If none of these equine problems appear to exist for your
horses and veterinary attention fails to yield any
appreciable results, here are some suggestions that may
- Concentrate on feeding hay that is of highest quality.
Add some alfalfa hay to the horse’s diet (5 or 6 extra
pounds). This adds 300 calories per pound to the horse’s
feed! Using high fat feed is another way of adding
calories. Conditioning chaff as well as rice bran can be
added to your food regimen to help the animal take in some
- Choose a senior feed for horses over age 15 or for
younger horses in poor dental health. This will permit
these horses to extract the nutrients they need from this
specially adapted feed that is a bit easier to chew and
- Probiotics have been found to help the nervous and
otherwise stressed horse to regain an intestinal balance
of digestive enzymes. Keep in mind that this process may
take a few days to show any signs of success!
- Allow low-weight horses to eat by themselves to avoid
rivalries within the herd. Generally speaking, the more
dominant and aggressive horses may be eating it’s the
thinner horse’s share. Even adding more feed will not
alleviate this problem.
- Be sure to change your horse’s feed to one that has
more fat. When you use a high fat formula, you can afford
to feed the horse less, which will cut back on colic. You
can find formulas with varying levels of fat at your local
feed supply store.
- Keep a close eye on the horse’s weight by scale once a
month. This will help you to realize if something you are
doing is working, and to maintain the weight gain.
Of course, all dietary changes should be undertaken
cautiously, and with an open eye toward adverse effects. Add
new feed slowly, otherwise you may be causing your horse
some additional intestinal upset, which may counteract
everything you have worked so hard for. Any time you are
making a major change in your horse’s diet it is best to
follow up with your vet for further advice.