Just like human beings, horses can also be extremely picky about their food.
Hence the constant worry – “what to feed my horse?”
The foods you offer to your equine friend might be nutritious – but whether you can get your horse to eat it is another matter… So, here’s our list of 5 healthy foods you can feed your horse without him turning away from them.
5 Nutrition packed foods no horse can push away:
Grass contains almost all the nutrients that your horse requires to stay healthy. It is also a good source of silica, which is good for equine dental health.
Letting your horse feed on quality grass all through the year can be expensive, so you can alternate with hay instead. Grass hay is best for your horse. However, while choosing hay, take care that:
- The grass hay is green, leafy fine-stemmed – they are the finest variety of hay.
- It is soft to the touch.
- The hay is not excessively sun-bleached or does not smell musty, moldy, fermented or dusty.
- The haystack/bundle doesn’t have too much trash, dirt, weeds, or debris – they can cause your horse to have a stomach upset.
- The hay does not show signs of insect infestation or other diseases. Allowing your horse to consume it would seriously compromise with his health.
Grains are one of the most inexpensive and nutritious horse foods available. And while choosing grains for your horse make sure that they are clean and smell good. Also, don’t buy blackened grains. Read also this post on Horse Care Basics.
When it comes to choosing grains for your horse, you might consider the following options:
- Oats are traditional horse food. They are high in fiber and contain moderate amounts of protein. You can also mix them with almost every horse feed. Ideally, you should always opt for rolled oats.
- Corn is high in carbohydrates, perfect for horse feeds in winter – the starch content in carbohydrates helps your horse stay warm.
However, excessive consumption of corn can lead to minor ailments in your horse. Furthermore, the whole kernels are tough to chew and not easily digested. Hence, consider picking the cracked corn variety, they also mix well with oats. If you have questions on how to protect your horse’s eyes, click on the link to learn all about that.
You can also occasionally feed your horse with barley. However, grains like wheat are not good for horses.
#4: Concentrate Mixes
They are usually a mixture of horse feed like flax seed, grains, beet pulp, bran, as well as vitamins and minerals. You can either prepare them at home or buy them commercially from pet stores.
#5: Yummy And Nutritious Treats
Who doesn’t want yummy treats, at least occasionally? Even your horses do. So when you are a true horse lover (which you undoubtedly are) and if you want to cook some ‘nutrilicious’ treats for your equine friend, you might want to try the following…
Now moving on to:
Common foods to avoid feeding your horse
There are certain foods that might be toxic for your horse. So, it’s best to avoid the following:
- Cooked rice
- Potatoes (including its peel)
- Ground beef/ steak scraps/ chicken skin (remember horses are herbivores and their digestive system is not designed to metabolize meat products). To learn about the vaccinations your horse needs, check out this post.
You can also feed your horses with supplements. But make sure that you consult your vet about the best supplement and its dosage. This is really about the ABC’s of how to take care of your horse. It is important to understand your horse’s nutritional needs while planning his diet and your vet will be the best person to prescribe the right amount of foods.
Hopefully, this answers your questions on “What to feed my horse?”!
I wish all of you horse lovers happy holidays and a very horsy 2019!!!