Feeding The Veteran Horse - Part Three. Overweight Horses.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝘆𝗽𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘃𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗜 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗘𝗠𝗦 (𝗘𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗲) 𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝗣𝗜𝗗 (𝗣𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮 𝗗𝘆𝘀𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻) 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀.
It is absolutely possible for some of these clinical cases to be underweight, but more often than not weight watching has become the norm for many of them. These horses need to be fed appropriately for their clinical condition, in addition to recognising their age and any additional requirements they may have.
When feeding for these clinical issues a number of the veteran feeds will not be suitable. Many veteran feeds are in a mix format, as they are easier to chew, however the starch in most of these cases is likely to be too high for the EMS or PPID sufferer. What we want to achieve is an ideal body condition score, bringing the horse down to the correct weight safely through a controlled calorie, high fibre and low starch and sugar diet. As such look for fibre based feeds, 10% or lower in starch. Grass will often have to be restricted, and hay ideally soaked to help reduce that sugar content whilst enabling us to feed enough of it. Overall it is a case of managing the diet as a whole which is of course the beauty of seeking someone independent versus just a focus on the hard feed.