An overweight horse is more at risk of developing health issues from laminitis to joint conditions. Excess weight can also have a detrimental effect on performance levels, so by keeping your horse at a healthy weight you can optimise enjoyment for both of you.
It isn’t always easy to maintain your horse’s weight but with a few steps you can implement a management routine to keep weight off and health on…
- Keep a close check on your horse’s body condition all year round and use a weigh tape to monitor any changes. Be pro-active, rather than re-active and make changes before the weight causes an issue.
- Most horses can maintain peak health and condition with a diet of just forage alongside a comprehensive vitamin, mineral and trace element supplement, but if you do want to give hard feed, weigh out the correct ration and feed according to workload.
- Feed little and often to mimic the way a horse would naturally graze. Consider feeding a lesser quality forage, such as straw or thoroughly soak hay so you can maintain bulk without adding unwanted calories.
- Make time for regular exercise. Even a small amount of work, whether in hand, on the lunge, or ridden, will help keep your horse fit and healthy.
- If you want to reward your horse then choose a treat that doesn’t add too many calories. A few minutes with Mini Horslyx will let your horse or pony know you care, while also administering valuable nutrients.
We use condition scoring to assess whether a horse is at the correct bodyweight. Have a look at the images below and judge which one best represents your horse. If you suspect your horse is anything other than ‘3 – Healthy Weight’ it may be time to re-assess his dietary requirements.