Q. I have a 1000 lb draft cross mare. She was overweight but is getting on the lean side. Any suggestions on keeping weight on her? Ridden 5-6 days/wk

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A. If your mare's activity level has increased you may want to take a look at what she is being fed currently. Horses that are higher performance do well with a grain/pelleted feed being added to the diet in addition to any outside grazing time and hay feed. If you are becoming competitive, a performance feed may also provide extra nutrition to help keep up with the increased activity. If you are unsure if your mare is the right weight for her size, looking up an equine Body Condition Score can help. Many give visual aids that you can compare your mare to in order to help keep track of her overall condition.

If your mare is on appropriate feed and continues to lose weight, she may also be due for her regular deworming as internal parasites can cause weight loss in horses even on good feed (as they leech nutrients). If she is up to date on worming and is still looking leaning, calling out your local horse vet to the barn may help as well.

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