Sid Boot Camp!

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Thanks for all your input on grazing muzzles etc. This is Day 1 of Sid's boot camp. The intention is that he loses a LOT of weight, enough that I can feel his ribs. I can't find a weigh tape anywhere (what does that tell you, hmmm?) but he is immense:

tempImage3j5IgZ.png

He's not cresty, but he has layers of fat on his ribs and belly and enormous fat pads on his shoulders and either side of his tail. He is borderline obese, if not actually obese. Oh dear.

I will buy a weigh tape and keep a note of how he's doing. The plan is to start with more exercise and restricting his grazing. I looked at my so-called track and realised it was actually a decent-sized paddock spread out a bit. I have ensmallened the grass area by making it between 2 and 3 m narrower over both long sides. Each long side is about 250m so that's quite a lot of ground. I've made the loafing areas at each corner smaller, too.

tempImage85rnQY.png

You can see how much narrower it is.

I'm concerned that the narrow track won't provide Mattie with enough nourishment when they are in together, so I'm going to make another plan. At the end of the week I'm going to buy a Flexible Fillies muzzle for Sid - all over the place I find reviews that says it is a fiddle to fit, but the kindest and most effective muzzle out there, so I will swallow hard and spent Ā£80 on it. Then Sid can be on his narrow starvy track during the night, and during the day he can wear the muzzle (on the "starve" setting - in other words I won't make the hole any bigger!) and go into the long grass with Mattie. It's not as if they groom each other all the time.

He needs more exercise too. My intention to up our average hack (3 times a week) to 1.5 hours, or more, went by the board today because he was trimmed yesterday and was really uncomfortable on the road. We did 45 minutes of walk and trot but I had to choose the softest, least stony going I could find. He's certainly not lame as he was thundering about the field to complain about having less grass! I'll up it as his feet settle and potentially buy a pair of boots if we can't do the long fast hacks he needs. I'll build up to trotting wherever we can trot and cantering wherever we can canter - we're still mostly at walk. Hill training is OK because it is pretty hilly where I live.

My friend Carol says she will lunge him at trot twice a week for a minimum of 15 minutes, which is great because I just find lunging soooo boring.

If this doesn't give results, I'll consider bringing him in during the day with soaked hay. But I think more movement is better.

So achievements today:

STARTED!
45 minute walk and trot hack
Reduced size of track
 
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Jessey

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I gotta say, that was just an odd shaped paddock rather than a track *hides*, it's still a pretty wide track šŸ˜¬ I found this website super handy https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm because I could measure the perimeter fence, and then the inner and subtract it to give me the actual acreage of the track.....very enlightening!

I'm sure you'll get a handle on it very quickly now you have recognised it is not just how cobs are ;) aiming to find their ribs is a good aim to have, no matter how long it takes!
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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took a good 30 minutes of faffing
So I believe. Fortunately he is a patient boy.

the actual acreage of the track.
I have such a measuring tool, it's excellent. I'll measure the inner this afternoon.

At least having brough it in the bugger won't be leaning under it for the long grass on the inside, because there isn't any! He mowed about 40cm inside the fence last time...
 
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PePo

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Let's add to achievements for today that I FOUND a Flexible Filly grazing muzzle at the local feed store for Ā£10 less than they are selling on line! Yay!
Jealous, they are out stock everywhere I've looked online & nowhere locally has them.

Good luck on the boot camp - I think you've got some great pland that will make a real difference :)
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Jealous, they are out stock everywhere I've looked online & nowhere locally has them.

Good luck on the boot camp - I think you've got some great pland that will make a real difference :)
What size are you after @PePo , is it cob? They have more of them and I could get one for you if you like, but the company tell me they are expecting a delivery today if you can give them a call.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Day 3 of Boot Camp.

Yesterday I was working but lunged at walk and trot for 10 minutes in the morning. Sid's Auntie Carol came in the afternoon and did a more thorough lunge workout at walk, trot and canter and popping a cross pole. He was good. I went to the feed store on the way home and bought a field safe halter for the muzzle because I didn't want to sacrifice my lovely old leather halter that belonged to Ziggy to it.

