Home News Slimmers’ Club set to tackle obesity in ponies

Slimmers’ Club set to tackle obesity in ponies


The Spillers Slimmers’ Club is launched to help overweight ponies

Did you know, if a pony’s overweight it can be as bad for his health as if he were underweight? Obesity in horses and ponies is a major welfare issue. Not only do obese ponies experience weight-associated problems, such as increased strain on their heart, lungs and joints, they’re also more likely to develop other clinical conditions, such as laminitis.

Spillers is trying to tackle this increasingly common problem by launching the Spillers Slimmers’ Club! The aim is to provide support, advice and encouragement to owners to help keep their equine pal at a healthy weight. Members will get loads of weight loss tips, learn how to body condition score and use a weigh tape, as well as set diet plans and record weight loss.

The Club’s supported by Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which is helping spread the word so even more ponies can benefit from the support and guidance on offer. They’ll be sharing their tops tips and answering management questions, too. Members of the Club will also have the chance to ask Spillers nutritionists questions about their pony’s diet.

Some ponies appear to get fat on thin air, but Clare Barfoot, a Spillers nutritionist, highlighted that: “reduced exercise and less rigorous management regimes due to Covid-19 restrictions haven’t helped.” It’s thought that owners are becoming used to seeing overweight ponies, too, but this shouldn’t be normalised, and the equine community must work together to tackle the problem. If we don’t, the future health and welfare of our ponies is at risk.

John’s story


[Photo credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary]

 John arrived at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary in March 2020. At just 15hh, he weighed an astonishing 612kg, had a body condition score of 5 and was described as grossly overweight by a vet. He was suffering from laminitis and needed immediate care to improve his quality of life.

A carefully planned weight loss programme was implemented into John’s routine and, although it was a long-term project, John lost over a quarter of his bodyweight – 167kg – over 14-months!

Partly due to his laminitis, John can’t be ridden. But this shows that significant weight loss can still be achieved for a non-ridden horse. His behaviour has dramatically improved, too, and he’s now more relaxed, sociable and easier to handle.

Join the club

Do you struggle to keep excess weight off your pony? Is he a good-doer or prone to laminitis? Then the Spillers Slimmer’s Club is perfect for him! To find out more and join the club, head to spillers-feeds.com

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