Tipping the Scales?

Is it easy to keep your horse at his/her ideal weight?

Yes, he maintains his proper weight year-round
No, I'm lucky if I can prevent his ribs from showing
No, people have asked for years when the foal is due
No, he's perpetually on a seasonal yo-yo diet

Total votes cast: 1303

Comments & Write-in Answers

I am blessed with easy keepers--a cup of grain with supplements and hay as needed

6/11/2007 4:49:58 PM

Because I have nowhere that isn't a lovely grassy field, I've finally had to buy a grazing muzzle.

6/11/2007 11:21:33 AM

My horses are ridden 5 days a week for lessons. They stay fit and in good flesh.

6/11/2007 12:14:28 AM

It's 30% of the time maybe thery're too fat & 70% they're just right. I worry tho' always.

6/10/2007 10:50:36 PM

Thanks to the grazing muzzle.

6/10/2007 6:41:46 PM

With relatively mild climate changes and consistent activity, she holds her weight easitly.

6/10/2007 5:29:26 PM

I have four mares keep out at pasture year round and they are healty and happy.

6/10/2007 12:06:23 PM

I consistently monitor my mares weight and adjust her feeding regime for amount of work/exercise.

6/10/2007 10:49:47 AM

I have minis and they're easy to overfeed. Proper weight = constant observation.

6/10/2007 9:43:22 AM

way to FAT

6/9/2007 9:11:05 PM

Most of mine are easy keepers. Those that aren't only require a little extra to maintain.

6/9/2007 3:03:47 PM

Horses are individuals and need to be fed that way. No one size fits all solution. ever.

6/9/2007 1:45:12 PM

As a breeder, I have at least one of each. But most of our warmbloods are very very easy keepers.

6/9/2007 12:38:03 AM

our pastures are too rich and he doesn't get enought exercise!

6/8/2007 9:44:29 PM

My 24+ grade gelding has always been a hard keeper

6/8/2007 8:05:57 PM

Not easily but done with careful adjustments as needed

6/8/2007 6:26:41 PM

i dont know if it's just that she's a pony, and ponies are rounder, but, she certainly has a "tummy"

6/8/2007 6:24:57 PM

With a little more or less grass hay, depending on his pasture time, he's pretty easy to maintain.

6/8/2007 5:45:35 PM

I had a vet culture my mare on her foal heat and asked when her foal was due,

6/8/2007 3:36:18 PM

Eats like a horse (ha ha) but remains in perfect shape.

6/8/2007 2:52:06 PM

My guys are very easy keepers and always need to be kept down in weight,no matter the season!

6/8/2007 11:38:37 AM

He's 25 plus with worn teeth so he requires very close watching and diet tweaking.

6/8/2007 11:32:40 AM

My pony shares pasture & food with horses; it's tough to keep her at an ideal weight!

6/8/2007 11:12:23 AM

fully range horses almost like wild mustangs

6/8/2007 10:42:57 AM

ven though we are in drought here we feed grain/w soy or corn oil.This helps keep them fat.

6/8/2007 10:25:39 AM

Maintaining proper weight is easy of you understand how to adjust feed for seasonal variations

6/8/2007 10:11:36 AM

typical thoroughbred here!

6/8/2007 9:22:14 AM

I have 2 IR horses, lucky me huh?

6/8/2007 8:41:18 AM

I weigh all hay on a baby scale and am able to feed more or less when needed

6/8/2007 1:39:56 AM

I own a thoroghbred.

6/7/2007 10:17:06 PM

I use a grazing muzzle from mid-spring until late fall when the grass quits growing.

6/7/2007 9:41:30 PM

he is ir so weight management is constant

6/7/2007 9:12:14 PM

having easy keepers isn't so easy

6/7/2007 7:21:27 PM

Mine gains weight just looking at food I use scales & weight tape all the time.

6/7/2007 6:58:51 PM

key to success: free choice grass hay

6/7/2007 6:39:21 PM

If you know how to feed properly it should stay where it needs to be

6/7/2007 5:53:52 PM

You have to educate yourself on how to properly care for your horse.

6/7/2007 5:27:42 PM

mine tend to be slightly over weight, they get fat just looking at a flake of alfalfa

6/7/2007 5:27:30 PM

I know my horse.

6/7/2007 4:41:27 PM

I have found it is very hard to keep weight on an Appendix QH and a TB.

