Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Junk in the Trunk

I promise I will get pictures this week or next so y'all can see what I'm talking about, but Licorice is going to be tested for a few things this month.  The main problem is that although his belly is not fat, his butt continues to increase in size.  I wish that I could say it's all muscle, but he now has a ridiculous butt crease.  This, along with some random fat deposits along the crest of his neck has us suspicious that Licorice may have insulin resistance.  Or it could be early, early signs of Cushings.  Or possibly something else entirely.

However, combine this with the fact that he foundered the spring before I bought him and it does look suspiciously like EMS.  Licorice is not fat AT ALL and we have continued to monitor his hay intake.  He gets worked 3-5 days a week, so that's good for him.  Otherwise, I will admit that I know NOTHING about this disease.  From what I've read, it's the first 10 years of feed that will do it and since he's 12, there's not much I can do about that.

Does anyone have experience with this?  Supplement recommendations?  I'm calling Smart Pak today to ask them about his colic supplement and another supplement they carry called SmartMetabo-Lean pellets.

Also, the vet has NOT actually diagnosed this condition yet so this is just me and Dr. Google, which is probably a dangerous combination.  :)

In other news, Licorice is doing awesome in his lessons.  Our canter to the right continues to be a bit of a train wreck, so I've asked for a training ride for him so we can see what I can do better.

I'm also participating in the 30 day Ab Challenge for June.  I'm only on Day 4 and I can't laugh because it hurts my abs too much.  Hopefully, this will help my core strength so I can get my pony to actually half halt without it killing my arms.


  1. OK - I tried to comment before but think Blogger ate it.

    EMS is very common. Keep sugars/starches down - limit or eliminate grass, reduce or eliminate grain and replace it with a low starch balancer pellet - just minerals and vitamins. Chromium supplementation can be very helpful, and if it is Cushings (hard to actually verify - most of the tests aren't that accurate), chaste tree berry helps some horses. Have thyroid levels tested - thyroid issues often go along with EMS or Cushings.

    Hope your vet is of some help - some are woefully uninformed about nutrition and metabolic issues.

  2. Oh - and exercise, exercise, exercise (horse, not you).

  3. When we bought Dee she looked exactly like you describe. A big round heart shaped butt that had no business being on the back end of an Arabian and a cresty neck that was similarly out of place. We never did get any official tests done but our vet did voice his concerns and gave his recommendations. In the end we put her on a chromium + magnesium supplement (Quiessence) and a ration balancer (Enrich Plus) as well as a 6 day a week work schedule. It seemed to do the trick and even though she no longer gets Quiessence and her work schedule has been cut way back, the fat deposits have not returned (we've made a lot of other lifestyle changes for her over the years). She was 8 when we got her. Hopefully your vet can help point you in the right direction.

  4. A good book you might find useful:
    Feed Your Horse Like a Horse: Optimize Your Horse's Nutrition for a Lifetime of Vibrant Health
    by Ph. D. Juliet M. Getty