Signs a Horse Feed May Not Be Working for Your Horse


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There are many factors to consider when choosing a horse feed for your horse. But sometimes, even though the feed adds up on paper, it just doesn’t work quite right for your horse. Look for the following signs which indicate that a change of feed may be in order.

Weight Loss or Gain

If your horse loses or gains a significant amount of weight, his feed may be to blame. Keep in mind that other factors, including illness and ulcers, may cause weight loss or gain, so don’t blame the feed immediately. It’s best to have a vet out to determine any potential causes of your horse’s change in weight, then make a plan for how to best handle the situation.

Uncontrollable Energy

Sometimes feeds can make horses hot. This is a more common occurrence when dealing with more “sensitive” breeds like the Thoroughbred or the Arabian, but any individual horse can react poorly to the excess energy that a feed gives him. If you notice a dramatic change in your horse’s energy and behavior, then you may need to think about reducing his feed amount or changing his feed altogether.

Digestive Upset

In some cases, a particular kind of horse feed may cause digestive upset. Digestive upset can range from loose manure to recurrent colic episodes. Factors such as ulcers may also contribute to these conditions. If your horse suddenly begins having digestive issues after a feed change, then it’s a good idea to call your vet to get to the root of the problem.

Disinterest in Eating

If you own a horse who is a picky eater, finding the right horse feed for your horse may depend on your horse’s interest in eating it. You may try any number of feeds, only to find that your horse is not interested in eating. Sometimes you can tempt your horse to eat the feed by adding in molasses, treats, or bits of carrots. This may only solve the issue temporarily, though. Look for a feed which is highly palatable and appealing to your horse.

Sometimes you’ll need to try a number of horse feeds before you find the one that will work well for your horse. Remember to make all transitions to different feeds gradually so that your horse’s digestive system has a chance to adjust.

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