It’s not always as simple as throwing a bale of hay to your horse. Most horses need a customized feeding program that suits their age, work load, size, among other things. It’s important you meet their nutritional needs in order to keep them conditioned and healthy. These tips will help!
Dos and Don’ts of Feeding
DO use a slow feeder net. These extend your hay and prevent waste.
DON’T allow easy keepers on unlimited pasture. They will be at risk for obesity and pasture-related laminitis. You can use a grazing muzzle or put them in a dry lot.
DO make sure the majority of your horse’s diet consist of high-quality forage. Your horse needs 1.5% of their body weight in forage.
DON’T overfeed your horse. This can lead to obesity and other health issues. Make sure to score your horse’s body condition regularly.
DO consider the weather. Eating can create body heat. You should consider increasing their intake during extreme cold spells.
DON’T treat your horse like a number. Avoid the mentality one scoop for every horse, instead read the label of your grain and use a scale.
DO provide access to clean, unfrozen water at all times.
DON’T feed poor quality hay. Your hay should be free of mold, dust, and weeds.
DO give your horse access to salt. A Himalayan salt lick offers extra minerals your horse will not get from hay and grass.
Feeding your horse doesn’t have to be complicated, but does require some effort and thought!