6/7/2007 4:40:11 PM

my OTTB always shows her ribs, lots of grazing and rice bran helps a bit.

6/7/2007 4:15:30 PM

gelding looks pregnant, mare's ribs show on 30# alfalfa mix hay & 8# senior feed w/1c corn oil /day

6/7/2007 4:01:01 PM

Worked daily

6/7/2007 3:51:27 PM

Need to limit pasture time in spring

6/7/2007 3:47:05 PM

Due to the high cost of corn we have even switched to oats and beet pulp and they stay sleek and fat

6/7/2007 3:09:11 PM

Beet pulp has helped a lot. I feed it AM & PM to help them feel "full"

6/7/2007 2:52:43 PM

I have horses that maintain their weight but have a few that look like they are ready to foal.

6/7/2007 2:35:31 PM

either too fat or too skinny, never in between

6/7/2007 1:20:46 PM

I have several horses and breeds and some are very easy keepers while others are very hard keepers.

6/7/2007 1:02:41 PM

He gets lunch and cookies too!

6/7/2007 12:54:31 PM

If I have a weight issue, I see what "The Horse" researched on equine nutrition and Karen Briggs.

6/7/2007 12:36:49 PM

The Morgan is such an easy keeper that we're always on a diet!

6/7/2007 11:32:06 AM

My horses are always overweight no matter what. I've tried everything. Help!

6/7/2007 11:18:35 AM

Cushing's Disease makes weight maintenance difficult, together with my mare being a Belgian/tb

6/7/2007 10:17:30 AM

I pour corn oil on soaked alfalfa cubes so that he can get calories without lots of grain

6/7/2007 10:01:28 AM

I watch him carefully & have 2x year vet checks, adjusting his feed accordingly

6/7/2007 9:58:19 AM

my mares gain weight just looking at the pasture!

6/7/2007 8:13:55 AM

I have two easy keepers and one that requires extra during the winter.

6/7/2007 8:06:32 AM

I have one mare recently diagnosed with Insulin Resistance.

6/7/2007 7:34:38 AM

Horses are like people - they all have their own "Right Weight"

6/7/2007 6:02:01 AM

My draft breeds gain weight on air

6/7/2007 12:12:43 AM

As he gets older it is getting harder to keep his weight healthy

6/6/2007 11:44:40 PM

a good worming program makes it a lot easier to control their weight

6/6/2007 11:38:45 PM

it is hard to keep a horses's weight down when they are on good pasture but then that is a natural w

6/6/2007 10:01:26 PM

recently starting on a grazing muzzle gives me hope.

6/6/2007 7:39:55 PM

Since I have him on 24/7 turnout on a large pasture with 20 buddies.

6/6/2007 7:18:01 PM

And she is 23, on very little grain and outside turnout. Go figure.

6/6/2007 6:29:30 PM

He gains and loses easily. Bermuda is my best bet for maintaining with alfalfa supp in the winter

6/6/2007 6:05:51 PM

I weigh all my feed portions which helps.

6/6/2007 5:43:18 PM

My QH mare gains weight on air

6/6/2007 5:22:46 PM

"The eye of the master fattens the horse" - constant monitoring allows for fast diet fixes!

6/6/2007 5:03:14 PM

Out of 7 I have one that is hard to maintain and one that is WAY too easy to maintain.

6/6/2007 3:49:51 PM

Got lucky on keeping mine at his propert wt yr round.

6/6/2007 3:35:11 PM

not enough hours in the day for her to eat!

6/6/2007 3:23:50 PM

I feed excellent, all grass hay and weight it

6/6/2007 3:09:50 PM

One is fat, the other is thin.

6/6/2007 3:00:17 PM

Tough to feed easy keepers in a group situation they are often dominant as well as fat.

6/6/2007 2:33:25 PM

All six of my horses are at their proper wt. More forage, less grain. Its not hard

6/6/2007 2:13:08 PM


6/6/2007 1:54:02 PM

esp. when mules can't reproduce!

6/6/2007 1:53:38 PM

I have an older thoroughbred and it is tough to keep weight on her.

6/6/2007 1:09:47 PM

"Easy Keepers" aren't!! We have to be careful with the feed of our 2 QH's to keep their weight down

6/6/2007 1:05:02 PM

I monitor body condition regularly and make adjustments as indicated

6/6/2007 12:39:41 PM

I have one that has the metabolism of an iar fern and the other is a hard keeper.

