Whether you’re a new or experienced horse owner, the importance of nutrition cannot be overlooked for a second. From the day they’re born, good eating habits will ensure that your stallion or mare enjoys a better quality of life.
Nutrition isn’t the only key factor of horse care, and you must not forget issues like warming your horse’s bit. After all, your horse won’t eat well when their mouth is sore. As for the actual food choices, though, mastering your horse’s diet should not be hard.
Mastering Your Horse’s Diet Is As Easy As 1-2-3
#1. Prioritize Quality Ingredients
Your horse’s diet will consist primarily of water, starch from grains, vitamins, minerals, and fiber from hay. Meanwhile, it can take up to 72 hours for the digestive system to process the food effectively. So, you need to ensure that your horse is supported with high-quality ingredients. They are easier to digest and should be heavily focused on the five key nutrients.
Choosing organic plant origin feed additives will actively support your horse’s digestive system. The plethora of nutrients will promote healthier muscles, joints, and bones too. Increased general health should additionally reduce the need for supplements. Although they will still play an important role in fighting the signs of aging.
You wouldn’t fuel your body with inferior foods. Making the right choices for your horse will pay dividends.
#2. Choose The Right Volumes
In addition to the right ingredients, you need to ensure your horse is supported by the right amount. First and foremost, every stallion or mare should have a vast supply of fresh water as they can drink 10 gallons or more daily. As for food, you will need to consider various factors ranging from the age, breed, and activity levels of the horse.
A Tennessee walker horse, for example, will have different needs to a Morgan or Mustang. Likewise, a stud will be treated differently from a racing horse. Fiber from hay should account for around 1.5-2% of your horse’s weight. An online calculator will allow you to understand the daily requirements based on your horse’s size. Grains should be kept to low quantities.
When dealing with minerals and vitamins, a two-to-one ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus is advised. However, speaking to an equine vet will provide clarity.
#3. Focus On Consistency
Finally, you need to appreciate that your horse’s digestive system is fairly sensitive. As such, any sudden changes to the diet could cause problems, not least due to the long digestion time. While you may switch brands or ratios, it’s best to do it as a gradual process rather than in an instant.
Consistency is king in all aspects of horse care, from barns to horse shoes. So, once you find the winning routine, stick to it. Of course, your horse’s food requirements will change over time as they get older. Nonetheless, they do not need a range of tastes in the same way that humans do. So, if the nutritional elements of food, water, and supplements are working, that’s a job well done.
You will be left with a healthy and happy horse. What more could any horse owner ask for?