Woah.. look at the difference! :S

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Lauren, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    I never thought Bess had any sort of muscle at all..
    These photos kind of indicate differently.

    When she was in work a few weeks back


    The other day


    Look at how much her back has dropped!

    Using lots and lots of padding and doing very light work (mostly lunging to build some muscle before I put weight on her back) and when I do ride I stay in 2 point so I'm not on her back..

    Even just underneath her spine it looks so wasted?
    She looks skinnier in the recent photos though she's actually gained 60kg.
    Slightly worrying.. will it get better?
    Is it just me or has her back really dropped?
  2. nag

    nag Well-known Member

    i think she dropped fair bit lauren
  3. I agree with nag. I think this horse needs more feed otherwise she'll snap under you lauren.
  4. BugEye

    BugEye Active Member

    Try using a supplement that is high in chromium as it is a natural anabolic steroid that converts the fat in the diet to muscle. Feed foods high in fat like soya bean meal and equi jewel but remember to do it safely it takes time. Also give her 2 doses of wormers a week apart using different active ingredients like equamax and a zole based product
  5. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I would get Bowen or a chiro to come and see her as well Lauren. Sometime a 'sway' like that can be caused by sacro-illiac problems or other back related issues.

    Davrac has given good advice as well.
  6. springbok

    springbok Well-known Member

    How old is Bess and what feed is she on? What has changed between those photos to cause the condition loss? Yes, her back has dropped but she appears an older horse and older horses can change condition very quickly. It also looks like she is standing on lower ground with her front end in 2 of those photos so might appear worse than she is.

    Still, it looks like her energy use > amount of feed she is getting - how are you measuring her weight?

    Up the feed before getting her in too much more work as she needs the energy and nutrients to be able to build muscle back. She'll need lots of slow work and if you have any, hill work to put the muscle back on but build it up slowly.

    I assume she's healthy ie. eating up, been wormed, not holding sand etc., sound etc?
  7. notickets

    notickets Well-known Member

    Just a note- the first photos have much less shadowing than the second so the after will look a lot harsher. On saying that she does still look like she has dropped a bit of muscle.
  8. Ali

    Ali Well-known Member

    Wow, she really has dropped!! I'd be tempted to be doing work in hand and on the lunge before doing any ridden work if she were mine, less pressure on the back. A treatment of bowen would do her good and give you some idea of what is going on.
  9. sil

    sil Gold Member

    Her back has dropped, as opposed to losing weight. You can't feed a horse to fix that!
  10. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    I dont think her back has dropped.

    its just she has lost fat & some muscle around her withers & ass.{ hips.} that makes it look like she has.
    I'm with sil...you cant feed to "fix" a sway back- but you can strenghten it, by long & low work.
    At least she's be a nice ride. **)

    Whats her breeding ?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  11. Katt13

    Katt13 Well-known Member

    Correct me if im wrong but to build this muscle back up she needs feed and then introduce working correctly?
  12. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    How old is she, as she has that typical saggy back of an older girl! No work or special feeding will ever reverse that.:}:))
  13. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    I believe she is 22...is that correct lauren...I know you were worried about her losing muscle on her spell...just shows how important work is to the oldies! It will get better...The feeds suggested like ffs and such are higher in protein, and protein builds muscle, so with the correct work she will pick up again (at least to how she was)...Just continue with some of your lunging and yes gentle long and low and hill work...and I know you guys love the beach, and in this weather that will help to:)
  14. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    She is 22 I believe.. not 100% on that though.

    The difference between the first photo and the last is that she was being regularly ridden, out eventing, had just done an endurance ride. She's been on holidays for the last 3 months (been rode 3 times in that entire time).. I don't think it's weight loss as if anything her feed has increased.. her gut is also pretty big. She is regularly wormed (every 6 weeks last wormed 2 weeks ago).. I don't believe she's got sand in her gut she's in a grass paddock however I will get her drenched just in case. She has had numerous sessions of chiro before her holiday however I'm planning on getting a bowen lady out. Her saddle is also professionally fitted.

