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Hello, and welcome to the University of
Maryland Extension's Zooming in to
Healthy Horse keeping Spring of 2020
webinar series! We're excited to have all
of you join us live, and for those that
are able to join us online later to listen
to the recording. My name is Jennifer
Reynolds, I am the extension coordinator
for equine and poultry activities with
the University of Maryland, and I will be
assisting as host today. It is my
pleasure to introduce our speaker Dr.
Amy Burk. Dr. Burk is an associate
professor in the Animal and Avian
Sciences Department and the coordinator
for the Equine Studies program at the
University of Maryland. She teaches
courses in horse management, equine
science, and equine reproduction. She's
given hundreds of invited talks on
equine nutrition, pasture management, and
equine health. She was awarded educator
of the year from the Equine Science
Society.
Dr. Burk is the current chairman of the
board of the National Association of
Equine Affiliated Academics and a board
member of the Equine Science Society and
the Maryland Horse Industry Board. She
completed her graduate work in equine
nutrition as a Pratt fellow at Virginia
Tech. I'm very excited to have her with
us today to present her talk "Trimming
the Fat: weight loss strategies for the
overweight horse". Okay
hey everybody, I just want to check in
with you as we get started to show you
that there really is a person behind the
voice that you're going to hear from
today and thank you so much for joining
me and Jennifer with this great webinar
series that we're offering through
University of Maryland extension. So
trimming the fat weight loss strategies
for the overweight horse- that's a topic
that I think is a an important one to
talk about because a lot of horse owners
and horse farm managers are dealing with
this quite a bit on their farms. So I put
this together today with a couple
objectives in mind. Let me get to those. I
really hope by the end of this webinar I
can increase your ability to identify
over conditioning
the horse and as we go through today I'm
gonna swap out over conditioning and
also the, you know, fat horse or obesity
even those terms I'll define them, but I
kind of swapped them out. I hope that you
increase your motivation to prevent
obesity in the first place in your
horse, so that you can by increasing
your awareness of the implications of
obesity in the horse, and also I'd like
to give you a bunch of different diverse
sets of strategies for controlling body
weight in all of your horses, because not
all of your horses, but in the horses
that are at risk. Because I think all the
farms are different, horses are different,
the way we manage them is different, I
think that one strategy is not going to
work for every horse. So I'm gonna go
ahead and just stop the video so you
don't have to see me preaching and
talking to you this whole time.
But before we start I wanted to do a
little poll here and try to keep this as
interactive as possible, and our first
question that I'd love everybody to
answer and it should show up now, is How
many horses do you currently own or
manage that you think are too fat? And
I'll talk about what too fat kind of
means. I'd love to know how many of you
have horses that you currently own or
manage that you think are too fat. All
right, we're getting a lot of responses
here, this is great. I got a couple more
people that probably could, there we go,
about 92% of you have voted, Don't be shy
it's all anonymous, nobody knows which
answer that you're picking! All right,
looks like we're gonna go ahead and
close the poll and I'm gonna share with
you the results. So some of you don't
have any right now, and that's amazing
and fantastic, and this webinars can
be great to help you prevent any horses
from hopefully getting too overweight. We
have some, about 50% of you, have between
one and three horses that you feel are
too over conditioned, and then about 17%
of you say about four to six horses.
That's good, no one's in the ten plus
category so that's that's great.
Okay ar,igh,t so we are gonna get started
here
so equine obesity is really a term that
we use to describe a horse that has
gotten to the point where there's so
much fat accretion on their body or
accumulation on their body that it's
going to then cause health problems,
right. And this is a picture that I I
kind of sneakingly took of a horse
but you guys I think can agree that this
horse does not look like he's in the
ideal body condition score state. He's a
little bit on the heavier side. So we'll
talk about what too fat is and how you
address that or how you score that. So I
want to tell you about this study that
Dr. Aubrey Jaqueth and I did in 2017 in
Maryland where we surveyed licensed
horse operations in Maryland and asked
them to self-report their incidence of
horses being over conditioned. So as
ponies and horses on Maryland farms and
our owners reported that 40% of the
ponies and 40% of the horses in Maryland
were over conditioned and they've gotten
body condition score charts and they
could, you know, hopefully accurately pick
the body condition score off the chart, or
the body condition score their horse, and
you know, that actually agrees with what
we're seeing in the United States and
the body condition score is broader
than say, the UK, where we're finding that
horses are considered obese or over
conditioned at about thirty to fifty one
percent of the population. So what's
scary about that is, you know, there are all
these all these negative health
implications for horse,s but also that
number is somewhat mimicking what we're
seeing in the human population so it's
definitely a welfare concern that we
need to address and get on quickly. So I
wanted to kind of go over how we address
whether a horse is over conditioned or not
and Dr. Don Henneke, many many years ago
developed this great body condition
scoring system, and many of you know it.
It s subjective, it's not, you know, 100
percent accurate, but it's the way that
we assess where fat is accruing on the
horse's body, because we're not
assessing how much muscle they have,
right? We want to assess how much fat
because if they have too much fat that
means we're over feeding them, there's
too much energy there, and the horses are
storing that energy as fat. So horses
accrue fat on their body frames over
their neck, on either side of their
Withers, behind the shoulder there, over
the ribs, at the level of the loin, and on
either side of the tail head. And
certainly there are other places horses
accrue fat, but Dr. Henneke found that
those were the areas that if you combine
them and assign a score, you're more likely
to really assess the fat level of a
horse. And then the scores here on the
right show you the scales from 1 to 9. 1
being extremely, you know, poor basically
a walking skeleton, up through 9 which is
extremely fat. So the ideal body
condition for most horses is somewhere
between 4 & 6. 4 is moderately thin and
I'll show you a picture of 4. 6 a little
little fleshy but what we don't want to
do is get in the ,7 8, & 9 category
because that's when we know our horses
are at a higher risk for metabolic
problems including laminitis which is
many many of you know is a painful hoof
condition that's very debilitating and
can unfortunately lead to the horse
needing to be euthanized because of the
pain. So here's a picture of a horse who
I would call a 4. Now technically when
you body condition score a horse you're
gonna follow this scoring chart and
they're gonna be feeling the fat level
on a horse. In this case we have to
visually assess it through a webinar but
usually here the ridge ( so I just have a
definition) the ridge of spine and
outline of ribs are visible so on a
horse with a body condition score of 4
you're typically gonna still see the
ribs. The tail head may or may not be
visible depending on the breed. We can
definitely see the tail head there.
