A Skinny Horse Won't Do Well in Winter Weather

Equine Food

A skinny horse won't do well in winter weather. Before winter arrives, adding weight to your horse will leave them better able to handle the cold weather. A little fat, but not over the top, provides stored energy and insulation as the seasons change. Here's four ways to add healthy weight to your horse before the temperatures drop, according to equusmagazine.com.

Add another meal of hay to your horse's daily ration, or feed it free-choice

High quality leafy hay versus coarse stemmy hay, is less likely to be wasted. Provide a slow feeder, which allows your horse to pull a little at a time with each bite.

Switch to a higher calorie feed

Slim horses are likely slow, picky eaters who may not finish bigger portions of the usual grain they eat. Instead, try a feed that provides more calories in the same-size meal they are used to consuming.

Avoid health risks and obesity

Look for feeds that supply extra calories from fat rather than sugars or carbohydrates. Make sure to track progress and taper off the extra calories before your horse gains too much weight.

Add oil to his existing ration

Many oils, such as salmon oil or other fish oils, add calories to a horse's meal in the form of fat. Without the risk of a feed with a higher calorie content posed by sugars or carbohydrates, oil is one of the safest way to add weight on a horse. Horses will consume, roughly, half a cup of oil at each feeding.