Equine Obesity and New Year’s Resolutions

One of the more popular New Year’s resolutions that people make is to lose weight and get in shape. In America alone, more than two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese. That is not even considering children or young adults! This country, you could say, has a little bit of a weight problem. It is no wonder then that so many people buy gym memberships at the end of December and into January.

The beautiful thing about being human is that we come pre-equipped with the hope that we can always turn our lives around. Obesity though is not a problem that affects only humans; it is also a serious problem affecting the animals in our lives. We have all seen viral videos of fat cats or fat dogs doing something funny, but the situation is no laughing matter, especially if your horse that is battling a weight problem.

According to Samantha Ellis of Global Animal, “Horses are inheritably couch potatoes. An overeating, slothful horse leads to an obese horse. Unlike humans, however, horse owners often don’t see the dangers of an obese horse. Caretakers may see no harm in giving their horses rich foods, but obesity in horses is just as unhealthy as obesity in humans and can lead to fatal diseases.”

Yes, obesity means a death wish for horses and out of all the animals in the world; it seems that horses are most similar to humans when it comes to fatal diseases brought about by obesity. These issues include everything from endocrine problems to laminitis, which is a condition that affects hooves and, in turn, movement in horses. There is also the risk of heart disease and diabetes similar to what happens with men and women battling obesity.

The problem, it seems, rests with horse owners. Many want their horses to appear well fed, so the bigger the horse the better, but as you might expect, this misguided attitude can cause many problems. Thankfully, there are some solutions to this growing problem. Firstly, we tend to feed our horses the same grass we feed our other animals. This grass is designed to make animals fat, which can be harmful to horses. Secondly, we need to make sure our horses get daily exercise. This might seem like commons sense, but you would be surprised!

In the New Year, make sure your horses are on the right path to healthiness!