“Tina became bad tempered and vicious in order to get feed”
Monique Haaijer: “Basically, from the moment I got her Tina has always been too heavy. She has always been out in the pasture and was given extra feed on top of that. You could see other horses taking a nap and relaxing while Tina was always eating. If she gets the chance, her head is ‘glued’ to the ground all day long."
“The first change was to take Tina out of the pasture. We had her examined and found out that she suffers from insulin resistance, so grass is really not good for her.
We had the haylage tested and accurately weighed all the portions. Tina definitely was not happy that she got less feed overnight. She became really bad tempered. If I passed the feed, she would bite me to get it. When people came to feed her, she would even attack them. She was a real grouch. At that time, I thought ‘Poor animal, what am I doing to you?’ Her behaviour became really extreme. That is why after some consultation, we slightly increased the quantity of feed. Her behaviour improved but she still was cross. I love hacking, but that was difficult during that time. She would do anything to get to the grass."
“She changed from a lethargic slowcoach into a fit horse.”
Happy fit horse
“The vicious behaviour lasted three to four months, but I am really happy that I persevered. From a vicious mare, Tina changed into a happy, fit horse. I am thrilled! She has never been like this before. She is still obsessed with food but is no longer vicious. She is just much happier. Before the weight loss program, she was a slowcoach but now she is fit and occasionally I see her running and bucking in her paddock.
We still need to pay close attention to her diet. She just loves to eat. So, we still weigh the hay. But that is ok. I am so happy that I persevered with the weight loss program for my horse.”