There’s a lot to consider when it comes to managing your horse’s weight: How heavy is too heavy? How thin is too skinny? Does my horse need both hay and grain to maintain an ideal weight? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding equine weight management.
How do I know if my horse is the right weight?
There is no ideal weight for a horse of a given height, as things like breed and build can greatly affect weight. However, for a given height there is a likely a range of weights that correspond to good condition (fat coverage).
What can I feed to make my horse gain weight?
There are many feed selections that contain calories that can contribute to weight gain in horses. The first thing to try is to simply offer more hay or other forage. If your horse is already eating free choice hay, then other high-fiber feeds such as beet pulp or even hay cubes, along with some vegetable oil, can pack on the pounds. Commercial “weight gain” products might be useful but are often more expensive than raw ingredients such as beet pulp or oil. Avoid feeding too much grain or concentrate, as these are associated with problems such as colic or laminitis.