For such a large animal, the digestive system of the horse is surprisingly
delicate. Optimize your horses' nutrition by knowing what they need and when to supply it. An athletic
horse will have greater nutritional needs than a horse that is riding only on occasion.
Pasture is the number one way to feed your
horses. They love it, you love it and it's natural for them. Horses in the wild graze happily throughout the
day. Their stomachs are quite small for their size, built for continuous eating throughout the day. Make your
pasture function at optimal effieciency by dividing your pasture and rotating your horses through the different
sections. They get to eat different grasses, and you get a chance to clean out any manure.
2. Hay and Grains
Hay is a basic staple of the horse diet,
and it is important that you feed only high qualty, dry and mold free hay to your horses. When purchasing a
bale, ask the seller to open one so you can see inside. Make sure that the grass is green, dust free and mold
free. The blend of grasses most commonly considered best is a grass and alfalfa mix, as alfafla is high in
protein. Hay also helps to soothe them, they need to chew and by having hay to chew that need is
Grains are important in providing carbs for athletic horses and horses in cold
winters. They help to give extra energy which can provide warmth in the winter, and more protein which helps
horses' bodies continue functioning well.
Hard workers, pregnant mares and foals
need extra nutrition. Hay and grain provide some of this, however the addition of other concentrates such as
sweet feed and manufactured feed are a good way to add these as needed. Sweet feed is a molasses and grain mix.
Beet pulp is also a good addition as it provides extra bulk. They must be soaked so they expand and you should
never prepare more than one days feeding at a time.
4. Salt and Minerals
You should always provide your horse
with a salt block. If they appear to need additional supplements, you can get a trace mineral salt block;
however, you should be sure that whatever block you get is made specifically for horses.
5. LOTS OF WATER
A single horse will drink five to ten
gallons of water a day. It is important, as with any animal you own, that you provide them with a steady supply
of water that is clean, and fresh- even in winter. Though they can survive on snow it is never ideal for an
animal to have to eat snow in order to receive water.
Stable Building Tips
Bedding Pros and Cons
Mucking Out Your Horse's Stall
Feeding Your Horse
What To Feed Your Horse
Giving Up Your Horse
Do Horses Need Shoes?
Teeth and Horses
Winterizing Your Barn
Preparing to Travel With Your Horse
Winter Care for Horses
Preventing Barn and Stall Boredom
Tips for Traveling with Your Horse
Stable Requirements: Building
the Space to Meet Your Horses' Needs
Preparing Your Horse for Hot Weather
Tips for Maintaining Your Horse Trailer
Proper Hoof Care
Why Braiding Horse Hair is Beneficial to
Tips for Taking Care of an Older Horse
How to Keep Your Horse Fed on a Budget
Transitioning Horses from Winter Feed to
Why You Should Feed Your Horse Flaxseed
Dealing With an Unhappy Horse in Their