I went to the local feed store today to invest in a new weight tape. Mine is super old and I've heard the new ones are more accurate these days. Instead of being 150 lbs off, they're only about 50 lbs off. They actually gave me one for free!
It still ended up being an expensive trip because I found a blanket for AJ. I wanted to get him something that was waterproof but would also provide just a smidge of warmth. They had an Amigo blanket with 200g of fill, but it felt really thin... not sheet thin, but not as puffy as the blanket next to it that also claimed to have 200g of fill. It was $90, which I had decided was a fair price as blanket prices seem to have gone up since I last purchased one. It's a 78, so I hope it doesn't swallow him whole, and I hope he doesn't snack on it as he has been known to do.
Anyway, back to the nutrition gods. :)
While I was there, I was talking to the nice ladies about AJ and how I know next to nothing about nutrition but have suddenly decided to take over feeding my two horses. It just so happens that they have an equine nutritionist coming into the area and he has offered to spend a day evaluating horses. He'll travel to your barn and answer questions and recommend feed programs according to each horse's needs. So I have an appointment with him at 11:30 next Thursday. I AM BEYOND EXCITED! This will be so great!! I wish it was tomorrow since I'll be buying grain tomorrow that he may tell me to stop feeding, but I guess I'd have to slowly change them over anyway... I've decided not to buy the big load of hay I had planned though.
I snapped some pictures of AJ today and weight taped both of them. I'm ashamed to say that Lilly was AFRAID of the weight tape. I had to beg her to stand still and even then she was giving the tape the stink eye.
The sun was not doing me any favors, and AJ refused to cooperate because of his hay pile, so these are the best I could get. I wanted to see where I thought he fell on the body condition scorecard. I think he's right there between a 3 and a 4... What do you think?
|You can see his spine, his hip bones, and his ribs in this one.|
|His tailhead is pretty prominent...|
|And I think his withers and shoulders are also pretty prominent.|
For a score of 3 it says, "Thin. The backbone stands out, but fat covers it to midpoint. Fat can be felt over the ribs. The backbone and ribs are noticeable. The tailhead is prominent. Individual vertebrae cannot be seen. Hook bones are visible but appear rounded. Pin bones cannot be seen. The withers, shoulders and neck are accentuated."
Here are the results from the weight tape:
Weight Tape = 1150 lbs
Heart Girth = 74 in
Body Length = 69 in
Online Calculator = 1145 lbs
Weight Tape = 1130 lbs (oink)
Heart Girth = 74 in
Body = 64 in
Calculator = 1062 lbs
I was shocked that their heart girths measured the same. I measured 3 or 4 times, but always got the same measurement. I had no idea Lilly weighed that much. I pegged her to weigh about 950 lbs... oops. These measurements aren't super accurate, though. I had to use the height measurement side of the tape to measure their heart girth and body length, and then convert it to inches. I also did it alone... so... they could be off a bit, but I think they're a good starting point, ball park estimate.
But 1145 lbs doesn't sound underweight to me... Perhaps my perception of weight is off because I never really knew how much any of my horses weighed, but let's say he's 100 lbs underweight (because now that I look at the pictures and the body scorechart, I think 75 lbs might be too low). He'd weigh 1245 lbs? That seems like a lot. He's nearly 16 hands, but that still sounds about 150 pounds heavier than I thought he weighed at a healthy weight.
Guess I better get back to reading this nutrition book because I'm even less educated than I thought!