Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Signs Your Horse Needs to Go on a Diet

1. He rolls in the dust and can't get back up
2. Endurance riders ask if they can ride laps around him
3. Your farrier arrives with a back brace and an engine hoist
4. Friends ask, "when did you get the pregnant mare?"
5. Meat buyers stop by your farm "just to chat"
6. He tries to nip your foot while riding, but can't bend that far
7. When trotting, he leaves hoof impressions in hard pavement
8. You have to grease the stall door to lead him out
9. On a hot day, other horses rest in his shade
10. Your girth is actually two girths and tie-down winch strap
11. You can't longe him because he leaves ruts in the round pen
12. He gets in the trailer, and the truck tips upwards
13. You start to become bow-legged after two rides
14. Your neighbor says an escaped hippo is in your pasture
15. Your vet wants to try the world's first equine liposuction

16. You can't canter, because people complain about the thundering noise

17. He becomes breathless after looking at a hot walker

18. Rather than attempt to pass you on trails, people just turn around

19. While riding, you start to pay attention to weight capacity signs on bridges

All hilarity aside, obesity in horses is even more dangerous than obesity in humans. Be sure to check for fat pockets, excess sweating and heavy breathing while working, and other signs of obesity. One of the easiest ways to tell if a horse is overweight is by standing behind him and looking at this backbone. It should be a slight hill, not a shallow valley:

Unfortunately, this isn't a fool-proof test. A horse can still have a normal looking backbone and still be overweight, especially if he has metabolic issues-- the fat tends to collect in different places. You also shouldn't trust a weight tape-- they're not very accurate, especially for longer-bodied horses and horses with big butts/necks. A measurement taken in one place does NOT give you the whole picture. Here's one example of that, in human form:

How did she even fit in....? You know what, I don't wanna know. LOL, People of Walmart is a funny site, but I'm not linking to it because it has so many viruses and ads. Go get the book instead :)  Here's a nice diagram (not made by me) about where fat deposits tend to collect on a horse:

...now get out there, and give your buddy some exercise!

1 comment:

  1. Here are some more-
    You set down your brush but it floats up caught in your horse's gravitational pull
    You go to get your horse and find small animals, birds and the local pony caught orbit around your horse

    Your horse gives a whole new meaning to "you need 40 acres to turn your rig IE horse around".

    When you trail ride you have to have two other riders with lights and banners on their horses, to go ahead and behind you with the words "Wide Load"

    You have to have a CDL to ride your horse.
    Richards Simons writes and says he refuses to work your horse out.
    Your BIG horse is the only horse in your barn, eventually (nibble nibble).
    You buy a big round bale and it lasts 2 days.
    Good Year called saying that they have received phone calls about a lost blimp, but they have all of theirs. But they also say they can out fit your horse with radials.
    and last but not least
    When you get on your horse, a flight/train attendant shows up to show you the emergency exits