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Horse Health 101 : Horse Health Library : Nutrition

Muscle Loss In Your Horse's Topline Due To An Unbalanced Diet

When a horse is fed an unbalanced diet, they lose muscle but not necessarily fat. Having a horse with a body condition score of 4 to 6 can be deceptive. While you may be feeding your horse enough calories, the diet may be out of balance. (See Topline Evaluation Scoring Chart)

When a horse is fed an unbalanced diet the first three areas that lose muscle are the back, loin, and croup. If a horse is suffering from a poor topline it is an indication of a diet deficient in amino acids.

The first step in determining the nutritional value of your horse's diet is to have your hay clinically tested. This will help you balance any nutritional deficiencies in the hay with a diet balancer. It is recommended you have your hay tested yearly. The nutritional value of hay can vary greatly depending on when it is harvested.

If you are struggling with developing or maintaining your horse's topline feel free to contact the clinic. Our doctors can help you decipher your current diet and guide you in developing a diet that fulfills your horse's nutritional requirements and maximizes performance.

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