Science Daily article on Horse Obesity
"He is Fat and Happy"
I think we have all heard that phrase right? We equate food with our horses well being (and I am sure they would not correct us). When talking equine welfare we often discuss neglect by under feeding, starvation etc. There is nothing that pulls ones heart strings more than to see a neglected horse all ribs, and hips and sharp edges. I think however that having an overweight horse is just as abusive!
I think it is funny how to have a fat horse is socially acceptable if not socially desired in the horse world. Picture a cute pony in your minds eye----I don't know about you but my mind pony is as rotund as they come! As a culture we are often obsessed with personal fitness, body image, and dieting but when it comes to our equine (and canine) companions it seems the bigger the better.
The reality is that obesity is just as large(no pun intended) an issue for horses as it is in humans and it is caused by many of the same things.
- Rich food
- Genetics (like the draft ponies)
I am not immune. I am always fighting the urge to add a supplement or switch to better quality grain or hay. Here is a few more links that I found educational.
Take a second in the next few days and take a critical look at your horse. Talk to your vet about what he/she thinks about your horses weight. The best thing of all is exercise so go for a ride! It will make you both feel better!