6/6/2007 11:58:47 AM

Just have to pay attention and know when to increase or decrease feed.

6/6/2007 11:44:21 AM

Belle is a 24 year old quarter horse mare and she is a very easy keeper.

6/6/2007 11:15:40 AM

My horse gets 1/4 scoop of Purina Horse Chow 100 3 times a day-Easy Keeper

6/6/2007 11:01:10 AM

Option not given is WE maintain weight/ condition with management of exercize , pasture , feed .

6/6/2007 10:44:28 AM

Need to dry lot a part of spring and summer

6/6/2007 10:02:47 AM

Very easy keeper - No he is not insulin resistant. Appy who efficiently used food.

6/6/2007 9:48:29 AM

Arabian & Quarterhorse

6/6/2007 9:44:31 AM

winter's always a problem, have to increase his feed

6/6/2007 9:44:06 AM

I have an easy keeper. Spring brought pasture time and that means added weight.

6/6/2007 9:31:52 AM

One thing I learned a long time ago is to limit grain. My horses only get supplements.

6/6/2007 9:28:02 AM

great hay, little grain

6/6/2007 9:16:42 AM

My 5yo gelding gained weight really fast on grass--he is now on a dry lot (no extras) and looks good

6/6/2007 8:48:32 AM

3 of my horses are easy keepers, 1 has problems maintaining

6/6/2007 8:45:42 AM

All my horses just eat off a round bale and pasture and all have a body score of 6.

6/6/2007 8:32:26 AM

I monitor their weight carefully

6/6/2007 2:39:26 AM

Adjusting their nutritional and work requirements to maintain the condition of the horse.

6/5/2007 11:23:28 PM

My horse is a real easy keeper and I have to really watch her weight so she doesn't get overweight.

6/5/2007 11:22:32 PM

Morgans are easy-keepers. They're like air plants!

6/5/2007 11:13:18 PM

some horses walk by hay and gain wieght and others seem to need doulbe their ration just to keep wei

6/5/2007 11:09:51 PM

My 4 year old paint horse keeps growing out of whatever weight

6/5/2007 11:08:06 PM

easy keepers, need grazing muzzles!

6/5/2007 11:06:34 PM

I do endurance and I can't hardly get my mare to eat enough food to keep her at a healthy weight

6/5/2007 10:56:22 PM

too much rain to exercise consistently

6/5/2007 10:45:26 PM

Horse is a much too easy keeper, need to work to keep weight off

6/5/2007 10:43:55 PM

I free feed and have no problem mainitaining my 4 horses weight.

6/5/2007 10:41:24 PM

31-year-old is harder to keep in the winter

6/5/2007 10:39:10 PM

a happy horse is an easy keeper. Stress, no turnout etc can turn an easy keeper into a hard one.

6/5/2007 10:37:20 PM

4 out of 5 are on a perpetual diet!

6/5/2007 10:31:06 PM

little too plump, they are wormed, are fed very little grain, still stay fat even being worked

6/5/2007 10:27:42 PM

i have several IR horses and lush, irrigated pastures they can only look at.

6/5/2007 9:58:43 PM

He is on 24/7 turn out. And boy does he love it.

6/5/2007 9:58:42 PM

Only after the vet chewed out my husband for overfeeding his "charges!!"

6/5/2007 9:57:59 PM

SHE always looks good. I can tell when she is not getting enough to eat, just by the way she acts.

6/5/2007 9:45:41 PM

She stays plump on just a ration balancer and timothy hay - no grass b/c laminitis

6/5/2007 9:44:27 PM

Briahna is an easy keeper for sure!

6/5/2007 9:22:45 PM

an easy keeper on a good pasture so we muzzled all day from spring thru fall, grazing at night

6/5/2007 9:03:13 PM

He's just big boned!

6/5/2007 8:39:03 PM

I have a 25 year old gelding that is a hard keeper and seems to lose the weight right before winter

6/5/2007 8:26:46 PM

They get limited turnout during the grazing months.

6/5/2007 8:26:16 PM

My two mares are easy keepers and it is hard to ration their grass consumption.

