What are the challenges of feeding a laminitis prone or overweight horse?
We understand that when you have a horse or pony that is prone to laminitis – such as one that easily gains weight or has had laminitis before – managing his diet and alleviating boredom is priority.
Dietary guidance is readily available. This includes restricting or removing grazing time, turning out at night, reducing the soluble carbohydrate content of the diet, or implementing a weight loss programme with limited amounts of feed and increased exercise.
In practice, however, this means a laminitis-prone horse spends more time indoors without much to eat. As an example, an overweight pony on a restricted diet could receive, per day, as little as 2 slices of hay, a scoop of balancer and a scoop of feed specifically formulated for laminitis. Such meagre portions may be effective against laminitis, but this routine can mean long periods without food. This can lead to behavioural problems linked with boredom or result in gastric health issues. Horses are grazers which mean they are born snackers! They are designed to eat 24/7.
So, how can we manage laminitis and weight and still ensure our horses get the grazing time they need?
Vitamunch offers a healthy snack for laminitis and weight management
Brighten up the life of your overweight or laminitis-prone horse or pony with Vitamunch – the healthy equine snack with added benefits. Our range of Vitamunch healthy snacks offer a unique solution to ensuring your laminitis-prone horse has access to food over longer periods of the day and night.
If your horse is at risk of laminitis, then adding Vitamunch to his feeding regime can help, because:
- the quality-assured, high fibre, low calorie, low sugar composition with added vitamins and minerals complies with published dietary recommendations for laminitic horses;
- the timothy fibre base of Vitamunch is beneficial for horse’s digestive system;
- Vitamunch snacks are eaten slowly because the compressed form encourages nibbling, and when fed in the innovative Munch Net, eating time is extended even further;
- portion control is easy since each Vitamunch snack weighs just 1kg
Struggling to get your horse or pony to eat their medication?
Our horses and ponies seem to be great at sniffing out anything different in their feeds, especially if they are receiving small portions for weight reasons. Simply Irresistible is designed to disguise medications and supplements, and contains a probiotic too, to help support the digestive system.
Not sure your horse is getting everything they need?
Generally, a good quality diet of fibre and hard feed is usually sufficient to meet your horse’s daily nutritional needs. However if your horse is a good doer on a restricted diet, there’s a chance they might not be getting everything they need. A multivitamin, such as Simply Sunshine, could help fill the gaps to support a balanced diet.