How To Keep Your Horse A Health Weight
Horses need to be kept at a healthy weight, just like all other animals. This gives them the best chance at life, as well as a longer life span and a happier attitude. Despite the obvious risk of disease and higher chance of injury, an overweight horse may not want to behave in the way you would wish, which can be very upsetting for both you and your beloved horse.
It can be difficult to maintain your horses’ weight, but it is possible and will prevent obesity and heavy joints as well as various other complications. Simply put, a healthy horse is a happy horse and a happy horse equals a happy owner! Here’s how to keep your horse at a healthy weight.
Ride your horse at least 6 times a week
Like humans, horses need a good 30 minutes exercise nearly every day to keep fit, healthy and to rise that heartbeat so that weight can be lost and blood circulation is running smoothly. Riding your horse, doing obstacle courses and generally spending time with your horse in the great outdoors will prevent many nasty diseases for both you and your companion, not only that but it’s mentally therapeutic to bond with your horse and build that trust; your horse will no doubt be excited to have all that attention!
Keep an eye on sneaky snacking
It’s very likely that you will allow your horse to spend a lot of time in a field, so it’s important to make sure that you are keeping an eye on how much grass your elegant friend is eating. Grazing on grass can seem innocent but it all has calories and can add up, especially when you are not able to keep an eye on them, or when passers-by and friends decide to pick some grass and hand feed your horse! It’s a bit like a toddler sneaking into that chocolate cupboard, cute but not good for the health.
Fibre and then more fibre
Every living animal on earth needs fibre to maintain a healthy gut and digestive tract, having a high fibre diet can prevent celiac episodes as well as prevent many diseases. A lack of fibre can be incredibly painful to humans so it’s no doubt it hurts our horse friends as well, but they will not be able to tell us so we need to look after them and prevent any harm. Good quality hay is one of the best sources of fibre but make sure to weigh it so that you are not over feeding your beloved horse.
Take note of the change in seasons
Winter can cause a horse to lose weight due to the cold weather and lack of fresh grass, however the cold may also prevent the horse from wanting to exercise which maintains a healthy body. It may be worth encouraging your horse to eat small amounts regularly if they do not have a large appetite or use a bit of oil to raise calorie intake. Summer may lead to overeating and bug bites, so it’s worth checking over your friend’s coat and physic to ensure they are happy and healthy.
Talk to a vet if you have concerns
It may be scary to talk to vet about your horse’s health, but the vet only wants to help and give the best possible life and health to your horse, they care as much as you do. Vets understand that sometimes horses may change in weight and it does not mean that you are being a bad owner. A vet is a professional in the field and can help you to tailor the right diet and lifestyle changes to benefit your four-legged friend.