Tips for Feeding Special Needs Horses in the Winter
Click here to download a print version of this infographic.
Text-only version of “Tips for Feeding Special Needs Horses in the Winter”
Preventing winter weight gain in easy keepers.
• Monitor your horse’s weight carefully during winter breaks and, if necessary, back off on concentrates.
Equine Weight Formulas
(Measurements in inches)
• Adult Horse: (heart girth x heart girth x body length) ÷ 330 = body weight in pounds
• Yearling: (heart girth x heart girth x body length) ÷ 301 = body weight in pounds
• Weanling: (heart girth x heart girth x body length) ÷ 280 = body weight in pounds
When you feed less than the recommended amounts of a commercial concentrate, you need to supplement with a complete vitamin and mineral pellet to ensure your horse’s nutrient requirements are met.
Weight loss in hard keepers and how to avoid a winter energy crisis.
• Long hair coats often mask weight loss, so monitor your horse’s weight carefully.
• Provide free-choice high-quality forage 24/7, when possible.
• When additional calories are needed, add a high-fat supplement to the diet.
• Provide a digestive tract supplement to ensure digestive health and stimulate the appetite.
Tip for Easy Keepers
Never cut back on hay to reduce calorie intake; instead, change to a more mature grass hay that will provide plenty of fiber but less energy.
Careful winter management reduces the risk of health problems in metabolically challenged horses.
• Continue feeding a low starch and sugar diet throughout the winter months.
• When additional calories are needed to keep your horse warm in cold weather, increase the amount of grass hay you feed.
• If you need even more calories to maintain body weight or provide energy, add a high-fat supplement that is low in starch and sugar to the diet.
Ensure your horse’s nutrient requirements are met this winter. Micro-Phase offers the perfect solution by providing the vitamins and trace minerals necessary to support good health.
Micro-Phase is recommended for:
• Easy keepers
• Horses on restricted diets (processed forages and small quantities of concentrates)
• Horses without access to at least part-time grazing on quality pasture grass
• Horses consuming feeds grown in deficient areas
• Senior horses in need of additional nutrients Micro-Phase contains highly bioavailable vitamins, natural vitamin E, and chelated minerals.