5 Weight Maintenance Tips for Horse Training
Whether you’re starting your horse under saddle or adding specialized training for a new career, any horse training program generally means an increase in work. It’s important to have a plan in place for managing your horse’s weight during this crucial time.
- Assess weight before beginning a horse training program Your horse will slim down and develop more muscle during training, so it’s important to determine whether he needs additional calories. To assess your horse’s weight, check his ribs, which should be easily felt but not easily seen. You should also take a measurement with the weight tape at this time, so that you have an idea of what weight your horse was at when he started the training program.
- Feed to meet your horse’s energy needs. If your horse isn’t overweight, he may need a little help with the energy requirements of horse training. For instance, there are many pelleted feeds on the market that offer increased protein and fat for horses in moderate to heavy work programs. A feed with a guaranteed nutritional content also ensures that he’s getting the vitamins and minerals his body needs.
- Monitor weight regularly. Paying attention to your horse’s body condition while you groom or handle him is important, but seeing changes happen gradually can cause you to overlook them. Instead, check your horse’s weight with a weight tape once a week, recording the measurements so that you can watch for patterns and changes.
- Reassess your horse’s diet as needed. Keeping records of your horse’s weight will indicate when it’s time to reassess his diet. If he starts losing weight, increase his forage or change his feed to one that’s designed to provide more energy. If he starts gaining weight, you may have overestimated his calorie needs, and will need to cut back.
- Consult your vet with any concerns. If you’re not sure how much you should feed, what kind of feed you should switch to, or even whether your horse is at a healthy weight, talk to your vet. He can give you assistance and peace of mind when determining the right diet plan for your horse.
It’s exciting to watch your horse grow more fit and strong once he starts a horse training program. For a good feed that will meet his new energy requirements, check out Sacate’s pelleted feed, several of which are designed for horses in moderate to heavy work programs.