sprung mare

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rngr
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sprung mare

Postby rngr » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:48 pm

I have an 18 year old mare who has had around 3 colts (not for sure though) but anyway she is so sprung she looks funny. Great great horse and wouldn't think of getting rid of her.
I don't ride her very often or for very long due to a busy busy schedule. She is always the same every time I ride her though no matter how long its been since I've been on her.

My question: how often and how long would it take (if it can be done) to get her so "unsprung" looking?

Not sure how many years ago her last foal was but it was at least 4 years.
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Postby J&T Farm » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:09 pm

Please describe "sprung".
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Postby rngr » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:20 pm

sprung meaning she is round in the belly. Only thing I can compare it to is how a woman gets wider hips from having children.

God I hated to say that because that's going to get me some flack I am sure. :oops:

It's like she needs to be "toned" up but I don't know if it's too late or not.
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Postby J&T Farm » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:25 pm

Well only 3 colts is very few for a horse. Do you think it could just be a grass belly? Lack of exercise and plenty of groceries?
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Postby Alan » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:22 pm

I think J&T is right on the money, if you decide to bring her back do it slow, slow, slow. It would be like me trying to play competitive sports again, I would get sore and lame just tying my shoes. The actual work may ruin me. It will take a lot of work and patience on your part for exercise and diet control.

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Postby rngr » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:56 am

Well I don't think its a grass belly but it may be. She is an easy keeper. She is not fat anywhere else, just her belly is waaaaay round.

I have a big round bale (just put it in about 2 weeks ago) in the feeder that the three of them eat off of plus they all get 1/2 pound of horse chow twice a day and hay in there feeders in the evening. Its just prarie hay so I would think it would be more "filler" than anything. However I have noticed that my 10 year old looks like he is getting a hay belly! Guess thats the last one of those I will feed for awhile. It has been unseasonably warm here though for this time of year.
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Postby Alan » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:52 am

Have you wormd her lately? you also may want a vet to look at her, may be more going on than just "pot belly".

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Postby rngr » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:09 pm

Wormed twice a year. I've been told its from having babies and not being ridden afterwards. And its not a grass belly I don't think. My gelding has a belly and its nothing like her roundness. Looks like she swallowed a giant basketball!

What else would it be?
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Postby TR » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:46 pm

rngr wrote:Wormed twice a year. I've been told its from having babies and not being ridden afterwards. And its not a grass belly I don't think. My gelding has a belly and its nothing like her roundness. Looks like she swallowed a giant basketball!

What else would it be?


Boy, when I see a horse that's not fat anywhere else but in their belly, I take a second look at my worming schedule. Its recommeded that you worm them every 3 or 4 months, rotating wormers as you go. Also, if they're "grazing" on a round bale of low quality hay all day, you're right, that's alot of filler going into their bellies and not much nutrition. They tend to get big bellies and not put on fat or muscle anywhere else.

Like Alan said, it could be something else too. For example, I once had a mare I was working who looked pregnant and was acting studdy....ended up she had an ovarian cyst. Once it was removed, she slimmed back down and was fine.

Barring any other physical ailment such as the above, it sounds like your mare may also be out of shape from having babies and not being worked like your friend said. Mine is that way right now too, and she's perfectly healthy, wormed every 4 months.....she jiggles when she runs more than I do! :)

If that's the case and you want to put some condition on her, you may want to take Alan's suggestion to heart, and start her very, very slowly in a round pen or on a lounge line. Maybe 3 minutes tops each way at a fast trot or lope for a week or so and work your way up from there. Remember to warm her up before and cool her down afterwards. Without seeing this mare and from your description of her, I would venture to say that this would be an every day deal and expect it to take around 60 days or so to put her back in fairly good condition. The only issue with that is in order for her to keep her condition, you're going to have to keep on working her.
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Postby rngr » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:37 am

TR,

Oh yeah when she runs or trots boy her belly just jiggles. I'm going to worm all of them today and then again in 3 months and start that schedule.

I think I will talk to my vet about this as well. She looks like she is pregnant and about to give birth any day! Dang I hope its not some sort of physical ailment. Not worried about money but worried about her well being as she is such a great companion.
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Postby tapeworm » Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:35 am

Thats a good idea to talk to your vet about her..but Tr gave you good advice to. Sounds like a hay and water belly to me...are you sure she only had 3 colts??
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Postby J&T Farm » Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:14 pm

Are you sure there wasnt a snake in the wood pile about 10 months ago?
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Postby rngr » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:44 pm

I have had her for 2 years and before that I knew who had her for 2 years. So I have been around her for four years and she has always had this belly. Not sure but we think 3 colts maybe more, unknown.

LOL, no snake in the wood pile for sure. Unless she has been pregnant for all this time. LOL
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Postby milkmaid » Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm

She's 18. You can't make an old horse look like a young filly all over again... I know a 22 y/o gelding with a barrel like that, and he's wormed every 6-8 weeks, given a balanced feed ration, not fat, and been worked hard his whole life. Looks like he's going to foal any day now. :shock: :lol:
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Postby Alan » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:09 pm

While I agree that you can't make an 18 yr old horse look like a young filly again, I believe that you can bring her back into good enough shape to look like a younger horse in good shape.

That's just my opinion, and assumming the mare isn't suffering from a physical ailment that cannot be corrected, ie; cancer ect. If I had the challenge of bringing this horse back here is what I would do.

1. Get her on a good worming schedule, rotating wormers (which you have already done).

2. Get her to a equine Vet, not just a large animal Vet, some one who specializes in equine medicine. Not a knock on large animal vets, but a vet specialized in an area is always better than a general Vet, haul her if you need to. Have the Vet do an exam, draw blood for a complete blood test, this well check a lot of the organs and their functioning, also give the Vet a direction on things such as cancer, kidney failure etc. Also have the Vet anilyze a fecal sample and check the heart (they should check the heart anyway in the exam, but explain that if she checks out okay you'll start working her and want to make sure the heart is up to it).

3. Assuming she checks out okay, start working her slowly, as stated a few times already. I would work her about 5 minutes a day (unless she is struggling then stop sooner), this is after you have warmed her up, make sure you cool her out after, walk her until she stops breathing hard. Do this 5 times a week giving her 2 days off. Increase her work out time every week.

4. Control her diet, at first cut the hay back a little and start increasing the grain slowly every week, as you are with her work out times. Don't let her free graze at first, your trying to work off some of the belly. You can give her some Alfalfa and Vitimins. You can also add corn or soy oil. When you have her working a solid 15 or 20 minutes a day then you can put her back to free grazing and/or more hay. Max the grain at about 3/4 of a coffee can twice a day, again, bring her to that level slowly. The alfafa will help with a hay belly also, but it may make her too hot, it effects horses differently, some can handle it and stay calm others go nuts. Make sure she has minerals.

There are different ways to make her work harder in a shorter amount of time, riding will work her harder that work in a round pen or longe line. There is also ways to increase different areas of her muscle mass, ie; hip or back. Working in a trot will build muscle quicker than working in lope. But that's a long way down the road, right now if she checks out with the Vet, she needs work, just excercise to get her in shape, don't worry about doing it in a trot or lope, just do it.

I have a 11 year old brood mare who is on her 7th foal now, she is in great shape and a great ride between foals, with luck she will have 7 more.

Sounds like a fun and difficult challange for you, I you decide to do it good luck, if you decide to leave her alone I'm sure she has a great home and will be just as happy not working out.

JMO
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