There's not a lot of fat accruing on
either side, withers are prominent with
the depression on the other side of the
wither, shoulder not a lot of fat, maybe a
little bit of fat I can see there and
the neck doesn't appear overly thin. So
it's a little thin, you don't see any fat
occurring on the neck on a 4. That's
typically your body condition
score that you're gonna see in an athlete
right, they don't need to be carrying
around 50 to 100 pounds of extra weight
they need to be athletic do their
Arabian endurance rides or their
thoroughbred racing or eventing. Most
horses should be maintained at a body
condition score of 5 right, that's right
in the middle in the body condition
score. And I would describe this horse
overall just being smooth, right. So
there's no more neck there's a little
bit of fat accruing on the neck but not
starting to build up, there's definitely
some filling in over the withers,
certainly a little bit of fat here where
the shoulder blends smoothly into the
abdomen. You can definitely feel the ribs
on this particular horse if you could
feel them, but you can't see them. The
loin is usually flat, and then there is
some fat occurring on either side of the
tail head but not very much. So I would
call this horse kind of a smooth body
condition. Now this next horse is
starting to push over into what we call
fleshy. This is when fat is starting to
really be visible on the horse's body
frame. This particular horse is a
thoroughbred. He was part of a weight
gain study and thoroughbreds aren't a
breed that you would really think about
as being horses that gain weight easily, so
he doesn't have a lot of fat, but for him
this is a pretty over conditioned
thoroughbred. So a six body condition
you're just gonna start to see fat
accruing along the neck, you're
definitely going to start that filling, that
filling up on either side of the withers
so much that you can push on it and feel
it, you are gonna see fat accruing here
it's unfortunately dark in this picture
but you could definitely press right
there. Still the loin is probably going
to be flat or just start to have a
crease where the backbone is sitting
underneath the fat on either side of it.
And then when you feel the fat on either
side of the tail head it's gonna feel
somewhat spongy but it's definitely
going to have kind of a mound of fat
starting. And then as we get to the body
condition scores of seven this is where
we don't want any of our horses to be
this is fat has accrued on the body such
that you can see fat is pretty much over
the length of the neck, he's really
filled in fat here, this horse now has
what I like to call like a knee roll if
you ride him bareback you really don't
need a saddle because the fat pad will
somewhat keep your legs in place. It's
hard to see the loin having any crease
there but you start to see on the back
end here the fat is starting to somewhat
take over the tail head. And then in
these horses it's very tough to feel the
ribs when you do get to palpate them. And
then here, this would be a body condition
score of eight. We start to see much more
mounting of the fat along the neck and
each really in every situation it's very
tough to see the tail head there, very
tough to feel any ribs. And I don't have
a body condition score of nine, I've not
been able to take my own pictures for
that, but you can imagine they can get
quite large. So as far as ideal body
condition score of our horses again, we
want to keep them between four and six,
usually the working horses are the ones
that are on the body condition score 4.
Our horses at maintenance that are kind
of our pasture pets, they get to stay
between a five and a six, a reproducing
horse same thing. I like to keep brood
mares out of body condition score of six
so they have a little bit of flesh on
them when they go out into lactation or
into into pregnancy. Our growing horses
we typically keep right at a body
condition score five, we don't want them
carrying excess energy or being too thin,
we want to keep their growth rate as
consistent as possible. And like I said,
no horse should be above a seven, that's
really when we get into the metabolic
problems. It would be great if you all
could keep a monthly log of your horses'
body condition score along with the body
weight so that you can see the changes
as you change the diet, right? So this
horse here
is getting a diet where we don't need to
change it. He looks fantastic. He's a body
condition score five, but if you get a
horse that's starting to get to a six,
maybe even do half scores you get to a
six and a half, it's time to back down on
the diet, reduce the amount, start getting
them to to lose a little weight. So
that's what we're going to talk about
later today. Cresty neck score, I don't
know if many of you know, but there is a
crusty neck score that has been
developed by colleagues of mine,
Rebecca Carter at Virginia
Tech, and one of the really interesting
things that they found was the mounding
of fat along the neck is associated with
an increased risk of laminitis. So you
can see here a zero, very negligible
appreciation or accretion of fat. A one
slight rise there. A two you can start to
see that fat laying down, three you can
definitely see that mound starting. Four
is when we start having the the fat kind
of flopped either side, and then
definitely by five. So that was a really
interesting study where they showed that
if your horse has a cresty next score of
four or above they are going to be at an
increased risk of laminitis. So I'm just
gonna really keep this up here quickly
as resources if you want to print.
Kentucky Equine Research has a great two
page body condition scoring publication
I recommend. Also the Rebecca Carter, Dr.
Carter's 2009 visual here for Cresty
Neck Score. It'd be great for the folks who are
looking at this on the recording later
to be able to pause it and download
those. Okay it's time for another poll. I
really wanted to keep this interactive
and make sure I knew that people were
still out there because it's kind of
interesting going to whoops hold on let
me bring down
let me sorry hold on let me go down to
our next question. So our next question
is, As a result of listening to this
webinar do you feel that you can
accurately assess body condition score?
I'm sorry, As a result of listening to
this webinar, do you feel that your
ability to accurately assess body
condition score has improved?
Okay we got about 73 percent of the
votes, and 80 percent, all right so let's
go ahead and end polling and
we'll share the results. Looks like most
of you are fairly confident that you can
accurately assess body condition score,
and that's good because it is really
tough. You have to do it monthly and
develop, you know, kind of a skill for it,
but I think your horses are going to be
better off if you do look at them each
month.
You really can't assess body condition
score too often because they don't
really change that often so, you know, I
wouldn't recommend it weekly, but
certainly once a month or once every
other month would do good for you guys.
Alright, why the horses become fat? And I know
some of you probably laughing out there
like, I know why horses become fat mine
become fat because I never can ride them
right? What I have found over the years
is I think that horse owners are just so
great at wanting to do better for their
horse that were actually killing them
with kindness by overfeeding them. We
want them to run and play and be with
their friends on pasture, but they're
over consuming pasture. Or we're just
throwing too much hay to them when they
don't need it. Or what's really bad is
when we're still feeding concentrate or
grain (same you know we interchanged
those two) or it's to our horses that
really don't need it. So we'll talk about
how to, you know, take concentrate out of
the diet and to make sure that they are
getting the nutrients when they're not
getting concentrate. Lack of exercise is
a huge problem, right? Most of us have one
or two sometimes even three jobs just to
be able to afford our horses and we just
can't get out and exercise them like we
want to. And then certainly there are
some that have this genetic
predisposition to being what we call
easy keepers. The ones that they just
keep weight on no matter what you do you,
just try so many different things and
they're they have what Dr. Treiber from
Virginia Tech had published at being
the thrifty gene. And that's somewhat true
right? There are certain breeds like
ponies, miniature horses, Morgans, Arabians,
Paso Finos, among just some of the
breeds that are those easy keepers that
tend to gain weight easily.
