Putting weight on a skinny horse can be a difficult and frustrating task. There are many different causes of weight loss in horses and feeding strategies will depend on why your horse is underweight in the first place. Weight loss occurs when a horse is in a negative energy balance, meaning that they are consuming less caloric energy than they are using in a day.
Body condition and body weight are two very important metrics for understanding and measuring the health of your horse. Both can be assessed easily and without any expensive equipment. Body weight alone gives us very little insight into how much stored fat your horse has. An accurate Body Condition Score (BCS) can tell you whether your horse is underweight, overweight or at an appropriate weight for his or her size.
Does your horse need a Vitamin E supplement added to his or her feeding program? Hay is the most important component of a horse's diet, and contributes almost all the necessary macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that our horses need. Notice how I said almost? Hay does not cover all our horsesâ€™ nutrient requirements and there is one micronutrient in particular that is often deficient in horses on a hay-based diet. That essential nutrient is vitamin E.