Equiwinner will work on all horses as described, but overfeeding may interfere with the healing process or results may not last as long as expected. Basic good nutrition combined with exercise is the foundation for good health. Overfeeding relative to the amount of exercise is the most common mistake that horse owners make. Even a small excess of food intake relative to the work being done results in an increase in the blood sugar level. It is not generally realized that excess blood sugar (glucose) can completely unbalance the electrolytes, making any treatment more difficult. Overfeeding over a longer period could also eventually result in insulin resistance and laminitis. Overfeeding contributes to deterioration in the horse’s overall health and restoring complete active health becomes difficult unless the feed is carefully checked. Why not use a height/weight tape? Keep a note of the measurement when you know the horse is in really good condition, and then regularly check whether the weight is rising or falling so that measured out feed amounts can be adjusted accordingly.
Relevant Nutrition Articles:
The following articles were selected to demonstrate how often and easily overfeeding of horses occurs, and to show how much impact it can have on horse health. As with humans, it’s the combination of nutrition and exercise that needs to be balanced for optimum health and each horse, depending on age, breed and discipline, requires a special combination. It is best to seek advice from your vet or an equine nutritionist that knows your horse and your situation.
Note: The following links to articles may require subscriptions or log-ins for access.
How Common is Overfeeding?
Studies show approximately one-fifth to one-half of horses should be categorized as obese. There’s more information about this epidemic from Kentucky Equine Research here.
Effects of Overfeeding
Small study reports effects of diet-induced weight gain on insulin sensitivity, plasma hormone and lipid concentrations. See article from The Horse magazine here
Study links high blood glucose levels to increased risk of death from severe colic. See recent article from The Horse magazine here
How to Feed for Optimum Health
Why and how to mimic nature is described in this article from The Horse magazine here.
Kentucky Equine Research shows positive effects from slow feeding. See how easily it can be done here.
Information on feeding easy keepers can be found in this Fact Sheet from The Horse magazine.
Determine your horse’s body condition score. This University of Maine bulletin will help guide you.
A weight tape will probably not yield a correct weight for a horse but it’s a very useful tool to get an estimate and monitor change. Kentucky Equine Research provides a good explanation here.