Starvation Paddocks

I’ve been off work for a week and, today, had a good look at all the riding school horses. I was pleasantly surprised that they all looked fat and healthy, but disappointed to see that one coloured cob hasn’t lost much in the way of his waistline.
Just before I went away we decided drastic action needed to be taken as one little cob had become obese. He wasn’t laminitic, and even going into winter he was carrying too much weight. So we opted for the starvation paddock route, limiting his hay intake and increasing his exercise.
I’m in two minds about this decision; firstly, this pony is not moving round his paddock, grazing, he just stands and eats his haynet. Surely this isn’t good for his diet.
However, with him close to the barn we are more inclined to use him for clients and as hack escort, and even to put him on the walker. It’s so easy when the horses are in a bigger field, or further away, to overlook them.

The result is that on weekends he does at least two hours work, and an hour every weekday. I’m sure he has toned up a bit, and his girth definitely does up more…

So what is everyones approach to obesity and dieting? Prevention is obviously better than cure; I think next week this cob can go back to the big field but be exercised daily.

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