Body Weight and Condition

As a horse ages, its metabolism changes. Older horses usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Easy keepers: Reduced metabolism and activity result in excessive weight gain that can be hazardous to the horse's health.
  • Hard keepers: Loss of body weight, body condition and muscle mass caused by reduced digestive efficiency and medical issues that affect metabolic rates.

It is more common to see older horses that are underweight than overweight. Senior horses tend to have problems with poor dental condition, along with decreased digestive efficiency. In these situations, Equine Senior® horse feed fed to replace most or all of the forage in the diet can help.

If the older horse is too fat, aim to reduce its weight to maintain a body condition score of about 5. As long as the horse is able to eat good­-quality hay, a good option for taking weight off is to feed hay and Purina® Enrich Plus® horse feed, or a moderate­ calorie feed such as Purina® Equine Senior® Active Healthy Edge® horse feed. If the horse cannot adequately chew hay, it may be beneficial to reduce the amount of Equine Senior® horse feed feed, or possibly give Purina® Equine Adult® horse feed, which is lower in calories than Equine Senior® horse feed.

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