How much weight can be sensibly lost in a month?

Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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Ed has got a little porky this Spring and suddenly had a cresty neck. Started his 'diet' two weeks ago....

I weigh-taped him on Sunday and he was 468kgs, yesterday he was between 451 and 458kgs - a nice reduction in the space of 5 days ;)

I'm having to borrow a saddle that fits better than my own, and then we're going to have ours refitted at end July (to see if we need to increase the tree size etc).

I'm new to all of this weight management 'stuff' and just wondered how much weight a horse could sensibly lose in the space of a month. I think last Summer he was about 430kgs, so looking to lose another 25kgs or so. Any experiences? Is this realistic in the space of a few weeks.

:)
 

nani

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Nov 20, 2007
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That sounds fine - 10kgs to a horse is like losing a 4lbs for us in a week. Good going! How'd you do it??

Weight loss in a horse has to be done slowly we all know without starving them. So as long as you're giving him something to eat every few hours stabled then you're fine. That's how we lost 20kgs last year, he was in for two weeks (wandered around concrete yard when the rest were out). And got a slice of hay every few hours - sounds harsh but horses can cope with that. At night he got 3 slices in three nets around the stable at dusk to last him til I got there at 6am. He had straw to eat if he got that bored. He also had a lot of exercise - a mixture of collected work and fast work. I also did give him a feed at night, for reward which consisted of no more than a spoonful of speedibeet, handful of safe & sound and leftover veg from kitchen.
 
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Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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Thanks Nani,

He is living on a bark-chip school at night. He's left with half a hay net and he has access to a hedge and tiny areas of grass around the edge of the school - so has to work hard for everything ;)

From about 8.30 in the morning until 6.00 in the evening he is turned out on a grass 'starvation' paddock (apart from when he's being groomed/ridden). He will also have another half a haynet, while he's tied up etc.

He has no feed apart from two handfuls of happy hoof (which contains his supplements).

He is ridden 5/6 days a week (combination of walk/trot hacks for about 5 miles and two lessons each week, one for an hour and a half hour jumping lesson). I would call it light, but regular work.

The pain in the neck of it all, is that last year his weight didnt alter (we've only owned him for 14 months), so this Spring as been a shock. I bought him a new saddle beginning of March and it's now too small :eek::eek:

The combination of school/starvation paddock cannot continue too much longer, as it all needs to be used by other people. So, my plan is to either put him back on his own 1/2 acre paddock and strip graze, or ask to swap to a starvation paddock for a few more weeks.

So you think 25kgs more weight loss in a months is doable??

Thanks :)
 

Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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Thanks Nani,

He is living on a bark-chip school at night. He's left with half a hay net and he has access to a hedge and tiny areas of grass around the edge of the school - so has to work hard for everything ;)

From about 8.30 in the morning until 6.00 in the evening he is turned out on a grass 'starvation' paddock (apart from when he's being groomed/ridden). He will also have another half a haynet, while he's tied up etc.

He has no feed apart from two handfuls of happy hoof (which contains his supplements).

He is ridden 5/6 days a week (combination of walk/trot hacks for about 5 miles and two lessons each week, one for an hour and a half hour jumping lesson). I would call it light, but regular work.

The pain in the neck of it all, is that last year his weight didnt alter (we've only owned him for 14 months), so this Spring as been a shock. I bought him a new saddle beginning of March and it's now too small :eek::eek:

The combination of school/starvation paddock cannot continue too much longer, as it all needs to be used by other people. So, my plan is to either put him back on his own 1/2 acre paddock and strip graze, or ask to swap to a starvation paddock for a few more weeks.

So you think 25kgs more weight loss in a months is doable??

Thanks :)

I would say it is but keep a careful eye on him for any energy loss or limb weakness, I would maybe try for 5kg a week (anything else is a bonus) on the regime you are on then with plenty of exercise that's the best way , we wanted to lose 25kg from our Welsh A who piled it on due to change of grazing, hes lost about 10kg in 3 weeks and is looking a lot better, we will be happy TBH for him to do the same again, hes still growing so at that point the extra 5kg may not be an issue, hes also trimming up with the start of introducing lunging (can't be ridden a only 3), the change in shape from working makes a big difference.
 

Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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Thanks Lemme. Ed is a full-up 14.2/14.3 Welsh Sec D, so proportionately the 25kg is probably not so much to lose compared to your Sec A. Also, Ed is nearly 14yo, so we don't need to worry about him growing :D

I will certainly keep an eye on his energy levels (he doesn't have a great deal in this weathe tbh - would rather just laze around). With regards to limb weakness, is that because you are thinking of muscle wastage?? I guess if we get anything in excess of 20kgs off in the next month, I think we'll be much nearer to his original weight and that will help us to ascertain if the saddle is going to fit again or not (the query is whether it's all just fat or he's muscled up a little :confused:

Oh well, at least we're going in the right direction....

Thank you :)
 

Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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Thanks Lemme. Ed is a full-up 14.2/14.3 Welsh Sec D, so proportionately the 25kg is probably not so much to lose compared to your Sec A. Also, Ed is nearly 14yo, so we don't need to worry about him growing :D

I will certainly keep an eye on his energy levels (he doesn't have a great deal in this weathe tbh - would rather just laze around). With regards to limb weakness, is that because you are thinking of muscle wastage?? I guess if we get anything in excess of 20kgs off in the next month, I think we'll be much nearer to his original weight and that will help us to ascertain if the saddle is going to fit again or not (the query is whether it's all just fat or he's muscled up a little :confused:

Oh well, at least we're going in the right direction....

Thank you :)

Yes , it is important to have exercise as a large part of the weight loss program, rapid weight loss and no exercise can cause metabolic problems, our little man had lammi and we where told to keep him in and remove his feed, just hay, he wasn't vastly overweight, but he lost weight too quickly, exercise was reduced and he had muscle wasteage and within 3 weeks nearly lost mobility in his back end, it took us weeks of painful walking out and meds and therapy to get it back, at one point it was touch and go for ever coming sound, he did, he had another episode this year after an injury and the weather forced him in his box for 2 weeks with very limited walk out, this time he was put on meds and in a small sand turnout area and we didn't get the weight loss or muscle wasteage but still a few months later getting his feet/legs right again, He has to be kept with as much turnout as possible, the vet says he will be subject to lammi if he doesn't get it. his body reacts to lack of exercise, we learnt the hard way, thats why we are taking it very carefully with the weight loss for the Sec A making sure he gets plenty of exercise, essential vits/minerals and hes out 24/7 on restricted grazing and is full of energy. So really the same as you we have recognised the problem and doing something about it but from our previous experience been sensible about the way we are doing it. You are getting plenty of ridden work in so that should prevent the problem arising and haven't any other health issues that add to the problem so you should be fine.
 
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nani

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Yes , it is important to have exercise as a large part of the weight loss program, rapid weight loss and no exercise can cause metabolic problems, our little man had lammi and we where told to keep him in and remove his feed, just hay, he wasn't vastly overweight, but he lost weight too quickly, exercise was reduced and he had muscle wasteage and within 3 weeks nearly lost mobility in his back end, it took us weeks of painful walking out and meds and therapy to get it back, at one point it was touch and go for ever coming sound, he did, he had another episode this year after an injury and the weather forced him in his box for 2 weeks with very limited walk out, this time he was put on meds and in a small sand turnout area and we didn't get the weight loss or muscle wasteage but still a few months later getting his feet/legs right again, He has to be kept with as much turnout as possible, the vet says he will be subject to lammi if he doesn't get it. his body reacts to lack of exercise, we learnt the hard way, thats why we are taking it very carefully with the weight loss for the Sec A making sure he gets plenty of exercise, essential vits/minerals and hes out 24/7 on restricted grazing and is full of energy. So really the same as you we have recognised the problem and doing something about it but from our previous experience been sensible about the way we are doing it. You are getting plenty of ridden work in so that should prevent the problem arising and haven't any other health issues that add to the problem so you should be fine.

