Maintaining a healthy weight is very important for your equines when they age. Carrying extra weight can give rise to many issues that usually affect older horses, including the metabolic rate and osteoarthritis. However, as you are keeping equine for the first time and do not know how to maintain overall health, you might make many mistakes that will indirectly affect the animal. So, it is better not to take any risk. Consult with performance equine vets who will guide you in offering the best routine or guidelines regarding maintaining the health and nutrition of your horse.
If you do not have a weight tape for your equine, arrange one, learn how to use it, and measure the equine's weight regularly. Most of the farms, tack stores, and feed farms carry the tape. Though the tape is not an accurate way to measure, it offers a good approximate value of the horse's weight. They are also useful to monitor trends too. Learning the body condition score is also useful in making various weight management decisions. For most of the equines, the body condition score is about 4.5-5.
If your horse has excessive body weight, you should get him in the weight reduction program to improve the overall body condition and optimize health. Keeping track of weight will also help in keeping track of progress as well as the feeding decisions.
Yes, it is one of the most important steps to maintain the overall weight of your equine. The equines who want to reduce weight should be fed 1.5-2% of body weight regularly. A significant majority of the feed will be given in the form of forage. Weighing the hay is one of the best ways to track the amount of feed given to the animal. In the coming days, reduction in the calorie is also crucial to maintain the weight loss goals. It is also advisable to soak the hay in water so that the equine does not gain weight. It is also important to maintain a balanced diet along with proper nutrition for your horse. A ration balancer is a way to calculate the amount of feed given to the equine.
Let your equine exercise more so that it can shed some extra weight from the body. If the horse exercises 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 20 minutes, it will facilitate overall weight loss. The more active the exercise, the more beneficial it is for the horse. Trotting or cantering is a good way to train and let your equine exercise. You can also allow the horse to walk for 5-10 minutes daily and then add time and intensity over some weeks, which is an ideal way to bring your equine back on track.
Taking help from the vet is very important rather than you take decisions on weight loss. Not everyone is specialized in equine weight management, and hence, professional help is a must. You can get in touch with an experienced equine vet from a platform like Equine Organiser.