Tailoring Calories without Compromising Other Nutrients Q: I am feeding my 20-year-old pony gelding with equine metabolic syndrome your Safe 'n Easy™ but he is still thin with fat pocket (probably pre-Cushing). I also have a Percheron mare that needs to lose 200-300 lbs. She is now exercising and I have been giving her 2 lbs per day Safe 'n Easy with hay. What would help her to get the weight off? A: Often times, if our horses start to gain weight, our first line of defense is to cut back on the grain ration. We forget that each feed is formulated to not only provide a set amount of calories, but also vitamins and minerals. When we decrease our feeding rates below the recommended levels, we are short-changing the horse of essential nutrients at the same time. We may be able to cut calories by decreasing the amount, but the horse will not be getting the nutrition she needs, which can lead to other health issues. The better solution is to find a lower-calorie feed and feed the recommended levels. This will ensure proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and still allow the horse to safely lose weight with a proper exercise regimen. It sounds like you are looking to add some calories to your pony, without any added starch and sugar. One option would be to stick with the Safe 'n Easy but add a fat supplement, such as Ultimate Finish™, to his ration. The other option would be to switch to GRO 'N WIN™ and Ultimate Finish. GRO 'N WIN is very low in starch and sugar with a low inclusion rate. When you combine it with the Ultimate Finish™, you can tailor the calories to his needs more efficiently while still providing the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. As for your Percheron mare, GRO 'N WIN™ would be our suggestion for her as well. The low calorie, low inclusion rate is just what she needs (along with low starch and sugar) to help get rid of that excess weight. Q: We have a 1/2 Arab 1/2 Paint that is a very easy keeper. She is currently turned out 24/7 weather permitting, gets 2-3 flakes of nice Bermudagrass hay morning and night and about 1 pound of a textured sweet feed. She is a little plump so I know she is getting plenty of calories but I am not sure she is getting enough other nutrients because she is only getting 2 pounds of grain per day. She is ridden for 30-45 minutes at least 5 days a week. I am considering stopping the sweet feed and replacing it with GRO ‘N WIN™. Her tail and forelock are thinning and breaking as well. A: GRO 'N WIN™ would be a great option for your horse. Since it is highly fortified with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, it will help keep everything in balance with your forage. GRO 'N WIN™ is also low calorie and fed at a very low feeding rate so you will just get the nutrition you need, without the extra energy. Q: I would like to know if I can feed my 22-year-old mare that has Cushing’s disease Ultimate Finish™ 40. A: Yes. Ultimate Finish™ 40 is very low in starch and sugar. This soft pelleted supplement has a high fat level that allows you to feed only a few ounces per day. See what other questions our experts have answered.