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As winter approaches, some horses can struggle to maintain good body condition. This can be due to a lack of nutritious pasture and/or loss of energy due to maintaining body temperature.
Tips for maintaining body condition.
Add fibre: Supplement with alternative fibre sources such as hay, beet, chaff, seed or pulse hulls, flax flakes or compressed chaff or hay pellets.
Add fat: Adding fat is a concentrated way of increasing calories. This can be done with quality vegetable oils: flax, hemp, or rice bran oil or high-fat meals - full-fat soya, sunflower, rapeseed meal or rice bran pellets.
Add carbs: Increase carbohydrates with a quality premixed feed of legumes and /or grains or individual grain such as barley.
Add protein: Increasing protein helps to maintain muscle and condition. High protein meals and supplements include soya, sunflower, rapeseed & flax seed.
Add vitamins and minerals: Include a quality multivitamin-mineral supplement in your horse's diet and a quality probiotic to maintain gut health and optimise digestion.
Reduce stress and pain: If your horse suffers joint pain/arthritis or is stressed, consider a quality joint supplement and calmer.
Add warmth: Maintaining body temperature with covers saves your horse from using its to stay warm. Choose a waterproof rug to suit your horse's grazing condition and provide paddock shelter from the elements where possible.