Horses that are able to maintain optimal weight and energy levels are more likely to reach their full potential.
Each horse is an individual with individual needs
Individual differences make some horses easy keepers and some hard keepers. Horses that have demanding training or competition schedules, broodmares raising foals, and growing horses can expend a huge number of calories doing their jobs. They need energy and lots of it, but they need the kind of energy that won’t cause digestive upset or improper growth patterns.
Why is my horse so skinny?
Weight loss can be caused by insufficient caloric intake, illness, stress, or even time of year. A horse’s age, the efficiency of its digestive tract, parasite load, and dental health all play a role. Maintaining horses in good flesh can be challenging. Oftentimes it is hard to get a picky eater to consume enough calories using traditional diets of hay and concentrates. Hard-working horses and broodmares can experience digestive upset from consuming too much grain. High levels of the wrong kinds of carbohydrates can negatively affect the growth patterns of young horses. Even horses living in optimal conditions can have weight and energy issues.
Increasing energy levels and adding much-needed pounds
While fiber sources are important, they supply only so many calories. Grains are energy dense, but also high in starch and sugar that can easily lead to digestive problems. Sour stomach, microflora imbalances, and ulcers from a stressful lifestyle can ruin a horse’s appetite, compounding the problem. But you can do a lot to help your horse. Providing energy-dense, easy-to-digest calories from fat sources is an excellent way to increase a horse’s energy level or add much-needed calories to the diet. Digestive aids, such as probiotics and yeast cultures, can help keep a stressed digestive system in balance while stimulating a horse’s appetite. A balanced digestive tract utilizes feedstuffs more efficiently so the horse benefits more from the feed he or she is eating. Supplements that protect the stomach from irritation reduce the incidence of ulcers so horses feel good, eat well, and have plenty of energy.
Horses and ponies that may benefit from a safe, energy-dense supplement, digestive aid, or appetite stimulant:
- Growing horses
- Broodmares raising foals
- Competitive horses or racehorses burning lots of calories
- Horses recovering from illness or injury
- Picky eaters
- Horses with a history of ulcers or digestive upset
- Nervous or stressed-out horses
- Horses relocating or traveling
- Unwanted or mistreated horses