Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Weighty Issues

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By: Pat Raia
December 01 2009, Article # 15460

Being fat increases a horse’s risk for several life-threatening obesity-related complications; fight the flab with strategic dietary changes and exercise.

While a dozen horses pass the afternoon grazing outdoors, Rose is being readied for a workout. But the normally cooperative Quarter Horse is fussy, and she's calling to the pasturemates she can see through an opening in the barn door.

"She's on a diet," says Rose's owner, Kari Sullivan, "and she's not happy about it."

For Rose, "dieting" means spending more time in a stall than outdoors picking sweet pasture grass. It also means Sullivan is boosting her activity to include daily workouts beyond her regular schedule as the stable's school horse.

In old-school terms, Rose is an easy keeper: It doesn't take much in the way of feed to keep her in good flesh all winter long. But after few days munching on spring- time's high-calorie pasture grass, Rose begins to pack on pounds and becomes vulnerable to a number of life-threatening obesity-related complications...

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