Nutrition: Introduction Case Study of Elegance CF 2001gm

By Jeannie Lieb

Posted on October 5th, 2015 in General

Meet the newest member of my little herd: Elegance CF 2001gm

EleganceSeptember2015

Darlene Summers graciously allowed me to acquired this mare from her after I fell head over heels for her the first time I met her in August of 2015.

These pictures were taken the morning after I’d brought her to my place in September 2015.

She looks pretty good in the left photo.  She doesn’t look underweight to me based on the amount of fat (just right) covering her ribs. But the picture on the right shows a backbone that is somewhat prominent and hips that aren’t nicely rounded.  You might think this is just an angular mare, however when you see her in person you are struck by the fact that she has no muscling anywhere except the underside of her neck (she’s big on the “listening horse” stance). And she is 100% Davenport and they tend to be nicely rounded Arabians.

Elegance has been trained to ride and was ridden more than just occasionally before she delivered her first foal in May 2012.  She has been ridden sporadically since and not at all in the last year. Still, she should have more muscle that she does.

If she’s had trouble holding weight all her life,  as Darlene tells me, she may have been burning muscle for energy since she didn’t have any body fat to burn.  If that is not the reason then why won’t she store body fat?  This has led me to order an  Equine Hair Mineral Analysis .  This analysis will tell me if she is grossly deficient or toxic for any of the major or trace mineral in case this is playing a part in her body type at present.

Here is something I can promise you that is contributing to her “lanky” body,  at least currently:

EleganceChewingIssuesSeptember2015

A horse that stretches its neck out like this while eating hay or concentrate (grain) has nasty dental problems.  This mare has trouble sliding her lower jaw forward when her head is lowered. And it may even be very painful for her to do so.  The photo with the black arrow is showing you how she gets “wads” of chewed food stuck between her teeth and cheek.  I scooped as much out as I could and some of that junk had been in there quite a while because it smelled nasty.  Elegance has an appointment with the equine dentist on Friday Oct 9. I will update you with what he finds.

In the mean time I am soaking her concentrate which consists of hay cubes and a low starch/sugar “complete” feed.  Elegance has lots of trouble chewing hay even though my hay is quite soft and grassy which is why I’ve selected a “complete” (read lots of fiber) feed for now.

What she is getting to eat on a daily basis at this point until more is known:

Grass hay, 1/4lb  Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance Cubes, 2lbs Poulin Decade Complete Diet 13, Horsetech Nutra-Flax w/o added calcium, Horsetech High Point Grass/Mixed Hay vitamin/mineral supplement, and Uckele E + Se  supplement.   I live in a selenium deficient area of the US.

 

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