Today we were going to go for a long hack but it the end it was only long in time because Sid was still quite footy on the road. So I led him until we reached the sand tracks - a VERY SLOW half hour walk up the lane- then hopped on and we walked and trotted for another 40 minutes on the soft sandy going of Farley Heath, he was quite happy, and down to the competition yard. They had a downhill slope that was stony so that was my cue to get off and lead him home, another 15 minutes. When we reached the road, only 300m from his field, he stopped dead and refused to walk on it for about 5 minutes. Eventually I lured him with hogweed and he found that he could walk on it, so that was fine.

Back at the shelter I checked his feet - no stones or visible bruising but the sole is close to the ground at the front - and then fitted his new head collar and the Flexible Fillies muzzle. Here he is modelling it with the temporary ties on:
tempImageB8oHdf.png
tempImage3LoIF8.png

And here it is with the permanent fixings and a fly fringe added. Sid has just figured out what it is, and he's not happy...
tempImagexgu4eg.png

I turned him out in the long grass with Mattie and he flung his head around for a few minutes and then settled to work the problem. He was a pro, of course.

tempImageAYNuOo.png

I might have guessed, I am sure he will have worn one before.

He is getting a bit too much grass at the sides. Fortunately the company provide additional zip ties so I will correct it this evening, but for now it's a gentle way to ease him in to wearing it. He is working hard but on grass like this unmuzzled he would only stop chewing for a few seconds to get another mouthful. With this on it takes him maybe 20 seconds to get enough grass to chew. An improvement, though it'll be better when I've corrected the fit.

Mattie tries not to look smug, but I am sure Sid can hear him giggling!

In other news, a weigh tape should arrive today. I'm not looking forward to that!
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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Addendum to Friday:

Weigh tape arrived. I took Sid off the grass and out of his muzzle after 6 hours. He was very happy to be released! He was 550 on the weigh tape at this point.

I think the muzzle did well. There were only 4 poos in there for 2 horses for 6 hours, and Mattie's grazing is not restricted so I think at least 3 were his! It was still in one piece, too. Remarkable (but about bloody right for something that cot Ā£65).
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Today's work and observations:

weigh tape in the morning after overnight on the track showed 560. After a day in the long grass with the muzzle and lungeing, 540. It seems that the long grass and muzzle are a good option.

Carol lunged him at walk, trot and canter for 20 minutes. He was very good and chilled with her in the shelter afterwards.

I'll keep him on the track tomorrow and let him in to join Mattie on the long grass overnight so he only gets about 8 hours on the track.

ETA skinny old Mattie is 2 inches taller than Sid and 400kg on the weigh tape...
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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This morning a day of rest for Sid. It rained in the night. He spent the night on the track and when I weigh taped him at breakfast time he was 500kgs on the tape.

Why does it vary so enormously? I can't make sense of it. Will start another post on this.
 
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Skib

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I have no idea about horses but as an unhappy regular dieter myself I know that when weighing humans, even first thing in the morning naked and after going to the loo, there is a tolerance of 2 lbs either way.
That is why slimming support organisations ask you to clock your weight only once a week.

With horses one cant ask them to empty their bladder. So there must be a known range for the variation? Thinking of the weight of their droppings too which is largely the water content.

I do wish you well with slimming down if Sid needs it. Maisie was always hungry because native ponies had to forage on poor pasture. I would explain to her that her life depended on being half starved.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Yesterday he didn't do much work at all, Lucinda came with her mother so Sid spent most of 45 minutes in the school being led, petted, and finally ridden for about 20 strides in walk by a very very anxious Lucinda. He was a complete sweetheart and seemed to like her very much, so I'm happy for her to visit and play with him any time.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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No work today as very heavy showers. Doesn't seem that Lucinda will be coming, as her mother sent me the rudest, most unpleasant text to decline the offer of time with Sid. Their loss.
 
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