Figuring Out The Fuel Equation: Advice from Cavalor’s equine researcher regarding feeding easy keepers, hard keepers and everything in between.
By David van Doorn, PhD
Some horse owners are confronted with the challenge of feeding a so-called easy keeper who doesn’t necessarily need weight but needs more “energy”—not referring to caloric intake but to a horse that can be lazy. Others may be challenged to feed a hard keeper—a “hot” horse who needs to gain weight but not get more excitable during competition. Can nutrition, and especially the type of energy we provide to horses, help manage these issues with horses that participate in show jumping, dressage and eventing? In order to answer that, let’s consider general principles for feeding performance horses. Then we can examine strategies for feeding both easy and hard keepers.