What should I feed my poor-doer?

Is your horse a poor-doer? Here, nutrition expert from Spillers, Clare Barfoot, explains what you can do. 

Keeping a poor-doer well rugged will reduce the amount of calories used to keep warm 

Keeping a poor-doer well rugged will reduce the amount of calories used to keep warm 

First, eliminate any clinical reason for your horse's weight loss. Once you've done this, check that the quality of your forage is good and ensure it's always being fed ad lib, even when he's in the field.

If it's cold, it's worth making sure he's rugged up, as a lot of calories can be used producing heat to keep the body warm. 

Once you've checked these, think about his bucket feed. Check you're feeding the recommended quantity in meals of no more than 2kg, so as not to overload his stomach.

If he's still not maintaining his weight, consider increasing the calorie density of his feed. 

This may mean opting for a conditioning feed, or it may be better to go for a fibre and oil-based, medium-energy feed; these types of feed may not say 'conditioning' and may be packaged as competition feeds.