Mar 19, 2012

Getting in Shape


BB and NEW MARE 084


I keep looking and Fancy and thinking she just doesn’t look as good as she did when we got her last October (picture above).  Granted, she wasn’t much more than a pasture pet for almost a year prior to when we brought her home and I would expect some weight loss just from an increased workload, change of environment, hay, etc.  But because she is now working, I would also like to see her starting to tone up. 


Photo Mar 16, 4 59 13 PM


We keep our horses on round grass bales 24/7 right now.  We also supplement with alfalfa.  But I don’t typically grain the herd; usually only Windy when I would start preparing her for the ride season and sometimes Ginger when we would start conditioning her for big trips.  We have never had a problem with our horses maintaining weight (as you have seen with Blue and Butter) and our riding horses have always looked good. 


Photo Mar 16, 5 01 17 PM


But Fancy’s coat is dull.  It doesn’t feel good to the touch where the others have soft hair.  They are all starting to lose their winter fur and you can feel the new growth coming in.  I told a friend that Fancy’s coat felt like hair after chemo.  Course, brittle and falling out.  She has lost some weight in her stomach.  I also think through her neck.  I would also like to see her hips taking better form and they almost seem hollow.  I don’t know…. maybe I am just being too critical. 


Photo Mar 16, 5 01 47 PM


I took some advice from a friend and also had a discussion with Nutrena on their Facebook page.  We have put Fancy on a full can of Safe Choice each day.  They also recommended a Nutrena supplement booster but I had already purchased Purina Amplify which was close to the same, so will use that in addition to the Safe Choice.  The pictures above were taken when I started this new feeding program on March 16.  I am told I should see a difference in about 14 days, so I will take more shots at month’s end.


Photo Mar 16, 5 04 52 PM


I also started Windy on Safe Choice.  Not as large of a serving and I am not including the Amplify because I don’t really think she needs any weight gain.   I think she has good weight right now but I am increasing her miles as the weather warms.  Look at the difference in her coat compared to Fancy’s.  It just looks healthier.  They are built a lot the same way, but Windy’s hip and neck are more filled out.  Realizing that I put close to 700 miles on her every year, it should be, but I guess I am striving for Fancy to look similar as we continue to bring her along. 


(Oh, and for the record, the horses are not tied to the panel fencing.  The rope is just thrown over the rungs.  Either of them could walk away from it at any time.  Only mentioning this because I’d hate for the Fugly-folks to try to out me for tying unsafely.) Winking smile




  1. One of our three always had a lousy coat. Hairs breaking off under the pad, no shine. We started adding a tea spoon of flax oil to the morning ration of beet pulp and WOW. Nice hair!


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  3. Thanks, Bill. If I don't see improvement in 2 weeks, I'll add that to the mix. The sorrel that we lost, Ginger, always had a beautiful coat. We bought Fancy in the fall and her winter coat was already in. I have been most anxious to see her when she sheds out, but now I am worried. :\

  4. Armchair vets are kind of like backseat drivers, but at the risk of being really annoying... have you had her teeth checked? Could be just a matter of being at the bottom of the pecking order and not getting as much of a chance at the round bale, or that she has a higher metabolism and is burning through the hay a bit faster - summer grass may make a huge difference.

    Regardless, I bet she's loving the grain! I'll be interested to see the difference the Purina makes. I've heard it's really good.

  5. I'm sure the new feed and supplements will help. We've got one horse that looks like her in winter but his summer coat is beautiful and shiny. She may just need some extras to get her back in shape. Good luck.

  6. Funny how you have to mention that they are not tied to the panels because you know someone will zero in on that! lol

    All of my guys look like that right now and I am not happy. I know they are not wormy because I had fecal egg counts done on them right before we left Virginia and had their teeth checked. I think it's my new grain. I am using the Tractor Supply brand of sweet feed. In Virginia I used the Southern State brand of sweet feed, Select, and they absolutely thrived. I was thrilled because it's cheap. I was looking for something comparable. I can't afford the expensive name brands right now. I've had to increase it and I still don't like how they look. I'm going to investigate something else.

    I can see what you're saying. A lot of people wouldn't catch that because she's not poor but she's not great. You have a good eye and so you will nip it in the bud. Have you had a fecal egg count done? Maybe it's just that she's a harder keeper and the grain will solve the problem.


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