How to Feed your Horse

March 25, 2015 by  
Filed under All Posts, Horses

Horse Care

How to Feed your Horse

Horses are large, powerful, majestic animals. They have been used as farm labor and also as war horses. But, they are also gentle and sensitive creatures that need to be understood just like any other living creature. And, when it comes to feeding, if they don’t get enough of the right nutrients, they could get sick.

Handling your Horse’s Diet

The majority of what a horse eats is grass. If you’ve seen them in the pasture land they were not just looking around but grazing. That’s where we get the term for someone who is walking and constantly sampling and eating.

Horses spend the greater part of their time eating grass. It is essential to their diet. If horses are kept in an area where they are not native, you might want to check to be sure that the grasses are palatable to your animal and that they will eat it.

Along with grasses, hay is the most essential part of the horse’s diet. Grass and hay should make up a majority of the diet. But, it isn’t just any type of hay that you need to feed your horse.

What is hay you ask? It is a mixture of dried grasses and plants like alfalfa and red clover and also legumes. Hay provides protein that the horse needs, especially if they are very active.

Stabled horses eat small bales of hay. When choosing your hay bales check to be sure that it is:

  • Green and healthy
  • Contains no bugs or beetles on the ends or in the middle. If so, don’t buy it.
  • Is a first cutting. Second and third cuttings have too much protein for many horses and are also more expensive.>/li>
  • Isn’t moldy
  • Has low or non-existent weed content

Old dusty hay that is riddled with bugs and mold can make your horse sick. You want the best for your horse.

Some owners supplement their hay and grass feeding with grain. It is not necessary to do so, but for show horses, some owners want to make sure that their horses can stand up to the heavy training. Also, horses that need to gain weight can benefit from grain.

A good grain consists of oats, sweet feed (mixed with molasses) or pellets (packed with vitamins and minerals). If you do add grain, make sure that it comprises less than 40 percent of the daily diet.

Horses are strong but have delicate constitutions. To keep him healthy, feed him well.

Jasmine Hinesley is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

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