And it's theorized that, you know, when
they were- when they evolved and they
were walking and grazing and like doing
the light nibbling of their diets, they
were on these really low energy / high
fiber diets. And they learned how to cope
on those diets. And now we get them and
we're like here's this beautiful lush
pasture, here's all the concentrate, you
know, handfuls of concentrate ,pounds and
pounds, and they're just they just don't
need that type of diet. So the reason why,
as many of you know, that we we tend to
worry about obesity is there's just a
lot of negative health effects that can
become associated with your horses being
overweight. One of them that I've
mentioned several times already is
laminitis, and that's inflammation of the
lamina between the hoof wall and the
coffin bone of the foot and it's very
painful. I had it described as feeling
like someone's ripping your fingernail
off and then you have to walk on your
fingernails. So I can only imagine how
painful it is for the horse, but that can
be, you know, life ending. Laminitis can be
very severe. Equine metabolic syndrome is
a condition whereby it's usually a horse
that's a body condition score of 7 and
above and they have insulin
dysregulation where their body isn't
regulating glucose as well as it should
and you get increased levels of glucose
and insulin in the body. And that's often
associated laminitis as well. Poor
athletic performance. I've read countless
studies where horses with high body
condition scores didn't perform as well
as horses in lower body condition score
usually in the body condition score of 4 and 5. Degenerative joint
disorders. Certainly we are so worried
about our horses joint heath in the
horse industry. And we give them lots of
joint supplements, but think about how
hard it is for a joint to be healthy
when that body is carrying you know, 100
150 extra pounds around. Heat stress. It's
definitely harder for our horses to
dissipate heat through fat layers and so
if you're exercising them in hot and
humid climates then it becomes very
difficult for them to thermoregulate and
they can succumb to heat stress.
Developmental orthopedic disease in
young foals you know there's lots of
different related disorders with
development orthopedic disease and we
try not to overfeed young horses to
avoid those. And then cost to managers,
right? So in the study by Dr. Jaqueth and
myself we found that on average the over
conditioned horses were associated with
an increase on an annual basis of 434
dollars and change to their owners.
Meaning they spend more money to manage
them than their non obese
counterparts. So when we extrapolated the
fact that 40% of the Maryland horses
were overweight we kind of took it a
little farther and we said okay, if
everyone in the United States has 40% of
their horses overweight and you have to
spend that much more money on each, it
actually turned out to be a 1.6 billion
dollar us economic impact. Meaning really
a negative impact to our horse industry
that we're spending this extra money to
manage them. So there's a financial
reason why we also want to not have our
horses be obese. So I want to just take a
second at this point and just ask
Jennifer and check in with her to see if
there's any questions that have come up
that I could answer at this point before
we go on. I don't have anything in our
chat box right now, but just as a
reminder to our participants if you do
have a question during the course of the
presentation just go ahead and use that
chat box and we'll make sure that Dr.
Burk gets your question and has a
chance to answer it. Great ok thanks. Yes,
you can ask questions and Jen will relay
those to me as we go through here and
certainly I'm going to answer questions
at the end if you'd like to wait. So
establishing the weight loss plan, right?
We've got to give some tough love to
these horses so they can't get
overweight. You can do it, I promise you!
The first thing is not only can you do
it but you need some help. So the best
thing to do is really talk to your
veterinarian. They are wonderful
resources, they can work with you to
develop a plan for your horse that's
specific to your housing, specific to
what type of diet you can offer your
horse, and then they can help you monitor
that and I'm sure they would love
monthly emails from you telling them
you know, how your horse is doing. So
definitely consult with a veterinarian.
What you want to do is really think
about what the ideal body weight and
body condition score is. Well, I say that
and then I'm gonna go back track and say
there's really no ideal body weight, you
know, with humans we have these
ideal body weight charts we don't have
quite that same sort of thing in horses.
But we certainly have an ideal body
condition score, and I'll relate that to
an ideal body weight. So I'll talk about
that in a minute, but what we need to do
is get some supplies. So this is a photo
from TheHorse.com showing the use of a
body weight tape. They are usually free
from your feed dealer but you can also
buy them at tack stores, and they have
little notches on them that tell you an
estimated weight for the horse. So these
aren't as accurate as I would like but
the fact that they're either free or
very low cost and readily easily, easily
available to you, I think they're great
to use. You wrap it around the horse's
girth area from the top of that wither
all the way around, pull it up and it'll
say like this horse maybe is 1058
pounds. If you look at that monthly it'll at
least help you assess the change in body
weight from month to month. The other
thing you can do is use a long cloth
tape measure and there are formulas
online, they're pretty easy to find out,
but you measure the circumference of the
girth area and also the length of the
horse and you can plug them into little
online equations. If you can buy a scale
that is the most accurate way to
determine your horse's body weight, but
I'll tell you it's, I think the last
scale we bought was about $2,000 so not
everybody has the money for that. But it
is very easy if you have a lot of horses
on your farm it's wonderful to have a
scale you know, put to the side of your
barn where all the horses can walk on
that scale each month and get a weight. And
then like I said keep a monthly log
where you can see your progress with
your horse. So here's an example of
weight loss and I borrowed this picture
of this horse named Fat Albert, I
couldn't resist, from this website. But
let's say that this particular horse is needing
to lose some weight. In general, one body
condition score has through research
been shown to be about forty five pounds.
For an average horse. It changes with
ponies, it's a lot less for ponies or
even miniature horses, but for the
average 1,100 pound horse it works.
If one loss of body condition score
takes about one or two months you know
keep in mind that weight loss is not
going to be a quick process for your
horse, but let's say his current body
condition score's an eight. Our target
body condition score's a six. That's two
body condition scores. If we multiply 45
pounds by 2 our target weight loss is
ninety pounds. And that's where that
ideal body weight comes in, where we look
at body condition score and then we can
extrapolate it back to body weight. And
again, each body condition score loss is
about one or two months so you know, plan
for this it takes some time ok? So you've
talked to your vet, you're starting to
come up with a plan. One of the first
things you have to do besides you know
estimate body condition score, is figure out
how much pasture turnout does your horse
have what's the quality of the pasture
what feed and supplements does your
horse currently getting? You kind of have
to accrue this all this knowledge of
what they are eating so that you can
figure out how to change the diet. Who
where they turned out with or fed with?
