Feeding the Skinny Horse for Good Horse Health

I think we can all agree that feeding a skinny horse is a must for good horse health. But, what to feed, how much to feed and what kind of overall handling shall we give the horse. Many times these are rescue horses. Just like rescue dogs, they already have a personality and do not hesitate to show their likes and dislikes.

No matter the reason you now have a rescue horse you now have the responsibility to bring him or her back to good health. The right food, the right amount of food at the right times, clean water, medical examinations and tests and good supplementation  are a few of your concerns.

I know that many of you already know much of what is needed to bring your skinny horse back to good health. Please use this article to brush up and for those who decided to take the plunge with a rescue horse as their first horse you really need to read this article, twice.

All the best to you and best of luck with your skinny horse, today or sometime in your future.

Horse Feed For Skinny Horses by Madalyn Ward, DVM

With over 170,000 unwanted horses in the United States, according to the American Horse Council, the number of horses showing up at horse sales and horse rescues, or simply “turned loose on the range,” is increasing.

As a result, the number of malnourished and skinny horses is also on the rise. Luckily, some of these horses are being adopted or rescued by good Samaritans. The trouble is that many good Samaritans have no idea how to feed skinny horses to restore them to health.

Three Steps for Feeding the Thin Horse

Beautiful Helthy Groomed HorsesIf you are one of these good Samaritans then you know the temptation to “feed up” the skinny horse in attempt to restore him to his proper weight. Unfortunately, simply shoving tons of food in front of a skinny horse is unlikely to produce the results you want, since a thin horse is often unable to digest or process huge amounts of food due to a weakened digestive system. Instead of dumping tons of feed over the stall door, follow these three steps for feeding the thin horse.

Step #1: Fix the Cause of the Problem

Skinny horses tend to suffer from one or more health problems, so the first step to restoring the skinny horse is to discover those issues. Health problems that are common among skinny horses include:

  • teeth in need of floating
  • parasites or worms
  • lack of good horse feed and nutrition (malnourishment)
  • stress, injury, or pain

The first three causes are fairly simple to address and understand, but the fourth is less straightforward. A horse that has been stressed, injured, or is in pain may lose quite a bit of weight, because these conditions can cause the formation of ulcers or may cause digestive upset. For these horses, it is a good idea to address digestive problems with products such as Stomach Soother, SUCCEED, or KAM Ulcer Formula (KAM UF).

Whatever the cause, once you have determined the health issues from which the horse may be suffering, the first step is to address those issues. For instance, if the horse has bad or broken teeth, you need to have his teeth floated before feeding him tons of food, otherwise he won’t be able to chew a single bite of that food.

Step #2: Horse Feed for the Skinny HorseHealthy Horse with Colt

Once you have addressed any health issues that are causing the horse to lose weight, the next step is to create a diet that will nourish him but not create further digestive issues. Contrary to popular opinion, skinny horses do not need super rich, high fat meals in large quantity. Most skinny horses have such poor digestive tracts that they cannot process these kinds of meals.

Instead, focus on feeding the thin horse small, frequent meals that are easily digestible. If the horse has low energy, you can gradually increase up to one-and-a-half pounds of grain or pelleted feed per 100 pounds of body weight. Adding some oil or rice bran to the diet can also help. Alfalfa can help the horse put on weight, especially if he is a picky eater or has ulcers, which makes him avoid grain.

If the horse has high energy, it is best to feed less grain and more hay. Adding some vegetable oil or rice bran to the grain can also encourage weight gain. Soaked beet pulp also helps the high-energy skinny horse gain weight.

Step #3: Supplements for Skinny Horses
Once you have created a diet suitable for your skinny horse, you may want to consider digestive supplements that can help your horse better digest his food. For instance, enzymes can help a horse get the most out of his feed. Probiotics also help with digestion, along with healing the gut and boosting the horse’s immune system. Excellent sources of probiotics include acidophilus and bifidus from Simplexity Health, Fastrack from Conklin, PreProbiotics from Equilite/Arenus, and Pro-Bi from ABC.

For horses who have been stressed or traumatized, the herbal product Eleviv from XanGo is an excellent supplement which restores these horses to their natural, healing, parasympathetic nervous system. Omega Sun blue-green algae from Simplexity Health is a good source of nutrition for these horses, providing dense nutrition without generating a lot of nervous energy.

Finally, you may want to consider digestive herbs such as marshmallow root, slippery elm, or aloe vera to give your horse’s digestive system a boost.

Caring for the Skinny Horse

Bringing a skinny horse from the brink of malnourishment back to glowing good health can be a long trek, depending on how many health issues you have to address. Luckily, a solid nutritional foundation can do wonders for skinny horses, once the major health issues have been addressed.

Madalyn Ward, DVM, is a recognized author and veterinarian in the field of holistic horse keeping. For free tips on horse health, horse personality types, and horse nutrition, plus one-stop shopping on holistic horse products, visit  http://www.BuyHolisticHorse.com and http://www.HolisticHorsekeeping.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Madalyn_Ward,_DVM

“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your horse. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.”  ~~Unknown

Feeding the Skinny Horse for Good Horse Health will hopefully get you started in bringing those skinny horses in your herd around to great health. Get started now.


About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.


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