March: Cisco – Weight Loss Success!

Meet Cisco! He is a 15 year old Norwegian Fjord who lives and works at the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association (VTRA). Although considered already large by Fjord standards (he stands 15hh!), Cisco has struggled with his weight for a number of years. When Cisco arrived at the VTRA 3 years ago, he weighed 1300lbs and had a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 8 out of 9, which is considered obese. After changing their feeding program, diligently rationing his hay into hay nets, as well as adding more independent exercise to his program, the VTRA crew of volunteers were successfully able to get Cisco to lose weight. At his spring annual exam this year, he weighed 1060lbs – a total loss of 240 lbs!! These results were not limited just to Cisco. Many other VTRA horses struggled with varying degrees of obesity (BCS 6-8/9) due to their low level of daily exercise. The VTRA has been careful with managing their feeding program, adding slow feeder nets, and allocating an exercise rider to every horse to improve their fitness. This spring, nearly ALL the horses have achieved an ideal body weight and as a group, lost almost 1000lbs! Proof that with addressing the multiple factors contributing to obesity, significant weight loss is achievable. Great job to everyone’s contributions at the VTRA. The now healthier horses (and their joints) appreciate it!