Horses are elegant, magical animals. It is a childhood dream of many to have a horse and just be able to ride into the sunset, but owning a horse is sadly a bit more complicated than that. If you’re a new horse owner or even a horse owner with experience, you might sometimes wonder if your companion is getting enough nutrition and if you’re feeding it properly. Unlike cats and dogs, horses are unusual pets, and finding proper information on feeding them can be a bit complicated with misinformation, which was the main reason for creating this list!
Your Horse’s Body Condition
Different horses require different amounts of food, and some even different kinds as well! The amount of food depends on three main factors: body weight, workload, and temperament of your horse. That is why one of the first things you ought to do when it comes to feeding your horse, and figuring out how much food it needs! Going to the vet and seeking professional help is best and when you figure out its weight, you can then move on to figuring out the condition of its body?
Is it poor, does your horse look sick and sunken, or maybe it looks fat, obese even? And finally, how much does your horse work? Does it have a heavy workload, carrying and pulling things around, or perhaps training for a race? Or is it kept in a stable, not burdened with any work? All of these are important factors for feeding your horse properly.
Nutrition of the Forage
As we already said, different horses require different types of food. If your horse has any sort of illness or food intolerance, it’s very important to adjust its food and pay attention to the nutrients it gets.
In any case, the forage your horse eats is one of the most important components of its meal, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Horses are meant to get a lot of their nutrients from it. Creators of Forage Plus also note the importance of a horse’s protein intake, as it regulates the structural strength of a horse’s cells, muscles, tendons, bones, and vital organs, allowing them to lead healthy lives. It’s important to note that sometimes there isn’t enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in the forage you might be getting for your horse, so it’s important to thoroughly research it online, and see if it matches your horse’s needs, as there are many different types that can be bought.
Be Careful With Grain
Next to forage, your horse needs to have a lot of clean water available, but also it needs some grain. When it comes to grain, less is really, always more. Many caretakers tend to overfeed their horses with grain at first, but that can be harmful for their digestion. Therefore starting lightly and feeding your horse grain in small amounts, a couple of times a day is much better for your horse than overfeeding.
Many small meals are more natural for a horse rather than eating a large quantity once a day, so it’s better for you to create a schedule for feeding it grain. We cannot stress enough the importance of researching what kind of grain, or other kinds of food, your horse might need based on its body condition, temperament, and workload. Thankfully many articles, books, and videos deal with this topic, so you’ll be able to get it in no time!
Consistency Is Key
Horses are creatures of habit, and it’s an important factor in their diet as well. As stated above, it’s more natural for horses to eat frequently but in smaller quantities, so that’s a balance you want to achieve for your companion. It would also be great to keep to a schedule, and feed your horse at the same time every day, as they love consistency. On that note, it’s also very important not to change their diet suddenly, as that can create metabolic disorders. This is why it’s important to assess their body condition often so that you can notice any changes as they happen, and adjust to them slowly.
Keeping your horse well-fed is the key to maintaining its health, and allowing it to live a fulfilled happy life. Remember a well-fed horse is a healthy horse, and a healthy horse is a happy one! Having read these tips, you’ll be able to grasp what a horse needs, and how you could provide, but as we stated, every horse’s needs are different, so don’t be afraid to show your horse some love, and figure out what works the best! We wish you the best of luck!