US scientists say horses are suffering obesity problems just like humans. However, horse owners often don’t see the dangers of an overweight horse, said Philip Johnson, a veterinary medicine professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The genetics of horses, as in
many species, allows for the extra storing of fat in preparation for winter,
when there is typically less food available. In nature, horses would eat less in
the winter and lose the weight by spring, noted Johnson. Under human care,
horses are fed generously year round and never lose the extra weight.
need to be exercised daily in meaningful ways,”
said Johnson. “It’s not enough
to ride your horse twice a week for 20 minutes.”