Horses and ponies naturally gain weight to build up fat reserves during seasons when there’s plenty of grass and forage to sustain them through periods when food is not so readily available. However, a recent study found that horses who were considered to have gained excess weight through their management regime were four times more likely to develop laminitis. This highlights the importance of body weight and condition monitoring, but can you differentiate between what’s a healthy weight for your horse and what would be classed as overweight or even obese?
Recognising how to manage your horse’s feed ration so he maintains a healthy weight may not always be an easy task, but correctly estimating his bodyweight is a good place to start. Our charity of the year, the Animal Health Trust, has put together a helpful guide to body condition scoring, plus there’s an online weight tracker to help you keep your horse’s weight under control and lower the risk of him developing laminitis. Visit careaboutlaminitis.org.uk