Quality Feed: A Guide for Feeding Your Horse
Are you looking for quality feed for your horse? Before you buy anything, you should know the basic rules for maintaining horse feeding.
Provide enough roughage
Many trail and pleasure horses do not require grain – they only need good quality hay. However, if the hay is not enough, you can add some grain. Just make sure that the bulk of your horse’s diet comes from roughage. They are meant to eat roughage as their digestive systems are made to use the nutrition in grassy stalks.
Horses that spend most of the day in stalls should have some hay to nibble on to keep the roughage moving through their systems.
Feed small amounts of grain often
Does your horse mostly eat grain? You should feed him small meals multiple times instead of one large meal. In many cases, horses are fed twice a day to make the job of caretakers easier. Small multiple feedings also allow the horse to digest the grain better.
Change feed and feed schedules gradually
If you change the feed type or ration that you give your horse, do it incrementally. If you do it too fast, the horse can end up with founder or colic. When changing the amount of feed, ensure that you decrease or increase each meal gradually over several weeks. You can start by replacing 25 percent of the current feed with the new one every two days – this ensures that your horse is eating the new feed in just 6 days.
Measure food accurately
You should start by measuring your horse’s food by body weight using a kitchen scale. When you figure out the weight of a typical ration, you should start measuring the same ration using a scoop at feeding time. The average horse that weighs 1000 pounds and relies on hay for all his forage needs 15-20 pounds each day.
Don’t feed immediately after or before exercise
You should wait at least one hour after your horse eats to ride him. However, if you plan to put him through some strenuous activity, you should wait 3 hours.