That's important right? Because we have
some horses out there that maybe your
horse is a bit of a bully or has it some
dominance over other horses in the field
and your horse is eating other horses
feeds so you kind of need to know the
housing situation as well and how much
exercise are they getting? All of those
things play a role in a horse being
overweight. So here are these weight
control strategies I want to share with
all of you guys, and there are plenty of
them and like I said I wanted to give
you different strategies that might work
for your operation or your horse and
then the situation that you're in. So the
three main approaches that we take are
reducing calories in the diet (and
there's lots of different ways to do
that), increasing exercise (easier said
than done right?), and
administering medications and
supplements. So I'm going to talk about
each of these as we go. The biggest thing
that we need to do is reduce
calories in the diet and the main ways
that we're gonna be reducing calories in
the diet is to take out the
carbohydrates and the fats. So in in the
horse industry we're very much focused
on what we call NSC or non structural
carbohydrates. So just to kind of back
up, forages have carbohydrates both
fibrous carbohydrates and these non
structural carbohydrates or the sugars
and starches. And those are the ones that
are we're mainly concerned with, not the
fiber type structural carbohydrates. And
then fats as well. If a horse is
overweight they certainly don't need
added fat in their diet. So what we're
gonna focus on is the carbohydrates and
fats and the concentrates or the grain,
pasture, and also the hay. Those, really
concentrate and pasture, are the ones
that we need to reduce in the diet. So
the first thing that you can do to over
excuse me to reduce calories in the diet
is just to reduce the amount of horse
feed that you're giving. So the average
horse eats about two to two-and-a-half
percent of their body weight per day. In
some research that I've been involved
with, thoroughbreds have eaten up to
three percent of their body weight a day,
which was actually was three point three
percent was the highest for one
particular horse. And ponies though they
will eat up to five percent of their
body weight if you let them. You got to
watch them, they're like little
lawnmowers right? So the average horse
should eat about two percent of their
body weight a day. So if you have a 1,100
pound horse that's gonna be about 22
pounds of forage and maybe a little bit
of concentrate. So let's say 20 pounds of
forage and a couple pounds of
concentrate. What we need to do with
these horses is slowly reduce their diet
to about one and a half percent of their
body weight and once you do that you
need to really think about the timing.
You don't want to do it too fast because
that could be very harmful to your horse.
If your horse still doesn't respond
after you've dropped the body the diet
to one and a half percent of the body
weight you know, after maybe a couple
months you can go as low as 1.3 percent of
the body weight but really you don't
want to go any lower than that. Any horse
that has had so much feed taken away
from their diet even less
one percent can run the risk of colic
and gastric ulcers and all kinds of
digestive problems, so we really don't
want to take it too low. Definitely again
talk to your vet about your horse's
situation. So I have another example of
what I mean. So let's say you have a
horse currently about 1240 pounds body
condition score of 8. You know he's on
the heftier side there.
He's eating about two and a half percent
of his body weight in hay and grain a
day and so he's getting about 31 pounds
of hay and grain. So as part of our
weight gain or excuse me weight loss
goal we want him to get down to about
1,100 pounds and a body condition score
5. So we're gonna drop his total amount
that he's getting down to 1.5 percent of
his body weight, that's a 19 pounds, so
that's a huge difference. That's why you
don't wanna do it really quickly. So
let's say you know the first week you go
down a couple of pounds, the next week
you're gonna reduce the diet a couple
more pounds, and you really want to take
your time in reducing that diet by 40%
to get him to lose some weight. So that's
one approach, just reducing the amount of
diet. The other one that really when
you're taking things out of a diet, among
the first things that you need to think
about taking out is concentrate.
Concentrates – call them grain in the industry,
those are concentrated energy sources
really. Those are for exercising horses,
young growing horses, mares, and late
like late pregnancy or early lactation,
they need more energy in their diet. If your
horse is a lightly exercised horse,
pleasure horse, a pony, they don't a lot
of times need concentrate. So we need to
get that out of the diet. The other thing
is focus on forage. A lot of people when
I ask them hey you know, what are you
feeding your horse? They tell me what the
horse is getting for concentrate first.
But concentrate really can can sometimes
be 1 percent to maybe 20 percent of the
horse's diet. It's really the forage that
we need to you know really think
about first, that can be anywhere between
60 and you know 95 percent the diet. So
we're gonna take the concentrate out and
I wanted to show you why.
So I just have a little chart here of
showing you some feed stuff. Some Bermuda
grass hay is a warm season hay that's
known to be lower in fructans. Grass hay
like your typical cold season grass hay
Timothy, orchard grass. A legume hay, would
be like alfalfa. Beet pulp, grass pasture,
rice bran is a supplement. Growing horse feed and a show horse feed. And what
I've done is put up their average
nutrient compositions for NDF which is
the structural fibers like the woody
parts the stems for instance. Sugar and
starch are our non structural
carbohydrates which are also shown here
they're just added up here. I want to
show you how different feed stuffs
differ. So Bermuda grass hay is a warm
season grass hay, you know it's pretty
low in non-structural carbohydrate so
are most grasses are pretty low. Like
Brome hay is a little higher, but what we
really want to worry about is look at
the rice bran, the growing horse feed,
show horse feed, and even straight oats.
Very high non-structural carbohydrates.
Those horses that are obese or at risk
for obesity do not need to be getting
any of these supplements or added
dietary components. We're gonna get into
this a little later. In general if your
horses carbohydrates sensitive we call
it or you have been told you need to
lower the non-structural carbohydrate
amount in your horse's diet, usually
that's below 12% sometimes you'll hear
recommendations below 10% of the diet. So
look at these values. These are kind of
what you're going to be looking to the
Hays for instance. You're not going to be
putting your horse on pasture or giving
like say rice bran as a supplement. So
one way to get around getting the
concentrate out of the diet yet still
providing protein and vitamins and
minerals to the horse is to feed what
are called ration balancers. There are
tons of companies out there that have
developed these so I just showed you a
couple. They're not always caught a
balancer in the title but they are in
effect balancer so you need to have a
conversation with the feed rep about
them. But they're low in energy higher in
protein and vitamins and minerals
and what I love about these is that
you're feeding them at a really small
amount everyday, very small rate. So 0.5
pounds typically for the pony to 1 pound
for your typical horse in you know this
balancer. So they are called a balancer
because they balance out what the forage
doesn't provide. You could do you know
feed a balancer to a pony. We have had
some experience with say miniature
horses and ponies for our research
studies and we find that you know we
just actually go and find a really nice
multivitamin and mineral supplement. It
also has some protein in there and we
feed about a handful a day. So one or two
ounces a day. So you can feed a straight
forage diet with just a little bit of
these ration balancers or a little bit of
vitamin and mineral supplement and
provide everything you need for your
horse. It doesn't have to have
concentrate, All right Jen one more check
in here and to see if there are any
questions. We do have some questions, we
had our first question was asking about
the results of the pasture grass study
that you and Dr. Jaqueth had worked on a
while back. I didn't don't know if you
want to address that now or at the end.
