some horses experience weight-loss during the winter, have
you found that your horse is actually gaining weight over
the same period or is still looking 'a bit too well'? If so,
you might like to consider that any of the following reasons
may be contributing to the problem:
" More time spent indoors
" A natural tendency to gain weight
" Being a 'good-doer'
" The feed provided is over-compensating for the lack
of grazing available
a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained during the
winter period by providing your horse with restricted amounts
of forage topped up with a low calorie high-fibre feed. This
will supply all the essential nutrients your horse requires,
but avoid the higher levels of energy (calories) found even
in many 'low energy' mixes. A balanced low starch diet is
also beneficial for most horses in the winter, and for stabled
will help avoid some of the problems that can occur as a result
of spending less time in the field .
addition to the health benefits of keeping your horse closer to
his optimum weight, excellent skin and coat condition can also be
achieved from a low calorie feed. Look at the ingredients and choose
a feed which provides essential Omega 3 and 6 oils (found in linseed
and soya oil) such as Allen & Page's Slim & Healthy. This
light, non-sticky mix looks and smells great, and includes real
mint and Protexin to encourage a healthy digestive system. Added
to all that, it's more appetising and cost-effective than the alternative
of feeding chaff with a vitamin supplement.
Wakelin, of Nottinghamshire, advised that since changing to Slim
& Healthy her horse has 'an improved coat, and general condition,
without getting fat'.
if your horse needs a little more from his feed but you still don't
want to cause excitability, the next step up is a low energy mix
such as Quiet Mix. This will provide sufficient calories throughout
the winter without encouraging excitability.