to feel each one individually? Can feel them but not distinguish each one individually? Can't feel them or have to push really hard?
 
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Huggy

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I think muzzles can be really useful but it is important to teach a horse to eat wearing one. I started by putting Ben’s muzzle on in the stable and feeding him bits of carrot through it.

Is Hogan out 24/7 or does he come in during the day or overnight? Perhaps some more time off the grass might be useful? I’m bringing Ben in between 8am and 6pm at the moment and he just gets a small haynet during the day. So far I have avoided the muzzle but when the sun comes out I will have to put it on. It is so hard keeping the round tummy at bay.
He's out 24/7. What's going to be helpful this year, is that we have a small paddock that I can put him in if need be. It was very overgrown with gorse and brambles, but was topped last autumn, and now has a smattering of poor grass, but is mostly just scrub. I will gently try the muzzle when the grass really comes through in the other fields.
 

Huggy

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Do you use body condition scoring? Honestly can see significant difference between the two photographs but it's so hard to judge in current one. Yes he has a shapely bottom but doesn't necessarily mean he's overweight. Give him a gentle poke, easiest area to start with is the ribs. Easy to feel each one individually? Can feel them but not distinguish each one individually? Can't feel them or have to push really hard?
Couldn't find them with a Texas oil drill last summer/autumn! I can find them now but not individually - his thick coat doesn't help. His bottom is solid, and so are his shoulders - he may even have the odd muscle! He's never got cresty, which is a bonus. If you can imagine an inch or so off the tummy underside in the current pic - that's all long hair! I don't really understand body condition scoring - moron that I am.
 

chunky monkey

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Your no moron. I dont condition score either.

I go by how easily i can do the girth up. Mid winter billy was like i need a longer girth. Couldn't even get the girth to do up. It was so bad it was slipping through my fingers trying to get it to meet to feed through.
Last week i actually got the driving harness saddle out and put on chunky to check how easily it went on and did up. 10 minutes later my brother came along the yard to speak to me and his comment was, core haven't seen chunky up close for a bit hes lost some weight. He was bang on he sure had. Harness did up with ease.
The natural thing is for animals to loose weight in winter. I say that if they maintained or gained weight over the winter that really isnt a bad thing. To me that says they should be getting the best possible nutrition at the worse time of year.
I was worried about too much weight but Ive rationed over the spring and girths are doing up easily so we really are in a good place now. Ideally some more still to loose. Cant feel ribs.
Ive dicussed today about making a complete circuit track round the 10 acre field till we make hay. Last year it went to a dead end at the bottom of the field. But people seem to rate them to encourage movement so im going to experiment and make a complete circuit. I dont want grassless though. Im not prepared to have bald ground. As my brother said headlands and hedge rows are left for the wildlife. I agree. Trashing to bare earth is not an option.
 
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Ale

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Couldn't find them with a Texas oil drill last summer/autumn! I can find them now but not individually - his thick coat doesn't help. His bottom is solid, and so are his shoulders - he may even have the odd muscle! He's never got cresty, which is a bonus. If you can imagine an inch or so off the tummy underside in the current pic - that's all long hair! I don't really understand body condition scoring - moron that I am.
Well that all sounds really positive! You don't even have to score them really, I think it's just really great to run your hands over them and be honest with yourself how they are feeling. Lots of people would probably say he's overweight from a picture, I get it with Ale all the time! But actually he's slim now, to the point his ribs are almost visible and he's still got his round bottom shape which is why people think he's fat.
 

Ale

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The natural thing is for animals to loose weight in winter. I say that if they maintained or gained weight over the winter that really isnt a bad thing. To me that says they should be getting the best possible nutrition at the worse time of year.

Depends what weight they go into winter I think. It's the perfect opportunity if they are carrying excess to allow them to slowly loose some weight as the grass reduces in quality and they have to use more energy keeping warm (once it drops below 5-0 degrees)
 
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Kite_Rider

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Well that all sounds really positive! You don't even have to score them really, I think it's just really great to run your hands over them and be honest with yourself how they are feeling. Lots of people would probably say he's overweight from a picture, I get it with Ale all the time! But actually he's slim now, to the point his ribs are almost visible and he's still got his round bottom shape which is why people think he's fat.
Belle is the same Ale, even at her slimmest when you could see all her ribs she never lost her Apple bottom.
 
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carthorse

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Well done!

I won't pass comment, unless the horse is really extreme, on condition or weight based on photos because they can be so deceptive and even more so when a heavy coat is involved. But well done for getting that much off him and I hope you can stabilize him at a weight and condition you're happy with.
 
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Huggy

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I think I'd be happy with a few more kilos off. He lost very little up to Christmas, if any. The graze on is a godsend - he thinks it's great, and he's still getting a feed. And yes, he still has his apple bottom, the biggest difference is that he doesn't wobble all over when he moves! His tummy, bottom and shoulders are all quite firm. What I find difficult is the difference in his build to Ramsey - what looked good on Ramsey, would look poor on Hogan, he's such a heavier build. I'm aiming for another 10 kilos off, really just for his wellbeing going into summer.
 
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carthorse

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Just monitor him and see how it goes, it can take a while for your eye to adjust to a very different type of horse.
 
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domane

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It's a long, slow process for Gracie because of the ulcer episode. G was 595kg on the weight tape in January and is down to 537 this week. It sounds a lot but she doesn't look vastly different to me, but then I never thought she was overweight anyway. She's never had a spinal gutter, an apple bum or fat pads on her. She may well have actually lost a little more than that because she is extremely fluffy at the moment, due to coat regrowth after her full clip last month. She's been out naked and has obviously felt chilly, so nature has provided. The irony is that she's regrown it quickly but it's falling out at the same time as her summer coat is pushing through! 😂🤦 If you look at the weigh tape, the gap between 595 and 537 isn't big at all. But we've had to ditch the 30" dressage girth as we ran out of holes to tighten it (🎉). The best news is that I can definitely feel her ribs. I can ascertain the difference between bone and intercostal space, which is a first for me 👍

Despite all this, she's still a chunky-monkey and her saddle still fits, so far.
 
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