Right so that probably is
related to our turf grass studies yeah
that's I probably should wait til the
end on that because I could talk about
it for a long time but we did find a
few turf grasses that were very Hardy
that would be wear tolerant but maybe
our horses wouldn't over graze them so
that we could use them as a diet horse
pasture. Unfortunately we didn't have the
gold standard turf grass to use and we
are working on getting grants to kind of
find some additional turf grasses but
stay tuned still the jury's out on
whether we can use turf grasses as a
diverse pasture. But thank you for that
question.
Our next question says, I have a draft
cross that gets zero grain and wears
a muzzle 24/7, he continues to gain
weight. We're moving him into a stall for
half a day and hoping that helps. Any
suggestions? You know oh gosh that's
really difficult. Sometimes feeding these
horses can be a challenge.
I have just been reading up on some
newer studies and they actually in some
very weight resistant horses suggest
feeding half hay half straw to your horse.
In that particular study they did find
the horses lost weight when they had
half straw added to their diet and they
didn't have any instances of colic which
should be my concern. Certainly discuss
that with your vet. I don't know if they
recommend that but we are going to talk
about some medications that you can try
with horses when they are very resistant
to losing weight which it sounds like
with your horse. And the last question
that we had was started with sort of a
question about clarification was it one
half to two percent of the body weight
in hay per day or one and a half to two
percent total feed consumed per day? Oh
yeah that's a good one by the way to go
back we're still gonna keep talking
about strategies so hopefully there'll be
additional strategies you can try with
that draft horse but um so it's two
percent of the body two percent of a
horse's body weight per day in the total
diet. Typically let's say with the
pasture horse you can do two percent of
the diet as hay or two percent of diet
pasture with a balancer or with a little
vitamin and mineral supplement. So
if you're gonna reduce the diet to one
and a half percent you're gonna cut out
a good bit of forage there. And the
follow-up point that part of this
question was I weighed horses when I
moved them to the next pasture to
compare monthly weight I had one that
gained 78 pounds in 18 days. She's not got a high
body condition score but she has a giant
belly. Okay right so one of my rules is
that when I weigh horses frequently I
don't get worried about up-and-down
weight gain or weight loss unless it
passes the 50 pound mark so for your
horse gaining 78 pounds I would consider
that a true weight gain. Sometimes the
body condition score takes a little
while to follow the weight gain but
certainly you should start to see some
more
fat accrual on your horse maybe in the
next you know three four weeks. So I
would be concerned about that horse and
maybe look at some strategies to reduce
the time out on pasture or maybe even
using a muzzle. But yeah I don't I don't
typically worry like if if a horse gains
weight so says the scale you know about
thirty pounds today I'm like, that could
be a bowel ballast or what we refer to as
feces you know being in the bowel
digestive being in the bowel but seventy
eight pounds is a good bit of weight
gain. Also whenever you have this wonky
numbers you can always weigh them again
just to make sure because sometimes the
scale's off just for whatever reason. All
right, I'm gonna keep going and then we'll
keep answering questions at the end here.
So we're talking about pasture which
is great lead-in to reducing pasture
intake. Pasture is a great great great
nutritional source for horses right. It
has water, it has vitamins, proteins,
minerals, but it also has digestible
energy or energy in the diet that when
horses consume too much it'll cause them
to gain weight. So one of the strategies
that is recommended is that you create a
dry lot which is a dirt lot or it could
have some stone in it. You put your horse
in here instead of out on pasture so
that they can have their diet controlled.
So you can order special hay you could
bring hay in that you know is lower in
non structural carbohydrate or is a more
mature hay so it's lower in carbohydrate
levels and you know you can feed them in
the dry lot or the loafing lot we call
it. The problems though are numerous,
right? They're stuck in the small lot
they're not moving like they were out in
pasture. It is an increased cost I mean
just look at this picture you can see
they're ripping down boards, they're a
lot of time horses start chewing
because their bored, they are not moving as
much. These areas are highly erodible
because of the dirt you know when the
rain hits that they start to erode and
then we have an environmental
contamination issue and it's tough for
weed control.
Those are heavily worn areas so grasses
aren't going to survive but the weeds
usually do and then you're worried about
toxic weeds and you have to go out there
quite frequently to make sure that there
aren't toxic weeds for them to eat so
it's not the greatest thing,
but we we can use dry locks to help. What
some people try to do is use a dry lot
or stall with pasture turnout so you know
you can try reducing time out on pasture
by maybe putting them out overnight for
ten hours and then have them in 14 hours or
vice versa depending on the weather. The
problem with that is that some studies
buy like Annette Longland here and others
from North Carolina State have shown
that when they are allowed out on
pasture after being in a stall or a dry
lot for a long time they are lawn mowers
and like someone was mentioning earlier
their horse consumes a lot of pasture I
mean they just chow down. So ponies
observed to consume up to one percent of
their body weight within two hours of
pasture turn out. Now those little suckers
sit in their stalls and they wait they
don't even eat the hay that you provided
in the stall they just say yeah I know
I'm gonna get out here and then I'll
just eat to my little heart's content
when we get out. So that may not be a
great strategy for your horse. Some
horses it's great, some horses it
won't work. Okay that brings me into
grazing muzzles. Grazing muzzles are
really growing in popularity because it
allows your horse to go out be a normal
well, I wouldn't say normal but be a
foraging horse right, they're walking
they're eating they're interacting with
their their pasture mates. So they've
been shown to be extremely effective in
limiting the diet. So they can reduce
forage intake by 30 to 80 -86 percent
in horses and 75 to 80 percent of ponies in a bunch of different studies and
that's fantastic
you know. But then there's so many things
that go along with grazing muscles that
we worry about, like how long should we
leave them on? That mare in the picture
there was a brood mare that we had
donated to our program. She was obese and
very much on the verge of probably
getting laminitic and she wore that
grazing muzzle for grazing muzzle for
24 hours unless we took it off to
check her and make sure it wasn't rubbing
and things like that. But you know, horses
are very resistant to keeping these on.
