Today’s Horse Facts: Feed for your Horse

horse feed 4


Do you know what kind of food you feed your horse? Horses need different levels of feed and nutrition in their diet depending on age, current weight, activity level, and overall health.

A horse’s stomach is a delicate balance of getting the right proteins, grains, hay, supplements, water intake, and proper digestions of these substances. With, literally, hundreds of different feed types available, this can be quite challenging for a new or even veteran horse owners.

horse feed 3 foragesHorses can meet their nutritional requirements through a variety of feeds, though forages arehorse feed 5 forage cubes the primary source of most nutrients. Forages include hay and pasture, and should be the main part of every horse’s diet. Hay is made of cut and dried grasses or legumes and is available in a variety of forms, including bales, cubes, and pellets.


horse feed 6 energyEnergy feeds are those primarily fed for their relatively high calorie content and include cereal grains, beet pulp, rice bran, and oil. In addition to supplying calories, these grains also provide other nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Energy feeds are often called concentrates because of their concentrated nutrient density compared to forages.

Commercially available feeds are often a mix of cereal grains, by-products, protein, vitamins, and minerals. There are three main classes of feed form: textured, pellets, or extruded feeds. Textured feed horse feed 1 texturedor “sweet feed” has clearly visible individual grains and particles and often include molasses. Pellets are processed feed that come in various sizes; and extruded feeds are processed even further with heat and pressure. These three forms often have the exact same nutrient profile, but are just processed differently. Some owners choose textured feeds because they prefer to see and smell the particles within the feed. However, horse feed 2 pellet feedsome horses will sort their feed and would, therefore, be best suited for pelleted or extruded feeds.


Now do you know what kind of feed you give your horse? Does your horse prefer textured feed or pellets? Does your horse get enough forages in his/her diet? To learn more about horse feed and nutrition, check out these websites.

Happy riding!


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