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  • Clare Long

If you can see ribs…your horse is too thin!

(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)

“In my Oh so humble Opinion” : this is true, in almost every case.

Yes, some will argue:

The fittest of race horses, the fittest of Eventers, the fittest of endurance horses…yes, yes and yes. You may see ribs on each of these specific top athletes.

But, in general, if you look at your horse, and you can see their ribs, they are too thin.


Exclamation point.

End of conversation.

There should be a nice layer of fat over their ribs.

If this is true, I find that there is almost always enough weight on the rest of their bodies.

So, your horse being too thin is inexcusable.

Anyone can easily see ribs.

You can see them up close, or from a distance.

You can see them with green eggs and ham (in the words of Dr.Suess.)

Please, if you can see ribs, put weight on your horse!

There are many methods that are safe and fast, and not too hard on the pocket book.

Untruths that I have heard, and that people will use as excuses:

1. “M­­y horse is thin because he is old”:

Yes, it can be harder to keep weight on older horses.

But there are ‘tried and true’ techniques that will work, even if your horse has lost his teeth.

2. “My horse is thin because he has lost muscle mass”:

Bull. As your horse gains weight, she will also gain fitness, if you are conditioning her properly.

Who came up with that ridiculous excuse for weight loss?

Loss of muscle does not mean your horse should lose weight!

Loss of muscle means your horse has gotten soft, and plump,

with perhaps no muscle definition.

But muscle definition does not mean thin.

Horses that are fit, should have enough weight as well.

OK, so have I successfully pounded this concept into your head?

I think I probably have.

So, please, please, please…keep enough weight on your horse.

A thin horse, is a hungry horse.

A hungry horse is an unhappy horse.

Now, if you need help putting weight on your horse, please feel free to contact me.

I will be happy to give your horse a free fitness evaluation,

(we can do it via photo or video if you are far away).

In addition, I’d be delighted to giving you tips for putting weight on him.

Simple, easy and inexpensive techniques to put weight on a horse.

Your vet can help you as well.

All the best to you and yours, and have fun ‘fattening them up’!


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