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Discuss How to get rid of a hay belly???!!!! at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Hey there, ok so my gelding is turning 6 and i want to start showing ...
  1. #1
    Full Member SongofBlaze's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Manitoba, Canada

    How to get rid of a hay belly???!!!!

    Hey there, ok so my gelding is turning 6 and i want to start showing him this summer, he has a huge hay belly and i have no idea how to get rid of it. I think the problem is that he is only on hay in a big pasture with about 15 other horses. He is quite dominant and get tons of food whenever. There are days when they don't have food and other day's when they have tons and tons. Other wise he is in good shape, lots of muscle and conditioned very well. It is also winter here so im not sure if that has to do with anything.
    Any suggestions that would be great!


  2. #2
    Senior Member+
    Jennie'sPassion's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    My suggestion is to ride him/work him. Horses do gain weight in winter due to lack of exercise. Like people they usually tone up and lose weight with increased activity. I know I don't ride much when it is cold but have faith spring is around the corner...
    Keep Moving Forward!

  3. #3
    Senior Member+
    ejforrest's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    U.P. Michigan
    Is the horse on a good deworming program? Parasites will cause a "hay belly". If he is so dominate, maybe he should be seperated so the others can get food. What do you mean there are days that they get "tons" of food but other days no food? This isnt healthy. I am surprised you dont have more health problems. You should be consistant with feeding. Horses are natural grazers. There digestive systmes are set up to take in small meals "frequently" throughout the day. Not gorge, then go hungry. This can cause ulcers. The stomach needs to be lined with feed most of the time to keep the acid down and to help the good bacteria.
    Information on deworming:
    Parasite Control Program for Mature Horses:

    "A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence".

  4. #4
    Senior Member+
    Shotgun93's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Southwest SD
    I would re-evaluate your feed program, and make sure that all of these horses are bring properly dewormed and getting the right amount of feed.
    In the quiet light of the stable, you hear a muffled snort, the stamp of a hoof, a friendly nicker. Gentle eyes inquire, "How was your day old friend?" and suddenly, all your troubles fade away.

    -Author Unknown

  5. #5
    Full Member SongofBlaze's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Manitoba, Canada
    he is on a good program for worming, and the owners of the stable place out hay bales mostly big ones, so one day they get the bale then eat all of it and the next day they don't get one. I think that is how it goes. It's just like sometimes i go out and they have hay and other times they don't. im not sure if by the time i get there they already ate all the hay but i have no idea what goes on.I should probably talk to the owners about it and see what they say.

    All their lesson horses are healthy, some are quite plump but none of them have any health problems.

    So i'm not sure, thanks for your responses and i hope spring is just around the corner because it sucks to ride in the cold!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    i_luv_wildfire's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    At the barn
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    Yeah, my question would be why aren't they getting food every day? Horses don't understand "If you eat all of this now, you can't have more later." That's just not how their mind works. They see food, and they're going to eat it. So I would see what's going on with the feeding situation-after all, he's your horse, so you should have control of what and when he's being fed. Good luck.
    equestrian sports...

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    eat. sleep. ride.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
    It would be one thing if they had pasture also, but being in Canada, they probably can't even forage for a little grass. I do agree that seperating your gelding is the best bet, or setting the hay in more than one location.

  8. #8
    Full Member Dilligaf's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Isle Of Bute, Scotland, Uk
    dont want this to sound as if am having a go at anyone or taking sides or beginning an arguement etc...i do just want to post my experience/comment on the subject

    i used to keep my horse 12 miles away from my house at a riding centre where i used to work and the horses there also got a big round bale of hay put into the field one day and then didnt get another for the next 3 and they where all extremely healthy. We rarely had the vet out for a horse, and as it was a riding centre as well all the horses had to have a "MOT" every year to make sure they were all fit to work. Everyone passed, we only retired 1 pony when i was there and that was the bosses daughters pony who has a heart murmur.
    I personally always made sure my own horse had enough food at all time, it is harder to do if there are loads of horses in the same field. We had 30+ horses in the field for a week as we were worming them on a 5-day herbal wormer. (We used to keep them a couple of miles down the road in a 42 acre field and just go and the get them if we needed them.) But i do know it is wrong for horses not to have food in the field for days. These were all being put out in the field last thing at night and being fetched in at sun-rise (trust me on the sun-rise bit i drew the short straw and was doing them all every morning on my own in the dark!) and getting fed twice a day..

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