Body condition and weight are important when assessing the health of your horse. Some horses, often referred to as "easy keepers", require lower calorie diets to achieve a healthy weight and body condition score, while others, known as "hard keepers", require more calories to achieve that same healthy condition.
However, for easy keepers, cutting back on grain to less than recommended daily amounts also limits nutrients, increasing the risk of deficiency and lowering performance potential. On the other side, over-feeding has its own challenges in terms of digestive health.
There are a variety of ways to supply added energy in feeds for underweight and performance horses.
Fueling with fat
Performance horses and horses that need to gain weight should be fed products with high quality protein and guaranteed amino acid levels to support muscle development instead of fat deposition.