What To Feed Your Horse
Horses eat many types of feed, including grain and hay. They also eat grass in the pasture. Eating grass in the pasture is called grazing. Horses often receive supplemental vitamins and minerals, too.
There are many different kinds of hay. most horses are fed legume or grass hay to provide forage in addition to what they graze. Forages provide fiber that the horses need in their diet.
Grains also come in many varieties, such as oats, corn, and barley. They type of grain fed depends on a number of factors, including the horse's age and job. Often grains are purchased as a mix such as sweet feed or as part of a complete feed (usually in pellet form). Grain is an energy and nutrient dense feed source.
So, feeding a horse is like feeding a person a salad and pasta for dinner! The salad is a good source of fiber, like the hay. The pasta is a highly digestible source of energy, like the grain.
Horses also need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Vitamins and minerals are usually found in the grain we feed, but sometimes that is not enough. If more vitamins or minerals are needed, a mix called a supplement can be added to the feed. This mix is either a powder or a pellet.
Like all living things, horses need to drink plenty of clean water, too. This helps them to stay hydrated and cool off when they get too hot.
Horses also really enjoy extra treats! Carrots, apples, and peppermints are some of their favorites. Just make sure you don't feed them too many extra treats because too many could give them a bellyache!
Did You Know? To help a horse stay warm in the winter, feed it more hay. It takes energy to digest the high fiber in the hay. When the horse has to "work" to digest the fiber, it generates heat!