Topics

Controlling Diet

Manon
 

Hello All,

I need some advice about diet management. Danny lives on a private farm owned by a friend of mine. He has a perfect setup in most ways. 24-7 access to a large sand riding arena which is maintained daily and provides comfortable footing for him. His stall is huge for a pony-16x16 with stall mattress system. So, all good in terms of movement and footing for a guy with a laminitis history.

My issue is that my friend is a person who overfeeds out of love. I have always had Danny using a nibble net with pony sized holes, even when he was a show barn. In his current setup, he and the other horse have the nets in their stalls. The other horse is a large warmblood and has a horse sized net. I’m addition, my friend puts hay boxes in the arena. She believes this encourages them to move around more. The hay boxes have netting on top but the holes are huge. Danny, like most ponies, is pretty smart. Given the option, he will choose the larger holed hay net or a box over his pony net any day.

I have asked her to remove the boxes so many times. She may remove one for a day or two, but the next time I pop in, they are back in the arena. I have asked that if she keeps one box in the arena, she remove the horses hay bag. What I know for sure is that if there are only two hay sources, the horse will protect hers and he is forced to use his pony bag if he wants to eat.

I did an experiment this weekend to see the total amount of hay consumed between the two of them. One bale weighed 41 lbs. they typically go through this amount in a day. If she eats 2/3 and he eats 1/3, that should be close to the 14 lb limit recommended here. I think this distribution is much more likely to happen when the sources are limited to 2 instead of 4.

I’m at my wits end and need a way to convince her that this is in his best interest. Her horse could definitely stand to lose some weight as well. Anyone else with a shared setup like this? If so, I’m very interested to hear how it’s managed.

Thank you!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Lorna Cane
 

Hi Manon,

Is your friend interested in the financial end of things ? Or time/ energy spent on labour?

If so she may be encouraged to use small mesh hay nets, not over 1" holes, for everyone.
It has been noted by others,and I did my own year-long project ,whilst feeding 9 horses with small mesh hay nets, that 25% less hay is used with small mesh hay nets .
 There is less waste,and less time spent cleaning up hay which has been tromped/peed on, and therefore unpalatable. 
The horses all did well.

Others will have more ideas but for me the above would be reason enough. 

--

Lorna  in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
ECIR Moderator
2002
https://ecir.gro
ups.io/g/main/files/PPID%20and%20IR%20Success%20Stories/Success%20Story%20%233%20-%20Lorna%20and%20Ollies%20Story.pdf


 

Manon
 

Hi Lorna,

Thanks for the response! No she isn't. She is interested in overfeeding out of some sense of love I believe. I have been around and around with her over this issue due to Danny's health issues. Danny has the small holed nibble net. I believe he would eat out of it but he has too many choices. I feel that two hay nets is plenty for a horse and a pony. If she would eliminate the hay boxes, I think they would be fine. He would be forced to eat out of his net because the mare is not going to let him have hers since the holes are bigger. What happens now is that his hay net is the last to be touched. The other, easier sources, are tapped out first. As long as we've had him, Ive had him on the small holed nibble net and he had not issue with it. It's only since living here that he has decided the larger holes are preferable...
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Sherry Morse
 

Manon,

You only have a few options as I see it:

1- muzzle Danny
2 - change all hay sources to small size nibble nets
3 - move to another facility where Danny's hay is limited to what he needs per day 

At this point option 1 may be the easiest to deal with the overfeeding, but option #3 might be the best for Danny.


 

Does Danny and the larger horse share the run-in stall? One idea would be to divide the arena with a portable electric fence (super easy to do) but there would need to be two water sources and separate shelter accesses. 

Another idea (not the best solution) is hanging a hay net/bag too high for Danny to reach or a hay box for the horse on the other side of the arena fence if he could reach over and eat out of it and Danny couldn't? Maybe the hay box could be inside of a higher wood barrier that the horse could cope with but Danny can't because he is shorter?
--
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Lorna Cane
 
Edited

Hi Manon,

Danny's no fool !😁

If she isn't interested in saving money,and labour,to everyone's advantage , horses' included, I wonder if she has any idea how painful it is for horse and care giver to bump into laminitis.
The horse is the innocent bystander , if, as in this case, laminitis could be avoided.

Love won't help much by that point.

Ok,hopping off soapbox. I know you are fully aware of the above.


--

Lorna  in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
ECIR Moderator
2002
https://ecir.gro
ups.io/g/main/files/PPID%20and%20IR%20Success%20Stories/Success%20Story%20%233%20-%20Lorna%20and%20Ollies%20Story.pdf


 

Manon
 

Thank you. I agree. All of the boarding barns in my area would essentially keep him stalled with very limited dry lot turnout. The advantage where he's at is that he has dutch doors from his stall so he is able to move around from stall to arena day and night unless the weather is extreme. He is also 5 minutes from my house. So, everything is perfect except the hay...which is obviously so important. She believes 100% that they should have free choice hay and that is the best thing for their health. Now that he has a diagnosis of IR/PPID, she thinks it has nothing to do with his feeding. She definitely wants to do what is best for them but I think I need some literature to convince her that she can have it both ways. If their feeding is slowed down, they can still have access via the nets to keep their gut health in check. Where she misses the mark is providing all of these options. She believes it makes them move around more. My argument is, the movement is not enough to counteract the excess hay. We've had a lot of difficult conversations this week. I'm hoping that I can get her on board. If not, I really won't have an option but to move him because I'd like to keep him around and feeling good most of all : )
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Manon
 

Bonnie,

Thanks so much! These are some good ideas to share with her!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

 

Just keep in mind that you hang hay HIGH (if that hay is dusty) the horse may be inhaling dust, mold spores, pollen, etc which will get into the lungs. Been there did that! I used a hay feeder with a high hay rack. The taller horse ate easily but my shorter horse developed heaves which is a permanent. A high hay net would not have been as bad because they cannot grab large amounts at a time. Hay is better fed below the withers. Don't you just love hindsight knowledge?
--
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Tanna
 

I would have suggested hanging the second (excess) hay net higher than Danny might be able to reach but that was covered. 

