You may have heard the term easy keeper used to describe your horse. These horses have no trouble maintaining weight. In fact, they often run the risk of obesity or metabolic disorders. It’s a misconception that they’re easier to feed. You should manage the diet of your easy keeper carefully!
The Easy Keeper
These horses are able to get more energy from the same feed compared to other horses. Not only do they gain weight more easily, but they hold onto it. While the benefit of this is they require less food, the con is they can quickly become overweight.
Horse owners of easy keepers need to monitor their horse’s intake, but also ensure they’re content. It can be a tricky balance, as these guys love to eat!
Here’s some tips!
- A balancer is a great alternative to sweet feed. Your horse can still get essential minerals and vitamins without the extra calories.
- Feed more hay over grain. Hay provides more chew time, which can be satisfying for your horse. A slow-feeder hay net can extend their hay ration.
- Limit pasture through a dry lot or grazing muzzle. These horses are usually at risk for laminitis.
- Always monitor your horse’s body score condition and weight.
Unfortunately, an easy keeper isn’t necessarily easy at all. They may have no trouble packing on the pounds, but this puts them at risk for various health conditions.