Horses that are difficult keepers

Some horses, especially the "hot breeds" (Thoroughbreds, Arabians, etc.) can be hard keepers- difficult to keep weight on them.  I find in most cases this is because they are extremely emotionally sensitive, the more worry, concern, or possibly even fear they carry, they less they are able to maintain an appropriate weight.
Other factors such as age, work schedule, etc. can also affect body weight.

If you find you have a horse like this, besides trying to address what is emotionally and mentally bothering your horse, you may also have to play with a combination of grass and alfalfa, or grass and weight gainers such as beet pulp, which will not make him seem so "high" due to his feed. Also depending on his lifestyle (pasture, with or without other horses, stall, etc.) make sure he not only has access to his feed without the fear of it being "stolen" from the neighbor, and all that he is current with his dental work so that he isn't in pain when he is eating. He also should be on a regular worming schedule.

Beet pulp, rice bran and corn oil are great ways to add weight without “heat” to the horse’s feed. I've had good results with Red Cell which is also an affordable alternative that has lots of nutrients to help maintain a hard keeper.

Here are a few signs that your horse may be suffering from dental issues:

• Abnormal bitting behavior

• Bad breath, halitosis

• Difficulty chewing (you’ll see large chunks of food fall out of his mouth as he tries to chew)

• Discharge from one nostril

• Headshaking

• Repeated bouts of colic

• Tenderness around the face

• Difficulty maintaining weight

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