Home » How to Get Rid of a Hay Belly on a Horse

How to Get Rid of a Hay Belly on a Horse

A hay belly is a common condition in horses, particularly in those that are overweight or don’t get enough exercise. It’s characterized by a large, round belly that hangs down over the horse’s front legs, making it difficult for the horse to move comfortably. A hay belly is not only unsightly, it can also cause health problems for the horse, such as impaired breathing, joint problems, and digestive issues. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of a hay belly on a horse.

Review Horse’s Diet

The first step in getting rid of a hay belly is to review your horse’s diet. Many horses are overfed, resulting in extra weight that can lead to a hay belly. Make sure your horse is getting the right amount of food for his size and activity level, and consider switching to a low-calorie feed that is high in fiber. You should also keep track of the treats you give your horse, as they can add up quickly and contribute to weight gain.

Increase Exercise

The next step is to increase the amount of exercise your horse gets. Exercise helps burn calories, which can help reduce the size of a hay belly. You can increase your horse’s exercise gradually, making sure he has time to warm up and cool down. You can also add a variety of activities to his routine, such as riding, long-lining, and trail riding.

Related content  How Big is a Horse Jockey?

Change Hay Type

If your horse is still having trouble losing weight, you may want to consider switching to a different type of hay. Traditional hay is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. Instead, try switching to a low-calorie hay, such as alfalfa or grass hay. These types of hay are lower in calories and provide more nutritional benefits for your horse.

Consider Supplements

In some cases, you may want to consider adding supplements to your horse’s diet. Supplements can help boost your horse’s metabolism, which can help him lose weight more quickly. There are a variety of supplements available, including fat burners, appetite suppressants, and vitamins. However, it’s important to consult with your vet before giving your horse any supplements.

Monitor Progress

Finally, you should monitor your horse’s progress. Take note of any changes in his weight or belly size, and be sure to take regular photos to compare. This can help you determine if your efforts are working and if you need to make any changes.


Getting rid of a hay belly on a horse can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By reviewing your horse’s diet, increasing his exercise, switching to a low-calorie hay, and considering supplements, you can help your horse lose weight and improve his overall health. With patience and dedication, you can help your horse get rid of his hay belly and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.