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Discuss What does a healthy horse look like? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

I brought this up in another thread. We all have different opinions on what is ...
  1. #1
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    Jennie'sPassion's Avatar
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    Question What does a healthy horse look like?

    I brought this up in another thread. We all have different opinions on what is healthy weight depending on what type of horse we have and what we do with them. A race track TB is going to look thin/skinny compared to a working QH.

    This is a chance for our members to show other members our healthy horses and what we consider to thin and to heavy. We have members that just don't understand or don't want to understand the difference between thin and starving.

    So show me your healthy horses and why you consider them healthy. Also tell me what you feed them so we get an idea.

    Sunshine my mare...5 year old QH cross. She is my weekend warrior/trail horse.

    She has free choice hay and 2 cups beet bulp (soaked) and one cup 12 % pellet twice a day. Just enough to keep her gentle. I also give apples as treats.



    I don't consider her fat but she is fluffy now. I can feel her ribs and she has a nice healthy coat, shiny eyes, and great feet.

    Blacky my gelding....14 yr old grade racking horse. He is also a weekend warrior/trail horse.



    He is on the same diet as Sunshine except I do give him a supplement of biotin because his feet are prone to cracks and he is older.

    I don't consider him fat either.

    Both of my horses could use some muscle tone and need to get in riding shape but they are both healthy, they have had thier shots and coggins for this year and according to my vet are doing great.


    Tell me about your healthy horses...
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    A healthy horse is where you cannot visibly see the ribs, but can feel them easily.

    race horses have MINIMAL fat coverage....the lowest they should be is a 4.5....ribs can be seen barely

    Other than that, breeds in those areas, muscle tone, play a huge part in how they "look"

    This horse is Obese.....


    Blister pushing a BCS of 5.5-6



    The tail head with very little fat/muscle coverage..usually seen in BCS of 3 and below...




    Blister at a 4-4.5 with minimal fat/muscle coverage.....



    Here is where blister USUALLY looks like weight wise....
    Last edited by Blistering Winds; 04-03-2007 at 03:10 PM.
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

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    How I look at Misty.

    Overweight. And in desperate need of some muscle. She is very hairy in these pictures though.

    Overall I'd say she is healthy (but she could still loose pounds- lots of them) In summer she has a very shiney coat that is slick too. Never had a problem with her hooves either.

    She gets grass hav in winter (free access) and access to good pasture 24/7 in summer. This summer to shed the pounds and gain muscle I'm planning on doing lots of long trotting/ general riding as well as abit of hill wok

    **Also if you'd like to critique her condition I will be making a thread in the critique section
    Last edited by faroutfax; 04-03-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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    Senior Member+ paso4ever's Avatar
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    Healthy horse shouldnt see their ribs or withers shouln't be extremely boney and the facial bones shouldnt be sticking out completely, unless its an older horse this is sprout and he is pretty healther, could lose a few lbs though
    Wings, who needs them?? i ride a Paso!

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    Considering my inspiration for this thread, I would rather see a horse packing afew extra pounds than skinny any day. Once you start a riding routine extra weight is easier to get off than dealing with a horse that needs to gain 100 pounds or more.

    Thanks everyone...horses look great...keep them coming.
    Keep Moving Forward!

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    Senior Member+ Kizza's Avatar
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    Ace. If anything, she is actually on the skinny side. You can see her ribs just a little in the right light and her hips do stick out a bit more than they should imo.
    However she HAS just done a full season's hunting (her first full season), so that's expected - I would honestly be VERY surprised if she'd gone all of the hunting that she has and not dropped any weight at all.
    Muscle wise, she is probably the best she has ever been and looking GREAT. She looks a whole lot better than when we first got her!



    Dinah is the same as Ace, but she is just a little skinnier. She has done a lot of hunting but has actually managed better this year than previously, so she's not got as much to get back on before she'll be looking AWESOME.


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    Senior Member+ Racket's Avatar
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    Well, pretty much my OTTB has been a hard keeper. In winter he is just right for weight but in summer it all melts away and I have to up the feed or else I can see his ribs.
    But I wonder, usually TB's have a decent amount of fat/muscle on their whithers and mine doesn't honestly I can see the little bumps like vertebrae.
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