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Date Posted: 10:35:32 05/11/10 Tue
Author: Molly
Subject: What I feed
In reply to: Cat 's message, "Diet / suggested feed" on 15:33:25 04/29/10 Thu

>Hi all:
>I have had my gelding now for 2.5 years and he just
>turned 7. My question is about typical body structure
>and the filling out of a Friesian as they reach full
>maturity at around 8 years of age. He has changed so
>much in build that I am getting worried I am not
>feeding him properly and possibly too much.
>My gelding is about 163 / or 16 hh and he is very
>stocky with a compact, baroque build (look at Feitse
>his grandpa and you will see his twin). I get varied
>remarks from people that he is just a big horse to fat
>but my vet says that he is fine (only slightly
>overweight) and that people like Friesians this way.
>However, I am only interested in his health but at the
>same time I do not want to starve him either. I guess
>it does not help that another Friesian stands across
>from him and is of the sporty build, nearing 17 hh and
>has no belly whatsoever at 5 years of age. My
>Friesian looks like a pony next to him :) with a bit
>of a hay belly.
>He is on a strict worming schedule, his coat is jet
>black and shiney so it is not worms; his bedding is
>straw which I know he eats.
>1/4 cup of Hypona 788 (mixed sweet feed)
>hay measured out acording to the groom (maybe 1 flake
>but it varies)
>1/4 cup Hypona
>Hay measured out by groom (same as above)
>1/4 cup Hypona
>no more than 5 carrots as a treat, alternated with 1
>apple or bit of banana but not everyday
>1 hay cube (about size of hand - pre-packaged from
>Hypona) to help against ulcers (should this be
>He will be going out on pasture soon (we started the
>daily hand grazing) so it would be good to get a
>headstart on this now.
>He is lightly excercised about 5 times per week and
>goes in the walking machine every day. I just
>returned from holiday and noticed his belly went down
>a bit but someone was riding him almost everyday while
>I was gone. I am not sure if I can keep up with this
>type of schedule though.
>Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Well, it sounds like the sweet feed is really just a token amount. Are you giving vitamin/mineral supplement? Your guy sounds like a super easy keeper- I think those are the hardest to manage.

For what it's worth, I feed my gelding (16 hands, not baroque but not sports either) 2 quarts hydrated beet pulp (2 cups non-sweetened beet pulp pellets soaked in 8 cups water), 1/2 cups min-e-vite lite, 1/2 cup blue seal sentinel performance LS for excitement, and 1/2 cup oil. He gets this twice a day, along with about 20 pounds of hay a day which I am reducing as he is getting out on grass.

Maybe that will give you some ideas? to me, it sounds like your guy gets hardly anything. You might want to consider a magnesium supplement, which is useful with insulin resistant horses. At the least, get a second opinion from another vet. And of course, more exercise is always good.

Another suggestion is to compare your gelding's picture to other geldings with the same build. I would also suggest sending a picture of him in to a reputable breeder and asking an opinion. They would be able to give you some guidance as to his condition/weight.

Good luck & send an update!

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