Melting off the pounds

Horses Chewy and Incitato start a weight loss regimen that's fun and gets great results. July 12, 2010
By Best Friends Animal Society
Watch videos of Chewy and Incitato by clicking on their names in the story.

Written by David Dickson

A big part of any physical fitness program is exercise. Yet when it comes to exercise, not everybody is equally excited to seek it out on their own. Which is why a certain horse pasture at Best Friends is so diabolically sneaky.

Incitato and Chewy on the trail

Few exercise regimes could hope to be as effective as this rather ingenious, natural setup over at one of the pastures in Horse Haven. The "Honey Bee Pasture," as it's known, sometimes goes by the nickname of the "Jenny Craig Pasture." And, for good reason, too. The Honey Bee Pasture just so happens to be sitting at the top of a long slope down to the creek below. The food stations are kept by the fence area, so the horses don’t have to hustle for their meals, but the only water source in this pasture is — on purpose — the water down at the creek.

If you had to hike up and down a hill every time you were thirsty, the pounds would fall off so quickly you’d go through wardrobes faster than a vaudeville theater troop. Horses who can handle the physical activity (but who, more often than not, choose to avoid it) are the perfect candidates for this little patch of paradise. It’s worked wonders over the years in helping horses achieve a healthier weight.

The latest horses to take a turn in the Honey Bee Pasture were just right for the assignment. Chewy and Incitato are both male horses with more than enough energy to get themselves into mischief. They need a healthy way to expend all that restless energy. By way of background, Chewy used to be the big bully at the Sanctuary. After roughly one zillion roommate transfers, the caregivers finally found a horse who worked out. The only reason? Because Incitato won’t let anybody push him around! Even so, Chewy’s old lifestyle resulted in quite a few extra pounds.


Back in his heyday of bullying, Chewy’s favorite hobby was to steal food from the other horses. And since nobody was willing to stop him (until Incitato), Chewy gained a lot of extra, natural insulation. Both horses are athletic anyway and Chewy needed to lose some weight. This was an ideal time to give them a stint over at the workout pasture. After a few weeks over at Honey Bee, in fact, the magic is already starting to pay off: Both horses are slimming down and adding muscle.

As if these two bad boys needed another excuse to brag.

Both these slim-trim horses are available for adoption. Check out Incitato and his buddy, Chewy.

Photos by Gary Kalpakoff