As a horse owner, you play an important role in controlling your equine companion’s weight. Sound nutrition management, a regular exercise program and veterinary care are key to keeping your horse fit and healthy.
Maintaining the ideal weight is not always easy, however. When implementing a weight loss program for the overweight horse, it’s important to do it gradually and under the supervision of an equine veterinarian.
Follow these guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to get you started:
Make sure the horse’s vitamin, mineral and protein requirements continue to be met. Once your horse has reached its ideal body condition, maintaining the proper weight is a gentle balancing act. You will probably need to readjust your horse’s ration to stabilize its weight.
Exercise will continue to be a key component in keeping the horse fit. Because obesity can affect a horse’s health, communicate regularly with your veterinarian. Schedule regular check-ups, especially during the weight reduction process.
For more information about caring for the obese horse, ask your equine veterinarian for the “Overweight Horse” brochure, provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners in partnership with Educational Partners Bayer Animal Health and Purina Mills, Inc., or visit the AAEP’s horse health web site, www.myHorseMatters.com.
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.