Humans and their animals can all have obesity problems. Humans over eat and sit around watching T.V. They become overweight as they do not exercise. Horses love to eat and they just stand around and get over weight. Obese horses can be just as unhealthy as obese humans.
Working horses, race horses and show horses usually do not have obesity problems. Many people love horses and they have a horse for pleasure. They ride the horse occasionally. They love and treat the horse like a member of the family. They will over feed their horse not realizing they are causing harm to the horse. They give their horse grain because he loves grain not realizing that if he is not working he does not need to be fed grain. The grain will just put on unwanted weight.
Some of the problems obese horses can develop are increasing stress on the heart and lungs. They are at risk of developing laminitis or founder. They can have bone and joint problems. Being over weight will put a strain on the horse’s feet, joints and legs. If the horse has arthritis the excess weight will cause the problem to be more painful. The excess fat around the horse’s internal organs will cause a problem. Excess fat is especially hard on the horse’s heart. An obese horse will tire easily.
Obesity in horses can cause endocrine problems. This can include insulin resistance. An obese horse can develop heart disease. He can also develop diabetes.
Obesity in horses can also cause laminitis. This is a very painful condition that affects the horse’s front hooves. There is not a good treatment for this condition. If the horse has a severe case of laminitis he will have to be put to sleep. Obese horses that have developed an insulin resistance are more prone to laminitis.
Many horse owners do not recognize the fact their horse is overweight. They think a horse that is on the heavy side looks good. They think if their horse is on the heavy side he is happy and healthy. The opposite is true.
Horses love grain and horse owners will feed their horse’s grain thinking they are being good to the horse. The horse may just stand in a stall all day so he just gets fatter. Horses need exercise everyday. If you do not ride your horse everyday you can exercise him on a lunge line. When you exercise your horse on a lunge line be sure to work him in both directions.
Watch your horse’s weight. Do not let him get obese. If you keep his weight down you will have less health problems with your horse. An obese horse is an unhealthy horse.