They rub it off, they knock it off t,hey
break them, they chew through them, you're
replacing them a lot which means you're
spending you know 20 bucks every time
they break them. The other thing that
we're concerned about is they
ineffectively or they cover the horse's
nose so they can't use their teeth to
bite and defend themselves. It covers up
their facial expressions and how does
that play a role in their dominance
hierarchy and that horse's ability to be
a normal horse and interact with its
herd mates? We wondered at the
University of Maryland does a muzzle
stress out a horse? It's great and
effective at reducing intake but does it
stress them out? So I wanted to show you
some data that is about to be published
in the Journal of Applied Animal
Behavior Science journal it was a study
done by grad student of mine, Kristina
Davis. She's actually had two studies in
both studies she had three groups of
miniature horses, a control group that
didn't wear a muzzle. The horses then
moved into their treatment where they
had a muzzle on 10 hours a day and then
the rest of the day it was off, or the
horses were put on the treatment where
they had the muzzle on for most of the
day 24 hours except to take it off and
check them and to give them a little
vitamin and mineral supplement. And the
way we looked at stress was a couple
ways and I'm just showing you some data.
So salivary cortisol is kind of it's
an indicator of stress not immediate
stress and not long-term it's somewhere
in between, and I wanted to show you
really a focus on the treatment means
here. The gray is showing you the control
group the unmuzzled group. Yellow is
showing you the group of horses that had
the muzzle on ten hours a day and then
the muzzle twenty four-hour-a-day group
is in red. And we didn't find a
difference in salivary cortisol levels
as the horses were there, were on their
treatments for a three week time period.
Pretty short, I know, but the whole study
was nine weeks because everything needs to get exposed to a different
treatment. But that was kind of
interesting. And then we also looked at
heart rate variability while the horses
were out in the middle of the day grazing.
All of them were grazing. We looked at
heart rate variability for five minutes.
And we looked at heart rate variability
because when you're less stressed you
have more heart rate variability which
probably sounds funny but when you're
really stressed out your heart rate has
to regulate itself and really beat
consistently to get
the blood to the body tissues. So when
heart rate is high that actually
indicates less stress. And what we found
in the horses that were wearing the
muzzles
at the same time that yet horses not
wearing the muzzles are wearing them 10
hours a day we're actually they had what
we could interpret possibly and you know
we're in the infant stages here of doing
this research but they were less
stressed. There is some confounding
issues with the horses losing weight. The
horses on the m24 group were the only
horses that lost weight compared to the
control and the horses that had muzzles
on for 10 hour days, 10 hours a day
and I think that's probably because the
horses that were muzzled 10 hours a day
ate a lot and made up that difference in
the time that the muzzles were off. So
we're gonna repeat these studies and
look into this more but we're not
thinking that muzzles actually stress
out a horse and maybe that's because
they are working and foraging for the
diet like they used to when they evolved
you know out grazing and working for
their diet. All right another strategy
that you can try is feeding lower
quality hay. You know you don't have to
be feeding alfalfa to your
overweight horses. Certainly looking for
a mature hay that like in this picture
you can see there's more stem in this
hay sample, they should have a full seed
head or most of a seed head showing, so
I'm talking about like a mature timothy
or a mature orchard grass. And that's
because mature Hays are lower in energy.
The only problem is they are also lower
in vitamins and minerals and protein, so
when you feed a mature hay like a full
seed head timothy, you often need to feed
that forage balancer or the supplement.
Definitely definitely avoid feeding any
hay with white clover in it or alfalfa
because they are legumes and they're
higher in energy and it's just you know
not what they need to be eating. So I
just I'd love to talk about hay quality
I won't go too too long here but you
know as like grass plant like this is
orchard grass, when it's very vegetative
or in its vegetative state it's higher
in nutrients right, so as it grows it is
increasing in dry matter that's just
how much yield it'll have when it's made
into hay. It also increases in fiber
which is actually good to have a very
stemy, coarse, fibrous hay for our
overweight horses. It peaks in non
structural carbohydrates just you know
right there when that seed head starts
poking out and protein also has a
certain point where it declines so we
actually want to feed hay that's in the
mature stage for our horses. It's higher
in fiber but we also have to recognize
that protein also vitamins and minerals
are beyond it going to be on the decline
so consider a balancer for those horses
or a vitamin and mineral supplement.
Also I have to do a shameless plug we
have a youtube channel Maryland
Extension Horses and there's a youtube
video there if you want to go ahead and
look at that on how to evaluate hay
quality for horses and how to match the
hay type and quality to the type of
horse that you're feeding. Another
strategy that I absolutely think is the
coolest way to approach feeding horses
these days is take them back to their
roots when they were eating small forage
meals over the course of the day and the
way that you do that is to feed them in
these slow feeders or these nibble
nets. It's a great idea because we have
been you know we've domesticated the
horse and now we just bring them these
large meals, here have your meal, well why
not make them work for it right? I think
they are a lot less stressed when their
mouths are busy and they're trying to
get this hay through these small
openings of the nibble nets or some
people make their own boxes with you
know fencing or netting over top of it,
but it makes them you know, slow down,
work for their food, and it elongates how
you know, how long you can make two
flakes for instance for a miniature
horse last, right? Because miniature
horses aren't getting a lot you give
them two flakes on the ground or in a hay
feeder without having a nibble on that
and they just gulp it down then they look
at you like Can I have some more? You
know? So it's great. The other thing this
does it increases chewing, increases
saliva. Saliva is a great buffer for
stomach acid and you know that's great
for keeping stomach ulcers at bay.
Another strategy is if you really want
to get into the nutritional content of
your hay, is trying to reduce the sugars
and starches in your hay. Certainly for
horses that are becoming overweight and
are either pre laminitic or laminitic or
have equine metabolic syndrome, they need
a very low non-structural carbohydrate
diet. How do you do that? Well, some cool
season grasses inherently have low
non-structural carbohydrate diets but
you'd have to send it off to a lab test.
