About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Body weight/shape over the last 7 months

I wouldn't say Laz is a hard keeper, but he isn't an easy keeper.
He can gain weight, yet he can loose it quickly if I don't watch it.
He requires a LOT of hay to keep him going
If I watch his intake, bump it up on colder days and balance with his BP during winter, I can maintain a pretty even weight (visually) on him.

Let's take a look...

Looking great, but still ribby/bony/thin top line. 
Maybe due to nutrition/diet/lack of 'real' exercise
I know typically OTTBS are a ribbier horse but I do want some fat layer along his rib cage...slight not padding
 Our first day at new barn-SEPT 2011

 Middle of SEPT 2011
tummy goes POUF

Beginning of OCT 2011
Looking perfect in my eyes..I think this is the best he's ever looked.
He was on full pasture with additional hay

End of OCT 2011
Looking a bit lean..lost weight in neck, base of tail, behind shoulders
We were riding A LOT, grass was changing, and I had yet to up his hay

Beginning of NOVEMEBER 2011
upped his hay and upped his BP amount to 3 cups (dry)
 End of NOV 2011
Looking better, whew...gained it back quickly

Looked good in my eyes..yes, I see he has a bigger fiber belly...

JAN 2012
Little thicker, but also FUZZ HAIR BALL so it can be deceiving
I was OK with some extra fat layering being I left him naked

 FEB 2012
Depending on how he is holding himself, he will have a belly...
 Or tucks it up..
Both above photos were taken on the same day

I've been very happy with his weight and hope to start to tighten him up as he feet can tolerate it!

What do you look for in your horse to make you comfortable with their weight?


  1. Pie is rotund any time of the year. Foggy and Sovey would be happy to look even 1/2 as healthy as Laz in any of those photos. They are not interested in eating at all. Sovey is interested in dumping water buckets and Foggy is interested in eating ONLY if I am holding the lead rope. He is a very anxious puppy who likes me with him at all times which is impossible. Both brothers will graze and eat happily with their eyes closed if I hold their lead. What kind of monsters did I create?

    I think your Laz looks good and round.

  2. Dolly was never a show horse, so her weight was never too big of an issue. Both my mares got a little chunky right before winter this year. I was away at college and didn't see my girls, so I couldn't let my BM know they were too fat. But Dolly is only 950lbs (ideally) so it's easy to get the weight off of her.

    Roxy on the other hand is almost too easy of a keeper. Roxy gains weight very quickly, and carries it all in her neck. She foundered once in her neck, and now she's super cresty. For pleasure/equ I liked to see her around 1,175lbs, for gymkhana closer to 1,100 is good. I like my horses a little on the lean side in general though.

    1. GE; have you had Roxy tested for IR? It sounds like she is especially if she has a cresty neck and did she founder, you say? May be worth a blood test to see, and then you can lean out her nutritional needs to keep her balanced with weight. :)

  3. Laz is looking healthy and happy! :-)
    Salem was a tiny bit ribby/hippy when he got here (I'm sure it was next to impossible keeping weight on him through the Chicago winter!). I do like my boy to be a bit more on the well-rounded side, with a nice layer over those ribs and hips. I've also noticed that his neck has filled out very nicely and his topline is more developed, which I'm loving. I would still like some more muscle on him, especially his back-end, but that will come with time and work.

    1. I can NOT get Laz's neck to fill out...I'm hoping as his hooves get better/better he will start using body more correctly and that will come into play.

    2. Lol, I am SUCH a fan of big fat dolphin-crest warmblood-stallion-cut-late necks! So I was beyond thrilled when a recent visitor to our barn first mistook Salem for a Warmblood (although TBs are WAY better, of course) who was cut late because she thought his neck looked really thick! Totally made my day! I think the mohawk helps it appear even thicker than it actually is, but it has definitely filled out a LOT lately. Not sure how, but I am very pleased with it.

