What Causes Hay Belly In Horses?

Causes of Hay Belly in Horses

Hay belly may occur when a horse has eaten too many low-value calories that lack sufficient protein.

Poor quality hay or grass can lead to hay belly in horses.

The digestive system of your horse is made to extract nutrients from grass and hay.

What causes bloating in horses?

A horse’s distended abdomen could be attributed to Cushing’s Disease or liver failure. And a horse that looks unhealthy, yet has a large belly, may have a severe parasite load causing bloating and inflammation.

Can horses get fat on hay?

Horses can over-eat on grass, especially if the pasture is lush, but it is also easy to let a horse get too fat eating hay. And, sometimes too little hay can mean a horse will lose weight. Ponies will require considerably less, while large draft breeds can eat 30 pounds (13.6 kg) a day or more.

Should a horse’s ribs show?

Ribs: You should be able to feel — but not see — a healthy horse’s ribs. Tailhead/Croup: In a too-thin horse, the tailhead is prominent is easily seen. Withers: This varies between breeds, but if your horse is too thin, the shape of the withers will be very visible.

How do you know if your horse is too skinny?

The scale is as follows:

  • Poor: Horse is extremely emaciated.
  • Very Thin: Horse is emaciated.
  • Thin: Horse has slight fat cover over body.
  • Moderately Thin: Horse’s has a slight ridge along spine and outline of ribs are visible.
  • Moderate: Horse’s back is flat and spine and ribs cannot be seen however ribs can be felt.