Well here we are, Monday morning and Mariska and I are ready to start our diets! Here is Mariska's before picture. And NO, there will not be a "before" picture of me! Lol. You will just have to trust me when I tell you that I need to lose weight too. It is always nice to have a weight loss/exercise buddy isn't it? We will do it together!
Let me tell you what we worked on this week to make sure that we are successful in our quest to take weight off of Mariska. First we weighed her with a weight tape, these tapes are not perfect, but you can get an "approximate" weight with them that will be close enough. Her starting weight is 1280 lbs. I would like to see her lose 100 lbs for a end weight of 1180. Of course she will put on "baby" weight as she gets closer to her due date which is July 17th, with an adjusted date of July 3rd. The gestation period for horses is 340 days, but Friesians often will go close to 2 weeks earlier than that. We have never had a foal born later than 330 days. Starting now, should allow us to get her to a healthy weight before she starts to put on her baby weight.
The first thing that I needed to do is learn exactly how much each flake of hay weighs. I know my bales weight between 40 and 50 lbs each, and they have between 8 to 10 flakes. That is not precise enough. So now I needed a way to weigh each flake, I purchased a hanging scale from TSC. They however do not sell any trays or dishes to attach to the scale.
So next I purchased a inexpensive metal tub and Don drilled 3 holes in it.
Next we hung the bucket on the scale with 3 bungee cords. This works great and will allow me to give her exactly the same amount of hay at each feeding. I feed 3 times a day, I give 1 flake morning, 1 flake noon and 2 flakes over night. I will not reduce the number of feedings in week three, I will just reduce the weight of the flake. For this week and next she should be getting 25 1/2 lbs of hay per day. The way I came to that number is, I took her weight of 1280 lbs and multiplied it by 2 %. The 3rd and 4th week, we will drop her hay down to 1.5% of her body weight, and she will be getting 19 lbs of hay a day. I am giving her one 8 oz cup of a low calorie pelleted feed once a day. To this I add her thyroid powder and her joint supplement. I also add a couple of tablespoons of molasses so she will eat the grain with the powders. I would like to eliminate these calories in the future, by purchasing flavored pelleted supplements, which would require no molasses or added feed. She has access to a Trace mineral block at all times.
Next week I will be adding information on Trienke as well, she also needs to lose 100 lbs and now is a great time to start her diet as. We will be trying to add in a day or so of exercise, weather permitting.
I would also like to give an update on Mariska and her Houdini video on Facebook and YouTube. She has had many, many people viewing and leaving wonderful and fun comments. We have had just a blast sharing this video with so many people from all over the world! Now I am left wondering what else our girl Mariska could do. If she does this without any training, what might she accomplish with training. So I will be exploring possible trick training options for her in the future and would love any opinions pro or con, and any information and names of respected trainers or techniques that might help us to give Mariska an outlet for her Mischievousness.