    3. LOL on dolphin crest WB neck...seriously funny.

  4. I've not been too fond of his topline, but that's probably just because he's been out of work so long. Overall, I think he looks best in the October 2011 pic, except for the skinny neck (it took me a loooong time to get my skinny Clyde's neck in shape!).

    What kind of diets would you consider for Laz? Is he only on beet pulp? I've had great success with Performance Pack fat supplements.

    1. DHF-Laz has 8 flakes of Tim/low Alf hay mix a day-split into twice a day. Some days I throw out extra 3-6 flakes for horses (on cold days). He gets 3 cups (presoaked BP) about 4 days a week, with Jiaogulan herb, salt, spirulina and MSM. He gets 2x a day 3 cups of TC L/S with flax and concentrated mineral supplements as well. No I have not considered Performance Pack fat supps; if it's the one I'm thinking of, it's 100% vegetable fat in a powder form...Laz is not underweight like that to be on something like this, in my opinion.

  5. Interesting! I want more weight on my old man Rascal, but even though he looks anorexic he is healthy, and for that I am thankful, but still...his ribs and hips are clearly visible, ever since his stroke almost 2yrs ago now. *sigh*
    I think Ta'ceyewi will be an easier/normal keeper, which will be nice as all the others are hard. Right now he has some slight rib showing, but he is in the middle of a growth spurt (Yay!!! He is a super late bloomer! Poor little accidental/uncared for foal that he was). Bailey, grr, she literally eats nonstop at the hay bags, and I have tried bp, rice bran, flax, TC senior etc and her weigh doesn't change. It is weird. It is just the very top of her ribs that show, but the rest of her looks down right fat. The vet and trainer agree it is a lack of muscling issue, which will be fixed soon w/ training I hope.
    Oh, and the fat neck?? Huge fan. Rascal is a Morab, so he has a nice neck, Mo, my old man that passed 1 1/2 yrs ago was a WB/Drafty cross- fab neck! Bailey? Typical TB neck. And I may or may not have considered waiting to geld Ta'ceyewi for that very purpose! I didn't, he was gelded at 7-8months when I got Bailey. No accidents please! His neck right now is very ewe-y, but this is the first time it has been so I think that is a growth stage.
    Geez I am long winded on you blog! Sorry!

  6. There's such a huge difference between muscle and fat and I think a lot of horse owners have a hard time telling the difference. Take Laz's neck for example, he's not in consistent work, nor is his able to properly use his top line or abs so he has a thin looking neck. That's totally OK for what you are doing with him though! To feed him more calories to try and make his neck bigger would be doing Laz a disservice (as I'm sure you know). I love a strong muscular neck, but a fat one, ugh, no thanks.

    Fat is not just a little extra cushioning that keeps our animals warm and makes them look happy and loved. It actually serves as an endocrine organ in it's own right and excretes hormones. Not only that, but it also serves to create a pro-inflammatory state in the body! Plus there is always the issue of extra weight on a chronic lameness issue... extra fat is as inert and innocuous as most people think.

    Like most people I don't like horses to look ribby, but much more fat then that is probably not doing them any favors. I try to keep my horse as light as possible to take the load off his legs, my goal is generally not to see ribs when he's standing around but if he takes a SUPER deep breath and I can see a faint outline, that doesn't worry me.

    It's hard to tell with his winter coat, but I think Laz looks pretty good where he's at now! Hopefully you be able to get a little bit of his muscle back in time too.

    1. Thanks Jessica :) Yes, I agree..there is that fine line where I want a little fat for protection should he get sick and need a little cushion as he drops lbs so quickly, vs him being TOO large especially with his lameness issues. Today, during our lunge, I saw a bit of 'shaking' on his sides and laughed. He's a bit fluffy. In fact, in my best Borat voice I shouted at him "Your a FAT!" He's heavier than I what..I intend to get it off him, while slowly muscling him up as he can handle it. My hopes are his neck muscles will come with him being able to use back/stomach properly as you pointed out. I'll see what I will feed, feed wise, come spring grass...eeks, anxiety anyone? ;)