6/5/2007 8:21:58 PM

I have a picky Arab and a easy keeper pony - both maintained on freechoice round bale

6/5/2007 8:10:27 PM

I have several horses--most at a good weight, but pretty easy for them to get overweight

6/5/2007 8:06:18 PM

I have a couple that I constantly monitor to keep at the right weight though.

6/5/2007 7:51:02 PM

They are easy keepers anddon't get grain during the grazing months.

6/5/2007 7:45:46 PM

My Gelding founders when the green grass appears, SO we kill off any grass that grows in his paddock

6/5/2007 7:36:32 PM

feed lots of grass hay

6/5/2007 7:32:25 PM

I have 16 horses and they're all different. I'm seasonally adjusting for each type.

6/5/2007 7:20:30 PM

He's actually a little above his ideal weight. His vet describes this state as being, "well-loved"

6/5/2007 7:03:45 PM

Good food, good hay and no changes make a happy horse

6/5/2007 6:52:33 PM

No..he is an arabian,easy keeper so needs very little to get him fat. tough when he is turned out

6/5/2007 6:43:55 PM

Yes, even after foaling.

6/5/2007 6:37:13 PM

If I keep her in work and not too much pasture, she's great - otherwise: blimp!

6/5/2007 6:35:06 PM

I breed horses and have both hard and easy keepers. A trained eye should do the feeding.

6/5/2007 6:34:12 PM

As long as my horse ridden regularily his weight stays where it should be.

6/5/2007 6:28:41 PM

I have three air ferns

6/5/2007 6:25:34 PM

my 2 boys are at their proper weights, my mare is always a little over weight

6/5/2007 6:25:31 PM

I'm lucky. My mare is an easy keeper.

6/5/2007 6:12:50 PM

Yes and no...one is a harder keeper while the other is hypothyroid and overly easy keeper

6/5/2007 6:11:57 PM

My horses get plenty of exercise, limited turnout and wear grazing muzzles to control weight.

6/5/2007 6:08:36 PM

chub a dub dub!

6/5/2007 6:08:02 PM

Horses live at pasture so we must make seasonal supplementation changes constantly

6/5/2007 5:54:48 PM

1 is easy, 2 are fat!!!!

6/5/2007 5:49:20 PM

But what she thinks is her ideal weight may be a little heavy for some.

6/5/2007 5:46:49 PM

Using a forage based diet, tested and balanced with minerals has solved the issue for us.

6/5/2007 5:41:32 PM

Big fat drafts are easy. They eat and eat and eat some more!

6/5/2007 5:39:25 PM

Because I only trail ride on weekends, I dont feed much grain..only in the winter to maintain.

6/5/2007 5:23:11 PM

She drops from a body score of 6 to a high 4 every spring for about on month even with more feed

6/5/2007 5:09:09 PM

My 32 yo Crabbet Arabian mare had 3 foals & is very round, not fat.

6/5/2007 5:02:08 PM

grass has more calories than you'd think! so does 'just more lil scoop', haha!

6/5/2007 4:58:45 PM

pasture not great so feeding higher protein level sorted him out.

6/5/2007 4:57:13 PM

Constant vigilance is required to make sure the proper weight is maintained.

6/5/2007 4:55:37 PM

This is because of bad barn managers not feeding

6/5/2007 4:52:55 PM

with proper feed and exercise

6/5/2007 4:50:53 PM

Ideal riding conditions/great weight. Not riding - fat, fat, fat!!!!

6/5/2007 4:50:13 PM

in winter my older horse is hard 2 keep wight on

6/5/2007 4:45:04 PM

Warmblood---does not gain or lose much

6/5/2007 4:34:32 PM

Keeping her at proper weight's a challenge: loves her chow!

6/5/2007 4:31:05 PM

too many horses not enough riders

6/5/2007 4:29:15 PM

Rinsed beet pulp/bran mashes did wonders for my older mare

6/5/2007 4:24:54 PM

Of the 3 horses I own, 2 are easy keepers: a 26-year-old 1/2 Arab mare and a MFT gelding, 26.

6/5/2007 4:18:22 PM

the only hard horses to keep just right are the mares and foals.

6/5/2007 4:18:01 PM

I am an equine nutritionist and have my own line of horsefeed that does the job on 2lb/day + hay -

6/5/2007 4:16:08 PM

You have to love mustangs - easy keepers! :)

6/5/2007 4:09:28 PM

depends on the horse; age, but good diet+dental+care+vetting counts for 99% of it

6/5/2007 4:08:30 PM

Welsh Cobs are the easiest keepers there are

6/5/2007 3:58:24 PM

Very easy keeper. Took a year to get her to ideal, now the challenge of keeping her there!!!

