Embrace winter weight loss
With equine obesity becoming a worrying trend, the team at Dengie explain why your horse losing a little weight over the colder months can be good for his health
THIS SUMMER, THE Dengie Nutrition Team has seen many horses that have gained weight year on year. For the sake of your horse’s health and welfare, it’s important to keep an eye on his bodyweight and put a stop to the expanding waistline. The winter months are a great time to encourage weight loss and get your horse into shape, ready for spring.
The problem with obesity
Being obese puts various stresses and strains on your horse’s body — not least his joints, which can affect long-term soundness and the ability to exercise. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk of laminitis, especially in those horses with underlying insulin dysregulation.
Why is winter a good time to encourage weight loss?
As winter progresses, grass is less energy dense as it’s more mature. Cold weather slows its growth and as grass is continually grazed, there’s less to eat. This, combined with your horse having to use more energy to keep warm in colder conditions if he doesn’t wear a rug, should mean that winter is an easier time to encourage weight loss.
If your horse is carrying a little excess weight, winter is the perfect time for him to shed some pounds
Colder weather slows the growth of grass