Meet Ruby! (Sorry Rubes, it's true and you know it) She is your classic 'good doer', hardly looks at a blade of grass before she balloons. When the farrier saw her earlier in the year, he said; "Now there's a horse who has come through winter well!"
The vet has often reprimanded me for her weight, and was surprised to learn she was in full work 6 days per week and on hardly any food! Yep, she's one of those - and they can be tricky to manage, particularly when we are unable to work her at the moment due to her steroid injections.
So here's Ruby's 'fat fighters' plan - firstly she is confined to a small portion of the paddock with very little grass. In fact we put the classic 'poor doer' Thoroughbred Blue on there to graze it first, much to Ruby's digust so she really was left with very little. Essentially, as Fat Fighter Marjory would say (Little Britain reference), dust!
The issue with doing this is that we noticed her droppings reduced rapidly and of course she was hungry. No surprise there. It's quite the task trying to balance rationing with starving. Without enough forage and fibre though you start causing other problems; the risk of colic and ulcers for instance, and reduced gut function. To counter balance this, fatty, sorry Ruby, is being given last years hay in small amounts. Definitely avoid new or green hay with lots of goodness in it.
Of course what this doesn't give her is the goodness; cue Horslyx. We have been feeding this for 1-2 hours a day to give her all the vitamins and minerals she could ever need to keep her healthy, and of course this allows us to trickle feed which you don't get with buckets of feed which is inhaled in seconds! Since switching to this she's not been licking mud or biting fence posts at all.
People often think that with licks they are packed full of sugar and energy that isn't suitable for fat or sparky horses. Actually I was surprised to learn that recommended daily intake of Horslyx provides only 82.5g, whereas whereas 24hrs worth of fresh grass is the equivalent of nearly 2000g! This means they don't get fizzy, and it's even suitable for laminitic horses and ponies when fed according to these guidelines.
The Horslyx has been a great supplement for Ruby, but also if like me you've found that the flies are suddenly driving you and the horses nuts (horse flies especially!), they actually do a garlic Horslyx too which is brilliant for helping to keep the flies at bay.
My other horse Blue is suffering with his feet at the moment too and we're struggling to keep shoes on - this is due to the weather conditions, constant changing from floods to very dry has made his hooves brittle. All Horslyx products contain a 'healthy hooves' formula, including Biotin, Methionine and Chelated Zinc to name a few. Therefore we've upped his Horslyx intake from being used as a treat or for stretches, to being provided in the field too.