Mass first!

There is probably an epidemic of horse thinness. Or maybe it’s a coincidence that I’m constantly coming across skinny horses and owners who are not doing anything about it.
What is the reason? Ignorance? Savings? There is an advice for ignorance. However, if someone says that he keeps the horse at low cost it lights up with a red lamp. The  most common victim of these savings is a horse’s stomach. Feeding the horse, keeping it in good shape all year round is not cheap.

The point to write this post are the words I have heard once again. Again … Any collective excuse?
“She/he is not skinny at all. It looks so because it lacks muscles … “
Then it turns out that the owner already has a plan for how to deal with the problem. He has to start the training. It is as if the animal has swelled from the number of kilometers traveled under the saddle or on the lunge line.

I would not even think to saddle an animal that has no developed muscles to carry it. Firstly the mass, then the muscles and at the end – mounting.

A properly built, healthy-looking horse is the pride and happiness of the owner and the goal itself,). Well-nourished horse has better resistance, easier to cope with training and, above all, he will enjoy health for a long time. It is not worth saving on horse nutrition. How to do it wisely? Not so hard.

Why mass first?

Working muscles have a high energy demand, which is stored in fat cells. So in order to work out our uneven musculature we must first let him put away a bit of fat. Otherwise, working muscles will not be able to build. The horse, despite training, will lose weight instead of swelling using the remaining reserves, from which the muscles draw energy to work (that is, it will burn muscles instead of fat).

To make everything as it should be, having a horse that is rather slim, before we attach a lunge line, we have to take care of the appropriate layer of fat, which will melt into the muscles.

We remember that the horse must be provided with movement when grazing. If he goes out to the paddock with other horses, he will take care of it himself. When we notice that the horse has rounded up, we can start regular work. In hand, from the ground, on a lunge line. We do not really get on. Of course, at the beginning we work very gently. We gradually increase the horse’s nutritional dose and then we add a more engaging work. All the time we observe the horse – whether he begins to lose weight or gaining muscles, whether he has energy or vice versa – and we react accordingly.

How and what to feed?

First of all, it should be remnded that we do not fatten the horse with oats. Oats is energy. After giving it, it will be more “forward”. It will therefore burn more and more energy instead of gaining fat.

The basis should be good quality hay. Constant access to hay!
Supplying a  fiber-rich feed to the horse. At the first beet pulp. It is a source of good, slowly released energy (unlike oats) and highly digestible fiber.
Wheat bran, rice bran, barley, sunflower seed, oil… There are many options. Not everything will work on any horse. When arranging the food dose, observe how the horse reacts to the change in feed. And above all, change every step gradually and slowly!
It is a great idea to add chaff (fiber!) to the feed, thanks to which the horse will eat more slowly and use the fodder well. Not without significance is also the high content of fiber in chaff that prolongs the feeling of satiety.
Oil will be an excellent addition for the skinny horse. For example, linseed or rice, but here we also consider a surplus of energy.

Ready-made mixtures are also available. Muesli or granules. But low energy! If we want to gain weight, we have to be careful that it does not burn its fat while raving after high energy feed. There are many solutions to choose. It all depends on the wealth of the owner’s wallet  😉  One sack is not enough for us. You have to be regular and remember that the time needed to fatten a slim horse is about 4 months. A really thin horse will need half a year or more.

We remember to support the horse with an appropriate supplement. Which contains vitamin E and selenium necessary for the proper functioning of the muscles.

At the end, something to start with: the answer to the question why the horse is thin? Maybe he lacks micro- or macroelements? Is he healthy? Is he dewormed? Does something hurt? In what age he is? Did he lose weight suddenly or was it a rather lengthy process? …

That would be as much when it comes to tips on how to put on a horse. Only when the horse gets a little bit of body we can get on a sculpture muscles. Remembering that no, even the most regular work or supplements will give anything if the horse you will not get the right dose of forage.