Ten Top Tips To Help Your Horse’s Weight
Ten top tips to help your horse’s weight. A great read especailly just before our weight clinic and visit from Top Spec on Sunday 27th September.
Click here to see last weeks news post for all the information and time slots on our Top Spec visit.
Top Ten Tips
Use winter wisely
Every year and allow your horse to lose weight naturally. Being able to see your horse’s ribs is healthy as you enter spring and will give some scope for natural weight gain when the grass starts to grow.
Because grass in its growing stages is highly calorific. Consider turning out overnight when there is likely to be less sugar and fructan in the grass. Turn out for longer on sparser paddocks to prevent binge eating. Try a grazing muzzle remembering to introduce it carefully and not use it for more than 12 hours per day.
Assess faecal output
Daily to check for changes in pasture intake when you have restricted the grazing.
Don’t use rugs
Because very few horses actually need them in summer even if it’s raining! Instead allow your horse to naturally shake off a few pounds by keeping warm, as nature intended.
Feed alternative forage
To horses and ponies at very high risk of laminitis. Ideally remove them from pasture altogether and feed a suitable forage/short chopped fibre, preferably one that has been approved by the Laminitis Trust.
Invest in forage analysis
To make sure you know the nutritional value of the hay or haylage you plan to use for your weight loss programme.
Before feeding having first discussed with your vet the appropriate percentage bodyweight ration your horse needs to promote weight loss (if soaking start with 20% more dry weight as some dry matter will be lost post soaking).
To a minimum of 25 minutes (15 minutes at brisk trot) five times a week to help keep your horse’s waistline in check and support a healthy metabolism.
Provide nutritional support
To ensure your horse has a balanced diet. The latest research recommends that a low calorie, protein, vitamin and mineral balancer should always be included in the diet of horses on restricted forage.
Monitor your horse’s weight
By regularly reviewing your weight loss programme with your vet or nutritionist. Record weight weekly using body condition scoring and a weigh tape.