Some horses are hard keepers. No matter what or how much you feed them, they have trouble keeping on weight. Often the problem can be traced back to the first stage of digestion, the teeth. If the teeth have grown uneven, it’s just a matter of “floating” them back to a uniform height to facilitate mastication. For other horses, however—horses with good teeth and no other digestion-related ailments—failure to maintain a healthy weight can be a combination of genetics, age and workload.
Anyone who raises performance horses is familiar with the problem of keeping weight on their horses. Intense exercise and the stresses of boarding, hauling, and competing all take their toll. Feeding more hay and grain is not always a satisfactory solution. That’s because healthy weight gain is intimately tied to energy metabolism, which in turn is dependent upon the availability of certain nutrients. It’s not enough just to feed more calories if the calories being fed are not properly utilized.