Might she be open to adding a panel of smaller holed netting over the large holes of the hay box to make it more challenging for both horses? 


--
Tanna 

April 2019, (Yahoo Group member 2008)
Langley, BC, Canada

Tula's Case History 

Lorna Cane
 
Edited

Hi Manon,

I'm sure you're ahead of me,and I agree with your conclusions above. But  for your friend ,the thing is that horses are trickle feeders, so to speak.The small - holed nets duplicate that approach way better than huge grabs of bunches of hay. It takes them longer to finish an amount put out,but they are happy because they are eating something....they way they are meant to.

There's lots of info for her here on our site.
But also she might believe what the Swedish Hoof School has learned about this.
https://swedishhoofschool.com/


--

Lorna  in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
ECIR Moderator
2002
https://ecir.gro
ups.io/g/main/files/PPID%20and%20IR%20Success%20Stories/Success%20Story%20%233%20-%20Lorna%20and%20Ollies%20Story.pdf


 

des788@pacbell.net
 

It's good to encourage movement. What I do with mine who are in a largish turnout is put 5 or 6 haybags all around. They move each other from bag to bag. The key is to only put a small amount of hay in each bag. Place filled bags out maybe two or three times per day, but always keep the amount per bag small. This keeps the owner busy too! :-)
--
Dianne and Beau
Jan, 2010
CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/filessearch?q=dianne+and+beau

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=83192

Manon
 

She cared for him during his severe episode in 2018. I think she almost had a nervous breakdown. I was in Europe at the time for two weeks. So she definitely knows. The difficult thing is getting her to connect the diet to the condition. For me, I want to prevent this at all costs. And, to her benefit, she can learn from what has happened with Danny. She has a 20 year old Oldenburg, retired jumper, who is getting roundish. Her horse also doesn't need this much hay. I'm going to have to set an ultimatum.

I've been going daily and taking his supplements and meds myself to make sure he gets everything. I think me showing up every day is keeping her on her toes too. 
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Manon
 

I just purchased nylon webbing on amazon. I'm going to take the frame for the haybox and have the holes made into 1" holes. This definitely will help!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Manon
 

Excellent suggestion. Thank you!

I really appreciate all of the feedback on this group!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

brycie
 

yes if he is only 5minutes away It is better to go there yourself and make sure all is the way he needs it
--
Brycie and Henry
Shortsville, NY
12/05/2017

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Brycie%20and%20Henry

celestinefarm
 
Edited

Manon,
You might suggest( or even gift) Dr. Kellon's  course, NRC Plus so that she can learn on her own time, her horse's requirements for calories, vitamins, minerals, etc. that is science based, and not selling her anything.  You may be faced with counteracting the numerous "experts" on the internet who are vets, including some rather famous ones with large clinics and such who keep espousing that horses must have "free choice" hay or all kinds of horrible things will befall them.
Several sites that you can either direct her to or print out for her include 

http://www.safergrass.org/.

http://www.merriewoldmorgans.com/morgan-horse-news/2015/04/weighing-and-saving-your-hay-by-jackie-brittain/
 
--
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Dawn%20and%20Juniper/Case%20history%20Juniper.pdf .

Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I totally sympathize Manon. I was in a similar situation, keeping my horse (IR, although I didn't really know it at the time) with a friend's horse who was a very thin warmblood that never overate.  Half the year at her place on pasture and half the year at my place on a dry winter paddock.  When Shaku foundered in the spring on my dry paddock and I realized I had to make some changes, my friend did not like them because they changed what was easy and worked for her and her horse...as a result I compromised for 2 years and that only prolonged Shaku's recovery.  Every change I needed to make (eg. separating them physically so I could weigh Shaku's hay led to comments like "I do so wish they could be together" and "but he's such a lovely round shape") came about by making ultimatums.  The biggest one was that I could not allow him to go to her place and be on free pasture anymore...it took me 2 years to finally enforce this one 100% and I really wish I could have those 2 years back.  It was really hard, this was a good friend and we did nearly all our riding together, our horses were almost never separated.

The idea of dividing their living space with electric line(s) works really well and that is what I do with 2 or 3 electrobraid strings in my dry paddock (although I never needed to electrify it until a 3rd horse arrived who figured out how to go under the lines!), and you can easily make it something that can be taken down in seconds if you use posts concreted into old tires that aren't permanent, if say one of you needs to use the arena to ride, or you need to drive equipment through.  I also take down the divider line on nights when I know there's going to be fireworks at the neighbour's although we've never had a panicked horse.

If your situation is similar, don't let it drag on for long and don't compromise or take half measures because of someone else. Be firm, emphasize it's for his health and that's the best way to love him, and be prepared to move your horse if you don't get the management you need.

--
Kirsten Rasmussen
Kitimat, BC, Canada
January 2019

Shaku's Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Kirsten%20and%20Shaku  
 

Shaku's Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=82559&p=Name,,,20,1,0,0   

Manon
 

Thank you, Kristen! Your situation sounds very similar to mine!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910 

Manon
 

Thank you!
--
Manon 
August, 2019. Springboro, Ohio
Danny Case File: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Manon%20and%20Danny
Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=93910