What should I feed my horse? If this is the question that is flying in your mind then you must know that just like humans horses also need a balanced and nutritional diet. To keep your horse healthy one should split its day’s feed. Most people feed two or three times a day. Keep a regular schedule and permit the horse some hours of work between feeding.
The amount of food your horse needs will depend on things like size, breed, age, and activity. Usually, a horse needs 2 to 2.2 pounds of feed for 100 pounds of body weight.
The horse feed can be divided into the following categories:
- Pasture: It is the most natural and balanced food for horses. Horses need a large area to graze the pasture. Greenfield doesn’t mean that it’s good grazing for a horse. One can utilize the amount of grazing available by dividing their pasture into segments and rotating their horses through the different paddocks. That way, grass will get a chance to grow back.
- Hay: it is the essential food for domestic horses. The feed should contain good-quality hay. One should examine hay carefully before purchasing. Take care that the bales are green and dust and mold-free. Make sure that the bales are not warm. Feeding moldy hay can cause colic disease.
- Concentrates: Hay alone cannot provide enough nutrition for your horse. Hard-working horses, pregnant and nursing mares, or growing youngsters need concentrate to complement the hay.
Concentrates contain grains (whole, rolled, or cracked), sweet feed (grain mixed with molasses), and manufactured feeds (pellets, cubes, or extruded). One can purchase bags of feed specially planned for every stage of a horse’s life.
- Beet pulp pellets: Beet pulp is the material left back when table sugar is extracted from sugar beets. It is a perfectly safe horse feed. Beet pellets must be drenched before feeding, to allow them to expand. If one uses hot water, they expand in about an hour, but with cold water, allow overnight soaking.
- Water: it is important to include fresh water in your horse’s diet. Hygienic water should be available at all times. Horses mostly drink 5 to 10 gallons a day.
- Salt and Minerals: proper salts and minerals should be included in the horse diet. One can include a variety of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements in their horse diet after consulting their veterinarian.
Overfeeding can be a hitch. Some horses eat only what they need, but most horses eagerly overeat if given the chance. This can give birth to a founder or laminitis. One should keep a regular eye on his horse’s diet to prevent digestion problems.
One should stick to that diet that works for his horse. If he wants to make any changes in feed then start it slowly as the horse needs some time to adopt the new feed. If your feed is making your horse unwell then consult a veterinarian.
See more: Horse Equipment