Helping Your Horse Lose Those Extra Pounds

It seems like everyone is talking about adding a few extra pounds this year. That applies to a lot of pets, too. If you’ve noticed your equine companion has added an inch or two to her girth, now is a great time to address that added weight. Horses don’t do well with dieting, unfortunately, since they need to nibble throughout the day to maintain digestive health. Instead of starving her, try these tips to help your horse lose the extra weight she has put on.

Provide Opportunities for Exercise

Just like with people, when horses need to lose weight, they must expend more energy than they take in. That usually means increasing exercise. Develop a routine that you can go through at least three or four times a week. Start slow and gradually add in some fun challenges like a course of ground poles or schooling horse jumps.

Reassess Their Diet

When you keep a horse as a companion and pet, it is easy to overindulge them. A carrot or apple here, a few treats there and several hours of pasture grazing a day may seem perfectly alright, but it is an unnecessarily rich diet for a horse that just hangs out most of the time. Add in any high-calorie supplements, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Instead of rich feed, provide plenty of grass-based forage for them, such as fescue or timothy hay. Also, try to limit pasture time to four or fewer hours per day or use a grazing muzzle if you cannot restrict pasture time.

Introduce a Companion

Many horses will eat out of boredom and loneliness. They are, after all, herd animals that thrive when around others. If you keep your horse by herself, try introducing a companion. Goats, ponies and donkeys can all make good companions for horses.

With careful planning and some extra work, you can help your horse shed those extra pounds. Be prepared to offer high-quality feed and encourage active play for the best success. Horses don’t do well with dieting, unfortunately, since they need to nibble throughout the day to maintain digestive health. Instead of starving her, try these tips to help your horse lose the extra weight she has put on. It seems like everyone is talking about adding a few extra pounds this year. That applies to a lot of pets, too. If you’ve noticed your equine companion has added an inch or two to her girth now is a great time to address that added weight. If you keep your horse by herself, try introducing a companion. Goats ponies and donkeys can all make good companions for horses.

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