Horses wearing their weight well

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

Every horse, large or small, has a different job to do — so there’s no assuming that one weight fits all. And since muscle can compose nearly half a horse’s body weight, an athletic steed tips the scales more than a fat one, all else being equal.

With few exceptions, a leaner horse is likely to fare better than a chubby one. For instance, horses with chronic lameness can feel the pain of extra pounds. And truly obese horses are at risk of serious syndromes like laminitis [lam-in-i-tis], which is a dangerous inflammation of the hoof wall, or insulin resistance, which creates a diabetic state. Nonetheless, for certain older horses, carrying some extra pounds may actually help combat weight loss during times of illness or stress.

To make sure your horse is wearing his weight well, consult your veterinarian or trainer.