You have taken the first step

Your horse is too heavy and you want to do something about it? Fantastic! It is quite something to realise that your horse is overweight because nobody intentionally lets their horse become too fat. Most likely, the layer of fat has gradually grown and bit by bit your horse has become plumper. Suddenly you noticed your horse is overweight, or somebody asked you whether your horse is in foal, while you have a gelding. So it’s time for action, because you don’t want your horse to develop health problems, such as insulin resistance or laminitis.

Of course, you want to find out how heavy your horse is and how you can make sure that he will lose weight in a responsible way. We are going to help you with that. When we have assessed your horse’s actual condition, we will give you guidelines and tips for adjustments to management, exercise and nutrition. With this program, you will be able to work towards a suitable weight for your horse and by doing so towards a healthier horse.

“Losing weight is difficult but when you persevere your horse will become more energetic and healthier. Be assured that you are not the only one who has let things come this far. About 55% of all leisure horses are overweight.”

Nutritionist and Veterinarian Veerle Vandendriessche

Pavo InShape Program

The Pavo InShape Program is a complete program that allows your horse to lose weight in a healthy and responsible way. The program is based on three important pillars which are essential: management (how do you take care of your horse), exercise and nutrition. The program consists of various chapters in which you will find out more about these pillars, alternated with experiences told by horse owners who have already followed the program. Which problems did they encounter during the weight loss program? And how did they solve these problems? We are proud that various experts, each with their own expertise, have contributed to this wonderful program.

Nutritionist and veterinary surgeon Veerle Vandendriessche contributed the lion’s share. Her title Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN) shows that she is one of the absolute world class nutritionists. Veerle has specialized in horses and pets and is one of 36 European ‘diplomats’, two of whom are engaged fulltime with horse feed. Veerle has supported more than one weight loss program for horses and knows better than anyone else what is involved and what problems owners face.

Exercise is the essence to realise weight loss. And to learn all about this we called upon the knowledge of Dr. Carolien Munsters (PhD). She obtained her doctorate with a thesis on the sport physiology of the horse. By translating scientific knowledge into practice she assists riders and coaches in improving their performance. With her company Moxie Sport, she has already helped a large number of top riders with analyses and/or support, among other things for the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, she is helping several combinations with their preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In addition, Carolien gives courses in the field of sport physiology for horses, she works as a researcher at the Utrecht University faculty of Veterinary medicine and is an embedded scientist for horse sports (NOC*NSF).

For our chapter on exercise, we consulted a second expert, sports physiologist Irene Tosi. She studied Veterinary medicine at the University of Milan (Italy) and after that specialised in physiologic research on horses at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Liège (Belgium). She lectures and supervises students in the area of physiology of sport horses. She also carries out research into the effects of exercise on muscles in the horse’s body.


Before you start and put your horse on a diet, you can ask your vet for a general body check of your horse to exclude the possibility that your horse is overweight due to health problems such as insulin resistance.

Print your workbook

Do you think that it is handy to print this workbook and keep it at the stables, for example? That is possible. At the bottom of this page you will find a button to a print version.

Do you only want to print the pages you can use to complete your horse`s progress instead of the entire workbook? That is possible as well. At all pages with a reference to a chart that needs completing, you will find a button to just print those charts.

Write down the information about your horse in the workbook!