Easy keepers are horses and ponies that maintain or gain weight on a minimum amount of food. While easy keepers are widely considered a joy to own in terms of feed costs, the downside is their potential for obesity, laminitis, and metabolic issues.
Overfeeding a horse is hard on his musculoskeletal system, is contraindicated if he has osteoarthritis, decreases his athletic stamina, interferes with heat dissipation, and can contribute to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and laminitis. Owners of easy keepers should routinely perform body condition scoring and modify feeding regimens to ensure these horses maintain a healthy body weight. One of the contributing factors to obesity in horses is that owners often fail to recognize what constitutes a healthy body condition score.
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- Drought, Heat Push Horse Feed Costs Skyward
- Help Sick Horses Heal with Nutrition
- Nutritional Considerations for Weanlings
- The Ins and Outs of Feeding the OTTB
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- New Insulin Resistance Test Method for Horses (AAEP 2011)
- Equine Supplements and Nutritional Requirements (AAEP 2011)
- Estimating Horse Weight Accurately
- Grazing Muzzles' Efficacy at Reducing Pasture Intake