Overfed Horses are Inclined to Serious Health Problems

Jan 27 08:38 2011 Felipe Splinter Print This Article

Just like people, overweight horses are seen as sick individuals and are susceptible to a series of health issues due to their extreme weight. Everybody has their own perception of what equates heavier than average and in the horse world that is even more difficult to decide.

Some experts say that we are on the verge of an epidemic of obesity in the equine world because the mass of horse owners don't consider or don't know how to determine if their are horses are obese or not.

Recent studies and data show that obese horses are a burgeoning issue and so are the physical issues related to it,Guest Posting like Laminitis, Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and DOD (developmental orthopaedic disease).

To concentrate on this problem accordingly horse owners first need to know how to determine if their horses are overweight or not. Many commit the inaccuracy of comparing with other animals in the yard. But with horses you need to apply an objective measure to your horse to tell if he is fat or not.

Back in 1989 a semi objective measure of overweight was developed and circulated by equine publications worldwide to help owners determine if their animals were fat, obese or in good shape. This measuring system was called conditioning scoring. Recently this system has been modernized and renamed to "Fat Scoring" and it has been used by major Roadshows and Championships around the sphere.

This new system uses numbers from 0 to 5, where 0 is a skinny horse and 5 an obese horse. The model is to 2 or 3, 4 is considered fat.

What risks are posed to fat horses?

Heavy animals are prone to laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome and metabolic disorders that could lead to many diseases and gradual loss of vitality. Excessive weight can also alter the immune and reproductive systems, not to mention that has clear long term fitness consequences.

Horses are very much alike to us people when the subject is fitness. Just like a body builder a beefy show horse that looks fat is not fat at all because the bulk is muscle. Just like marathon runners, racehorses look lean and mean but in fact they have a fat score of 2 or 3 maximum.

When it comes down to determine if a horse is heavier than average each case should be addressed differently. Sometimes extra workout is not enough and you will need a feeding plan with specially coordinated horse feeds.

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Felipe Splinter
Felipe Splinter

Horse Nutritionis specialised horse feeds for overweight horses and related diseases such as laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome.

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