    She's happy as ever being back in work but yes I'm worried that her back has dropped that much :(
  15. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Always licks her bowls clean.. has a huge appetite :p

    I was using weigh tape.. however I know it's not 100% accurate but even just with the girth, it's down quite a few holes than what it normally is.

    She getting at the moment
    3x 2L scoops of Oaten Chaff
    1x 2L scoop of Whole lupins (dry weight)
    1/2 x 2L scoop of Speedibeet
    1 Cup Full Fat Soya

    That's twice a day (so double all of that)..
    She also gets 6kg of Oaten Hay
    Canola Oil

    In a grass paddock which isn't filled with grazing but does have some.

    Do I need to up it? What should I be changing?
  16. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Her back may have dropped a bit but I do agree with that other person who posted that the way she's standing (front feet on lower ground) is making it look worse than it is. Her top line will also have dropped away with the lack of work.
    Unfortunately as they get older, the dropping of the back is just the natural progression of things.
    Keep the feed up to her Lauren. As she comes back into work she's going to need plenty of protein to feed the muscles. FFS is good or maybe a product like Topon DX Forte might be beneficial.
    You can't reverse the aging process but you can help her by keeping as good a top line on her as possible and supporting the muscles with good feeding.
    You said your saddle has been fitted by a professional and that's great ... just keep and eye on it (and the packing you use) as she's going to be changing all the time.
    Lunging in a nice round frame with regular stretching is good to strengthen her back before hopping on but don't overdo it. Lots of lunging is not good for a horse with arthritic joints. The key will be finding the right balance :p
    When you're back on board just be mindful of how long you sit on her for at a time and avoid sit trot. Maybe even for the first few weeks try and stay a little out of the saddle in canter too. Support yourself on you stirrups for a while.
    Good luck :))

    Editted to add I just saw you posted her diet while I was typing and it looks like she's gets plenty of FFS.
    Can I ask why you don't feed lucerne ? Lucerne is a handy source amino acids and crude protein.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011
  17. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Sheerem suggested doing lots of stretching with her on the ground using carrots so I've been doing that each night.
    I've also been lunging as much as I can with really loose side reins on. I never sit trot on her haha.. but yep as I said in original post I'm trying to stand in 2 point off her back for 99% of the ride.. and no canter work under saddle mostly walking with little trots in straight lines.. she's actually the nicest she's ever been to ride atm.. stretching right down in walk and trot :)

    I've actually never fed lucerne to any of my horses.. it heats Red.
    I'll buy a bag and give it a try.. some foods do heat her up.
    I've also been told to try whey powder as it helps build muscle?

    A few have suggested getting Jess out from Equestricare so just about to message her.
  18. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    LOL I've never not fed lucerne :p
    Lucerne does contain more protein and energy that other cereal hays so if may heat some horses up but it might be worth a try.
    If feeding her the chaff doesn't cause any problems then maybe buy a bale of lucerne hay and swap a biscuit for the equivalent of the oaten.
    For memory Topon contains a fair percentage of whey powder anyway and it's definitely cheaper to just feed the whey instead !!

    And a big **) to Jess from Equestricare :))
  19. TB4Me

    TB4Me Well-known Member

    Also, just for the future, older horses tend to do better if kept in work - it's hard on them to have breaks and then start work again. I know you're still a teen so this might have been outside your control :)
  20. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    I have an oaten hay roll which I just pull 3kg of at a time (she gets a bag morning and night)..

    I know it'd be more expensive but I'd probably be better of feeding Lucerne chaff than hay as we don't have a float or a big car, so we can only transport 1 bale of hay at a time..

    I'll go down the road and get some Topon and Lucerne when Mum gets home. Is there anything else I should be looking at changing in her diet?

    Poor baby.. I feel really, really bad :(
    Especially as I'm so heavy, can't be nice to carry me around and I'm sure my weight doesn't do her back any good :(

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