6/5/2007 3:54:58 PM

I recently purchased a grazing muzzle and its already making a diiference after only two weeks.

6/5/2007 3:50:28 PM

The rest of him looks great but we can't seem to lose the belly!

6/5/2007 3:47:29 PM

We adjust our hay volume (weight) based on pasture availability, work level, etc.

6/5/2007 3:46:42 PM

Andalusians are air ferns!

6/5/2007 3:45:37 PM

mine are mules! easy keepers...

6/5/2007 3:45:33 PM

even tho they are both geldings!

6/5/2007 3:38:31 PM

Insulin resistance has made maintain a steady weight difficult.

6/5/2007 3:35:27 PM

Determined that one mare is insulin resistant

6/5/2007 3:25:54 PM

most of my horse maintain their proper body weight all year, However I have to that stay over weight

6/5/2007 3:25:39 PM

Horses not stalled, pasture with run ins and water.

6/5/2007 3:19:55 PM

Have easy keepers, one with EMS that we are finally getting some weight off.

6/5/2007 3:18:12 PM

I have great pasture, feed alf/orchard grass, beet pulp and Pennfield Fibergized

6/5/2007 3:16:04 PM

We have 8 here and, with the same care, range from #1 to #3!

6/5/2007 3:15:48 PM

Haflinger x Morgan he lives to eat!!!

6/5/2007 3:15:30 PM

From time to time he has dropped weight but I have been able to get him back to his correct weight.

6/5/2007 3:14:42 PM

he's a Thoroughbred

6/5/2007 3:09:20 PM

competing he stays in shape but when it's off season he gets slightly plump....like me....lol

6/5/2007 3:09:05 PM

Two of mine are easy keepers, even on dry lot.

6/5/2007 3:06:35 PM

Was very difficult until I found the right low sugar native grass hay.

6/5/2007 3:05:43 PM

He may lose fitness when not being ridden, but is always at a good wieght

6/5/2007 3:00:57 PM

hes like me, smells food & gains wieght

6/5/2007 2:59:37 PM

Morabs are air ferns!

6/5/2007 2:59:27 PM

I have one of each. 1 maintains, 1 reqs soy bean added, 1 w/belly

6/5/2007 2:57:15 PM

I do need to cut back on his hay in spring/summer when he's eating grass

6/5/2007 2:55:02 PM

As fast as he eats it, he defacates it.We have lots of manure

6/5/2007 2:50:02 PM

Regular work and "Cool Calories" (by Poulin Feed) keep my Percheron/TB's weight PERFECT!

6/5/2007 2:45:06 PM

My "easy keeper" is the hardest to keep from getting fat!

6/5/2007 2:39:15 PM

I understand the flux required due to weather, and use a nutritionist.

6/5/2007 2:37:49 PM

Corn - Oats and Pasture

6/5/2007 2:36:52 PM

30-yr. old horse, maintains well on pelletized grain plus free-choice, good quality hay.

6/5/2007 2:35:48 PM

2 overweight, 1 easy to maintain-to-thin

6/5/2007 2:33:19 PM

It's hard to feed him. He lives on air - but his digestive system needs fiber.

6/5/2007 2:30:24 PM

now that he gets free choice GOOD quality grass or grass/mix hay he maintains an ideal body score.

6/5/2007 2:29:08 PM

depends on equine ages.

6/5/2007 2:24:30 PM

I have 10 horses, all are different. Some are easy-keepers, some not.

6/5/2007 2:21:30 PM

at 32, he's up & down, the rest each have their own diff needs -- or none!

6/5/2007 2:19:14 PM

Have to work to keep weight on in winter, but too fat in summer

6/5/2007 2:15:53 PM

fatty fatty bo batty...even with limited turnout and lots of work!

6/5/2007 1:44:22 PM

I measure & weigh all food and check the horses' weight all the time.

6/5/2007 1:41:18 PM

17 yr old horse in an urban area. I have his feed UPSed from McCauley Bros. to keep weight on.

6/5/2007 12:55:34 PM

Late winter into late spring is the worse time to keep weight on

6/5/2007 12:54:09 PM