Warm season grasses are typically lower
in non structured carbohydrates. Now
we're in Maryland, but we'd have to say
ship up Bermuda grass from the southern
states. Teff grass does grow here, it's an
annual grass. I see a lot of it grown more
actually in Pennsylvania. So you again
you may have to purchase it out of state
and ship it in, but those warm season
grasses don't include fructans and
they tend to be low or non-instructional
carbohydrates. The thing is you have to
really worry about you know what level
am I at because we want to try to keep
it below 10 to 12 percent in those
diets. So one way you can get around that
is to take your grass hay, your timothy or
orchard grass, and soak it. Those water
soluble carbohydrates are called water
soluble because when you dunk your hay
in the water the sugar and starches will
become soluble in that water so you're
kind of leaching them out of the diet. So
soaking hay is a great way to reduce
glucose and sucrose and fructose all
those simple sugars and fructans, also
potassium and dust. So what you
need to do is get a clean muck tub here
put your hay in a hay net, put it into
that tub full of water for about 30 to
60 minutes I don't think you know the
research shows whether warm water's
better than cold water so cold water
is fine, that's what comes out of the hose
anyway. You don't want to usually go
longer than 60 minutes because it tends
to reduce dry matter but 30 to 60
minutes is plenty. It's gonna reduce your
non-structural carbohydrates in your hay
so you just pick it up drain it and then
feed it. You want to make sure it's fed
out quickly you don't want it to be left
out for you know days at a time because
it can mold since it was wet, but that's
a great way to reduce your NSC content
by sometimes 30 percent of where you
start it so think about that
as part of your plan for your horse. All
right, I want to stop again see if we
have any questions.
Jen any questions? We we do have a couple
We had one sort of mentioning that using
the muzzle the pony's teeth had actually
become cupped from using the muzzles for
so long I don't, had you come across that
or had any thoughts about dealing with
that? No, but that is one of the kind of
the negative side effects of using
muzzles is it increases the wear on a
horse's teeth and then you run the risk
of them having early wear problems later
in life when they and they get a bit
older so yeah that is definitely one of
the drawbacks of wearing a muzzle. The
other one that we had set up mentions
about I'm starting herds grazing at 16
inches when the grass is 6 to 8 inches
long and the muzzled horse becomes so
frustrated with that longer grass,
trying to eat it through the muzzle and
he's one that's also ribby right now
with the muzzle on but with a muzzle
removed looks like an engorged tick. So
one that is a struggle. Okay
so about the lengths of grass, yeah I
didn't mention that but when you're
using a grazing muzzle any grass height
above 4 inches seems to be associated
with frustration with the horse because
when it's 4 inches it's still upright
and they can get it through the small
hole at the base of the grazing muzzle.
When it gets to be taller than that it
lays down and then they're slamming the
grazing muzzle against the ground a lot
of times to try to pull a little bit into
that little hole that one inch hole in the
bottom of the muzzle. So what I would
recommend and what we did for our
research study to avoid that as being a
factor is we actually put our our mower
as high as it would go, four inches or we
had a now I can't think drawing a blank,
but our bat wing mower, we put that as
high as it could go and we went around
the field and brought it down to a
little bit more consistent like a four
inch level certainly there were some
grasses that were a little taller and
that'll take out that resentment I think
and really the damage that they do
trying to get the forage that's laying on
its side.
All right, you think, I'm gonna keep going
here we don't have much longer we're
gonna finish up just talking about
exercise and medications. So you know
increasing voluntary exercise is really
important with these horses. I know it's
easier said than done, put them in a
large pasture if you can, more than two
acres and separate their feed and water
so that they have to work to get to
their feed and then they have to walk to
their water and vice versa. You can also
add a pasture buddy to encourage play.
There's nothing that says I love you
more than adding a yearling or two
yearlings into a field with an
overweight horse. Oh they're gonna love
you so much for that, right? Because then
it's going to increase their voluntary
exercise. There's been some recent
research on dynamic feeding systems, very
interesting, where the feeding system
will open a door and once the horse sees
that the door to the feeding system is
open they have to walk around a series
of fencing to get to the other side to
eat the hay. The door shuts, opens on the
other side they have to walk around
again and that again just increases
voluntary exercise. And then some people
try pasture paradise which is a pretty
elaborate way I think, to manage horses,
seems like a lot of labor. I don't mean
to be negative in the beginning, it just
seems like a lot of work, but maybe not.
I've not done it. They make a path a
round a pasture or set of land where
sometimes they have hills and logs and
other things for them to traverse and go
through but they move the hay in the
system so that horses have to move and
find the hay every day and it's a way
again increase voluntary exercise. The
more voluntary exercise that your horse
has the better to keep their body
healthy. There are other ways to do it
you know, exercising three to four times
a week for 30 to 45 minutes is ideal if
you can do it. Go for long walks you and
the horse lose weight that way, right? um
You know, ask to help prep a thoroughbreds
yearling for sale and you're gonna be
walking 45 minutes a day. That's actually
my favorite. Lunging horses, riding horses,
certainly would be great. Putting them on
an exerciser if you have that, you know
this is our exerciser
if you can put horses on great, not a lot
of people have that. Swimming could be
used and then
also consider leasing your horse. It's a
great way to stay an owner of your horse
but also get them exercise. Some you know
young Pony Club or 4-H child would
have a benefit there of riding your horse
and your horse should have the benefit
of the exercise.
All right medications and supplements.
Supplements there's really and I hate to
say there's really no good research
evidence that shows that medications and
supplements reduce the adiposity of horses. So you know it's kind of a last
resort they may try them your
veterinarian may try them and
weight-loss resistant horses like the
draught horse we were you know referring
to earlier. One of the ones that gets
given as levothyroxine sodium.
Thyro- L is the name of one of the
products out there. It has been as shown
to be effective inducing weight loss and
increasing insulin sensitivity in
healthy horses, but not in actual
overweight horses. But again, it is used
as a last resort. The other thing is the
supplements there really isn't a
supplement that has been shown in
research settings at least to be
effective at you know weight loss.
Certainly there are products that
chromium and other products that get you
know put into supplements but
unfortunately there's just nothing I can
tell you that is this magic bullet I
guess that induces weight loss. And then
I wanted to show you some more results
from Dr. Jaqueth's study where we were
just looking to see well how do you
manage your overweight horses. And
certainly the ponies here which are in
black are managed more in dry Lots than
horses. The ponies also were using having
grazing muzzles applied more than horses,
and not a lot of people use medication,
it's just not that you know common to be
used, but certainly a little bit more in
the ponies than the horses. Overall we
found that you know people are more
concerned with their ponies because
ponies are more prone to laminitis than
horses. Just keep in mind that losing
weight quickly can also have you know
bad implications for your horse.
