Is my horse overweight?

Unveiling the Silent Threat: Equine Obesity and Its Devastating Consequences

Every single horse owner should ask themselves: ‘ Is my horse overweight?’

In the world of equine care, there’s a silent crisis that often goes unnoticed – obesity. Contrary to common belief, it’s not just an aesthetic concern; it’s a severe threat to the welfare of our beloved horses. As equine veterinarians, we feel compelled to address this sensitive yet critical issue that is, surprisingly, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the UK equine population.

The Gravity of Equine Obesity.

Obesity in horses isn’t merely about carrying a little extra weight. It’s a significant risk factor for a range of metabolic diseases, including equine metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and the dreaded obesity-driven laminitis. The implications can be dire, sometimes even leading to the heart-breaking decision of euthanasia. It’s time to dispel the notion that ‘just a touch of laminitis’ or ‘carrying a little extra weight’ is acceptable. It’s not okay.

Alarming Statistics.

Recent studies from the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) reveal a shocking reality – 50% of horses in the UK are overweight or obese. This statistic demands our attention, yet discussions about this pressing issue often fall by the wayside. It’s time to confront the facts and take collective action for the well-being of our equine companions.

overweight horse

A Call to Action.

We understand that overfeeding often stems from a place of love, and societal norms in some showing communities may inadvertently reward obesity. However, let’s view this as an opportunity to address the problem together. The first step is understanding whether your horse is overweight. Do you know how to Body Condition Score (BCS) your horse? We’re here to help – reach out to us at South Moor, and our equine team will gladly demonstrate this assessment method.

Small Changes, Big Impact.

If your horse scores 6 or higher on the BCS chart, they are likely overweight. What can be done? We encourage you to initiate a conversation with our dedicated equine vets at South Moor. Together, we can assess your current management practices and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, implementing small yet achievable changes in your horse’s routine – such as weighing out hay, reducing hard feed, limiting grazing, cutting out snacks, and increasing exercise – can make a significant difference.

Supporting Your Journey.

We understand that the journey to weight loss is challenging, but we’re here to support you every step of the way. Learn to body condition score your horse and take steps to a healthier future. Reach out to us at South Moor for a conversation with our dedicated equine vets if you are concerned about your horses’ weight.

Let’s set aside excuses and collectively focus on the health and well-being of our horses. Together, let’s ensure they lead healthier, happier lives.

So, is your horse overweight?

If you think your horse could be overweight and has a suboptimal Body Condition Score, get in contact with us today to discuss how is best to manage.