The Horse Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you consider an "easy keeper"?
What do you consider a "hard" keeper"?

It seems like a lot of people talk about easy keepers that keep weight on easily. What about too easily? I have been struggling to keep weight off my "easy keeper." Feels like I have to borderline starve the poor thing, and grazing muzzles are a pain. Feels more like she is a "hard keeper", but I am probably the only one who thinks so. Sometimes I think that it would be "easier" to have a "hard keeper" so I can keep feeding it. Sounds more expensive though.... Bills for laminitis and EMS problems are expensive though too. Horses are expensive....

I bet that the grass is not greener on the otherside. What's it like having a "hard keeper"? I've never had one before.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,877 Posts
I have a barn full of easy keepers now. I have switched to the Dumar calm and steady so I can get away with giving a "full ration" so they don't think they are starving.

I had one that was a hard keeper. I went through almost 100lbs of Triple Crown Senior per week along with a 50 lb bag of alfalfa pellets and a scoop of weight gain along with hay twice per day.. That I consider a hard keeper.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,539 Posts
Nope, I also have an "easy keeper" who isn't so easy to keep. He's fat. He's an air fern. He could probably eat dirt and gain weight. I haven't put a grazing muzzle on him yet, but there's probably one in his future. I hate it. I wish I could just let him eat what he wants. He lives in a pasture 24/7 and gets ridden 3-4 times a week, but he's still fat.

OTOH my Teddy, I have to work a little to keep weight on him. He gets extra hay and extra feed. He's not too skinny and he never has been, but he's always been on the skinny side, and that's with getting fed extra. The worst thing about him is when he sort of looks at his food and says, "I don't think I'm really hungry, I'll just stand here instead of eating." Frustrating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
I do think that it can also depend on your situation. I have really lush, dense fields. For horses prone to laminitis and chonk, it's a nightmare situation because your first instinct is to put horses on those big fields, to live as nature intended. But that is not at all what is best for them. Paddocks it is.

So in one way, hard keepers do extremely well on those ultra rich fields and can graze all day and they can do more self care--were as the easy keepers must be restricted to appropriate diets that require more management.

When the hard keepers come off the fields in the autumn, their hay and grain intake increases, therefore your expenses go up as well. The easy keepers don't have much of a change so their budget is more even. At least, that has been my experience.

Like @ACinATX mentions, a horse that goes off their feed over the slightest of things or really seems to lack enthusiasm to eat--that is a true hard keeper in my book!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoBlueQuarter
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top