So hyperlipidemia is a condition that if
you try to get them to lose weight too
fast they can start rapidly breaking
down their fat stores and their
triglycerides and
can really lead to some some illness in
your horse. Gastric ulcers, if they don't
have a you know a hay or a high-fiber
substance in their bellies throughout
the course of the day then that acid can
eat away at the lining, cause ulcers.
Stereotypical behaviors, they may start
to get bored because they don't have
anything to do and they may eat manure
like coprophagy or even start chewing on
wood.
Oops this one always gets me, I don't
know how this that still stays in my
lectures it's supposed to come out every
time just ignore that must be a running
joke with me now. And then just keep in
mind you know, obesity in horses is a
very serious health and welfare problem
that we really need to address and I'm
so glad that you guys have listened to
this webinar today. There are a lot of
negative impacts of obesity on horses
including laminitis, reduced performance,
and an increased cost to the horse owner.
We can reduce weight loss but we have to
change the diet and we have to increase
exercise. And I want to leave you with
commont here by Albert Einstein
"Intellectual soft problems, geniuses
prevent them." So what we really should be
focusing on is preventing this from
happening instead of treating it when it
does happen. Okay one last poll I know we
lost a few people but if you could take
one last poll for me that whoops sorry
let me just bring this pull up here. Poll
three is As a result of listening to
this webinar will you be implementing one
or more of the weight control strategies
discussed today? So if you can take that
answer that for me that would be great.
We have yes maybe no and don't know. All
right, 76% 84% of you have put in
your polling answer her.e All right it
looks like many of you will be and some
of you might be which is great right?
Maybe you were just learning some new
ways to think about weight loss in your horse, Okay at this point I'd love to
take questions if you have additional
questions just go ahead and type them in
the chat box and Jen will let me know. We
did have a comment, one of our, one of our
viewers. A good friend to just set up a
paddock paradise system and the
horses do really seem to love it. We'll
have to see how they adjust long term.
Fantastic! I think I love the idea of
those. I had the chance to visit one and
I I was just overwhelmed by how much
labor it took for the owner, but it's
certainly great for the horses. We did
have a question that about the muzzles
what type of muzzle you recommend and
any tricks for keeping them on? You know
that's a good question.
We ordered probably five different
muzzle styles and tried tried them on
different horses and I think it varies
with the horse. I can tell you that we
use a Tough one brand for our grazing
muzzle studies, not that I think they're
better than the others, they're just the ones
that we ended up choosing. And no, the
company I swear didn't give us any money
for that study. I think it varies.
There are certainly ones like the
baskets the there they look a little
tougher but I really I couldn't tell you
I I don't know that any research has
been done on muzzle style and what's
more effective. What I find is that
people buy a muzzle and they that horse
tells them whether they need to buy a
different kind because they knock it off
or break it or just destroy them out in
the field. We had a we had another
comment about braiding the mane into the
muzzle into the band that goes across
behind the ears can sometimes help to
hold them on. Yes fantastic! right? instead
of the velcro which they can easily just
take off . Yeah sometimes you have to
braid them into the mane and sometimes
we've even used duct tape to try to duct
tape them in a little bit even more than
when they've gotten out the braids from
rolling. Another question is what is the
acceptable weight difference between
summer- winter and spring and fall what
do you like to see in those
in those seasonal changes when hay is
fed versus when they're out on a lush
pasture? So ideally our horses don't
change body condition score throughout
the seasons but in horses it's it's a
inherent trait that they tend to gain
weight well it's I guess basically when
you're managing them they tend to lose
weight in the winter right? and then we
come out of winter and then April hits
and the grass green it greens up and
then April and May they start to gain
weight. What I would like to see is more
good quality forage fed during the
winter so we don't have a loss of weight
and then in April and May I'd be very
cautious of turning your horses out
full-time because that's when the
pastures are really growing and they're
higher in non structural carbohydrates so
they don't have to eat as much to get
fat. There's been some studies one study
in particular by Virginia Tech that
showed really
April pastures in Virginia were very
high in non structural carbohydrates
so then you come out of the spring and
you hit the summer and you're in drought
so you have to feed hay in the drought
as well and a lot of people forget that.
So I get called out a lot and people say
well my horse is losing weight. What
grains should I give them or what
supplement? And I look and I'm like
there's no grass out here you have to
feed forage during the droughts and
certainly last year we had that
situation where we were very droughty.
You were feeding hay very early, so keep
that in mind.
So hay to me is a supplement to
supplement the forage in this area which
is primarily pasture. Any other questions?
It sounds like the plan for the fat
draft horse that we were discussing
earlier is to move him into a stall for
half the day we'll feed one and a half
percent body weight in hay straw equal
balance and we'll add a ration balancer.
When he's out he'll continue to wear a
muzzle. I have a lesson each Wednesday
and I'll ride more. Sounds like a great plan!
Definitely talk to your veterinarian
about that, they may have some other
recommendations in the area that you're
in or with the type of housing or
situation but I think that that's, that's
a good plan to try to to enact with that
horse. We have another comment that just
said about with restrictions on riding
horses are out 24 hours without the
regular exercise that they may have
gotten previously. Right? So my concern
there is that we are now that we're in
the Covid pandemic and a lot of people
are not allowed to ride and go to their
see their horses that we're gonna open
up for business and we're gonna ride the
horse just like we did before. They're
not fit, they probably have gained a
little bit of weight. I'm actually
concerned with some horses losing weight
as well because owners aren't kind of
there to make sure their horse is
staying on in a good body condition, so
you actually might see both conditions
happening at least I've heard of that. So
take it easy with your horse, scale up
your riding slowly,
don't try to compete right when we're
allowed to go back to riding and also
consider that we're getting into the
warmer months here and it's gonna be
harder for your horse to dissipate heat
so maybe even do Body Clips I mean
they should be losing their their body
hair but if they haven't considered body
clips to help them thermo regulate
easier in the hot and humid weather and
then just take it slow that's my best
advice. Alright I don't see any other
questions, we'll give everyone one last
chance if you have anything else you'd
like to ask before we close for today.
Okay I don't see anything else so with
that we'll conclude our webinar for
today. We certainly hope that you've
learned some valuable information, gotten
your questions answered. If you'd like to
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today, I hope that you have a great
afternoon and we look forward to meeting
with you again later this month.
Thank you!

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