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My Horse Is Overweight… What Can I Do?

Has your vet told you your horse is overweight? What may be causing your horse’s weight gain? Diet? A medical condition? Something else? Whatever the reason may be, here are some helpful hints to follow:

  • Reduce the amount of grain your horse is fed. Cut it back gradually over a 7- to 10-day period.
  • Step up your horse’s regular exercise program. If your horse is unable to be ridden, try putting him on a lead and taking him for a walk.
  • Restrict his access to other horses’ hay and grain at feeding time so that he is not tempted. If the overweight horse has an opportunity to steal food from his pasture mate, more than likely, he will.
  • Feed grains with a lower fat content, and remember to measure by weight, not quantity (i.e., use a scale, not a coffee can).
  • Feed hay of a lesser nutritional quality, but never compromise the horse by feeding moldy or rotten hay.

Always provide plenty of fresh water as it aids the horse’s digestive system.

Be patient, and remember to track his weight. Although your horse may not look as if he is losing weight, he really may be.

Remember, always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s feed or nutrition.