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

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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

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