Man­age his weight

Your Horse (UK) - - Horse Care -

A shift up or down in your horse’s weight is one of the most com­mon signs that some­thing’s up. Reg­u­larly check your horse’s weight by body scor­ing him. Feel round his neck, with­ers, ribs and be­hind his loins for lumpy fat de­posits. Weight loss can be an in­di­ca­tion that what he’s been chomp­ing on isn’t be­ing pro­cessed well enough or that he’s in some sort of pain. So, if your horse is drop­ping weight, don’t just look at what he’s eat­ing, but how he’s eat­ing it. “An older horse with a good ap­petite some­times drops weight be­cause, al­though he’s eat­ing, he’s not chew­ing it and that comes down to den­tal prob­lems,” ex­plains Claire. How­ever, how an older horse main­tains his weight also has a lot to do with his breed­ing. Na­tive breeds are ex­tremely ef­fi­cient at stor­ing en­ergy but ex­er­cise will help with weight man­age­ment – if they’re sound enough to do so. “Older Thor­ough­bred type horses and Arabs have the op­po­site prob­lem,” says Claire. “They strug­gle to keep weight on in the win­ter months.”

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