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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never gave it much thought but horses of yesteryear were very narrow through the withers and todays nags are quite wide by comparison. Has breeding, nutrition or some other factor caused this? Any vets or saddlemakers have anything to add?

This was brought back to my attention by a local saddlemaker when I was discussing having an antique saddle restored. I had no intention of riding it but he did bring that up. It's something I knew but never thought about because well, I don't have a time machine and never considered riding this old saddle on one of my horses. My, uh, saddle area is also bigger than cowboys of old. Nutrition is the cause of my widening.
 

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Yes that is true on the average horse nowdays. It is just from breeding wide backed horses more than thin wither/back ones.

Nutrition and work will build muscle and make a wider back (or just be'an too fat!). For the most part though that is what sells, so that is what we've bred for. Arabians and some of the wild mustangs are still thin across the withers and back.

A thin high withered horse holds a saddle better but doesn't look as nice. I ride mules. They also tend to have a wide flat back and low withers. I use a breast strap and a britchen to hold my saddles on.

Hud
 

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Cane,
Do you have any horses now?

The one I do have is a half arib, half prercheron. What a mix! She has a small head, high withers, big feet, and a big butt.

She is my new mule maker. Mules tend to have big heads, small feet, low withers, and a little weak in the butt so maybe she will even things out when I breed her with a jack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got 'em up now.

My family raised Arabians. I still love 'em. They are cheap out here. My wife's mom was one of the first officers in the paint club. That's what she likes. After nearly 20 years of arguing I thought at least it's something we can do together. Just trying to get ready for show season now. The colt will sure do what he was bred for, should get after a cow. I think he'll have enough mass to stop one in a couple of years. Never had a gelding before but I sure don't need to keep a stallion so I guess we'll get him cut pretty soon.
 

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On the idea of the original post--humans, too have gotten larger. Sometime check out a civil war uniform. Looks like they were made for 10-12 year olds. Proper diet and exercise plus who knows what else has caused us to develop in just 100-150 years
 

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I have a pretty big animal, 15.2HH .1/2 arab, 1/2 quarter. A Buckskin that goes by the name Tucson. I like the look of a bigger stocky horse,maybe because I am big and stocky myself!! That could be part of the reason for the breeding though.
Dennis
 

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Well Sota's mama was a quarter horse, so that should make her 1/8 horse, but instead she half horse. Figure that out.

Hud
 

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How many horse/mule owners do we have on here that hunt, pack or CAS on horseback?

Hud
 

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Yea, we do **** hunt. No jumping mules,yet. Sota is in training. She can really jump at a run. She has cleared a 6' high 2x4 welded wire fence at a run. No rider of course. I haven't got her to jump well enough from a standstill to try a barbwire fence at night. She is 15.2hands and about 1100 lbs.

Abby, my other mule, won't jump but she is good in the woods at night as long as there are gates. **** hides don't bother her and at 14hands she is easy to get on and off a lot and you don't have to duck branches as much.

Also down to one Redbone hound, Cool Hand Luke III. This is his first year and he started it off with a broken leg, but he still got a few ***** under his belt.

Also lost my **** hunting partner to a night job. He'll get tired of it and be back hunting by next year I hope. His dog, Super Red, last year got hit and killed by a Caddilac. He has two other Walkers, but they aren't much as **** dogs.

Hud
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We got some good Walkers when we moved out here. My wife then decided water moccasains at night weren't her thing. Then we got into bird dogs. I ran out of time to hunt much and now my short-hair is 13. She'll still point but I won't use her for more than an hour or so. If she gets tired on point she just sits down until I get there. She still looks like a pup in the face when shes working.

My uncle out in Oklahoma introduced me to **** hunting with mules. They had a bunch and they would sure jump. Haven't been on a mule in over 20 years. I would appreciate them now, being much closer to the ground than these young horses.
 

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Cane
Sounds like your pointer is now a setter! Oh well, I too am that way more than I used to be. You've got some real nice horses on your website.

You mentioned on your website about a couple horses being underweight and then you put some pounds back on them. What did you use to do that?

My Arab/Percheron mare, I just got, seems thin to me. She has been wormed and I had her teeth floated. She has plenty of energy. I've been giving her about 3 lbs of 12% sweet feed per day, besides grass hay. How much feed can I put into her with out her getting foundered?

My mules get fat if I just show them a picture of a feed bag. So I can't go by what I feed them.

Hud
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
To fatten them up I used my wife. She did wonders with me too, all fat and slick. Seriously, we use Equi-Jewel, good grass hay and she feeds a local mill's feed called Sweet/Calm. It uses beet pulp instead of molasses. Still a little sticky but it cuts down on flies in warm and won't freeze in cold. We had been told years ago to use beet pulp to put weight on and have seen some of our boarders mix it with their feed with good results. We feed 3-4 scoops of grain so if using a 3lb coffe can it's about the same number of those. I know, I know. With our Arabians we didn't feed half that but they were on pasture all the time. These horses do get exercise and get worked but spend every night in a stall. I think feed compnaies say 1-2% of their body weight. Check the bag to make sure. so 10-20 lbs for a 1000 lb horses. It amy be .5 to 1.5% but I think 1% is a good safe amount. Increase it gradually.
 

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Cane,

Thanks for the info. I can see I'm not feeding her enough.

I give my mules 1% to 2% of their body weight in grass hay, per day. They also have all the oat straw they want to chew on a keep their bellies full. My smaller mule, Abby, easily gets fat on that. My larger mule, Sota, I do give about 1lb of grain per day.

I will start uping the grain for Maple gradually, thanks again.

Hud
 
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