Weight management is a common welfare issue that we all deal with and is something that can be quite complex; especially if the equine has other needs. Excess weight can lead to a number of other health issues such as laminitis, Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and joint problems such as arthritis.
A horse’s digestive system has evolved to eat fibre, trickle feed and graze for around 18 hours a day. Due to domestication, problems can arise when we are trying to manage their weight and keep them at an ideal body condition score of 3.
A horse that is not in full work or is kept as a companion can easily gain weight as their food intake is not being used for energy expenditure.
Here are just a few handy tips for managing weight gain while still considering the horse’s welfare needs: