What can I feed my fussy horse who struggles to maintain her weight?

It can be difficult to know what to feed a horse who struggles to maintain her weight, especially if she's a fussy eater. Here, Dengie Nutritionist Tracey Hammond, shares her advice on what to do. 

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A variable appetite and weight loss may be cause for concern, so it'd be best to also discuss this issue with you vet. 

If nothing is amiss, one of the first things to try is feeding both feed and forage 'little and often'. This mimics a horse's natural feeding regime, helps promote a healthy digestive system and avoids over-facing your mare with large meals, and it'll keep her entertained for longer in her stable. 



Consider offering a variety of fibre sources in nets or buckets around the stable to encourage natural foraging behavior to keep her interested and possibly consuming more. 

For condition without fizz, choose feeds based on fibre and oil for slow-release energy. Some molasses in the feed may be beneficial for tastiness, as horses tend to find molassed feeds more palatable, but look for those that contain lower levels, or choose feeds with added flavours or herbs to tempt your mare. Try different textures too - some horses prefer dry feeds while others prefer a wetter mash.

Finally, offer feed cafeteria-style - put each feed in an individual bucket and you should soon see what she is and isn't eating. 

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