Oh no, bless him!! It's such a delicate balance with these lammis!
 

cassiebird

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Jul 4, 2009
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Yes , it is important to have exercise as a large part of the weight loss program, rapid weight loss and no exercise can cause metabolic problems, our little man had lammi and we where told to keep him in and remove his feed, just hay, he wasn't vastly overweight, but he lost weight too quickly, exercise was reduced and he had muscle wasteage and within 3 weeks nearly lost mobility in his back end, it took us weeks of painful walking out and meds and therapy to get it back, at one point it was touch and go for ever coming sound, he did, he had another episode this year after an injury and the weather forced him in his box for 2 weeks with very limited walk out, this time he was put on meds and in a small sand turnout area and we didn't get the weight loss or muscle wasteage but still a few months later getting his feet/legs right again, He has to be kept with as much turnout as possible, the vet says he will be subject to lammi if he doesn't get it. his body reacts to lack of exercise, we learnt the hard way, thats why we are taking it very carefully with the weight loss for the Sec A making sure he gets plenty of exercise, essential vits/minerals and hes out 24/7 on restricted grazing and is full of energy. So really the same as you we have recognised the problem and doing something about it but from our previous experience been sensible about the way we are doing it. You are getting plenty of ridden work in so that should prevent the problem arising and haven't any other health issues that add to the problem so you should be fine.

After reading this post, your advice re Cass is clearly from very hard experiences:( I will definataly make use of her 20 -30 mins out of the stable. Cass does need to lose weight but am now worried about the rate at which it should come off as she is only having soaked hay and a handful of hi fi lite for medication......it is all such a worry:confused:
 

Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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How are you getting on - here I am harping on about rapid weight loss, in just over a week our Welsh A has lost 10Kg now a much leaner, fitter 275kg - how, enter one Shetland into the Mix, who has lost 2 kg, they obviously spend more time running around and playing than eating and what they are eating they use up! No changes to routine just the little man, maybe I have found a way for him to pay his way;)
 

Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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Hi Lemme, he's looking good at 451kgs yesterday. He's only marginally overweight now (most are saying he looks fine), but I know he used to be slight less and of course I need him to get back into our new saddle.

I guess we need to lose another 10kg + but proportionately that's not too much for him. For now we have a loan saddle from our saddle-supplier to keep us going for another few weeks...

He's still living in a bark-chip school over night, with a small haynet, hedge and bits of grass around the edge to eat. By day, he's in a 'starvation' grass paddock - seriously well eaten. He does have a little more hay durng the day when he's being groomed/pampered etc. Or, when he's waiting for the school to come free.

I guess the grass should stop growing soon, so I can look at putting him back on his own 1/2 acre paddock. Somebody elses horse is in that at the moment, to keep it eaten!

:)
 

Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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Hey thats good news you must be pleased with the way things are progressing, as he looses it and fittens then he will shape out - the new saddle may still need a bit of tweaking once you get him down to the desired weight - our grass is not growing at all really due to this relentless dry and hot weather, rain tonight and tommorrow so that will change things, but its very brown where well eaten, good for the little man, luckily we have some well untouched grazing that our Mare is being stripgrazed into and she need to hold weight now adays.
 

Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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It's such a nightmare isn't it? Yes, well we had loads of flocking removed to try and fit the saddle to him, but still too small. So that will need refitting in a few weeks and of course there's still a slight chance we may need to go up a tree size (I hope not as it's another £200 to £250 on top of all the costs so so far :eek:).

I can't wait to get him back in his lovely paddock. The starvation paddock is a harrowed paddock and as we've had no rain it's rather full of dried poo:eek::eek: Where as his own 1/2 acre paddock is poo-picked daily etc...

Hopefully soon ;)
 

Mr Ed

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Mar 1, 2009
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I've decided to let Ed return to his own paddock today. He still needs to lose a bit of weight, but it's not longer critical (or worrying :rolleyes:). His paddock (its about half an acre) has been quite well eaten by a skinny TB who like a grass hoover...

I've bought an electric fence starter kit, so going to just give him the top third of his paddock to start with and see how he goes. The grass is so dry I really don't think it's growing at the moment! Then I shall weigh-tape him every 2-3 days to see how he's going....
 
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