When possible, always opt for organic products farmed in a responsible manner. Real, clean, properly farmed food is closer to what nature intended & ideal for your mount.
Horses were made to graze, their digestion works at its optimal level when they consume long-stem fiber on a regular basis.
Allowing your horse to graze every day & supplementing their feed with other options is an ideal situation. This is not always possible – so it is important that your animal’s diet mimics the nutritional value & fiber equivalent.
There are several different types of hay, each one with its own special qualities & benefits.
Some varieties are more susceptible to mold & disease while others can cause problems in pregnant mares. Be sure you discuss a feeding plan with your vet prior to deciding which hays to feed.
Hay cubes are usually made from alfalfa & timothy hays, they are condensed into small blocks made to break apart for easy consumption.
Cubes are liked because they are generally uniform in nutritional content & allow for more obvious portion control. Plus they are easier to store, create less mess & less wasted feed overall.
At the same time cubes also tend to cost more per pound than hay & some animals don’t like their chalky texture. Plus their size & shape pose a choking risk, so access to them must be limited to avoid overconsumption.
Horses require long-stem fiber for proper digestion & because of this pellets are usually fed as a filler to supplement hay feeding.
Like cubes, pellets are cleaner & easier to store. However they also present many of the same risks, as well as potential digestive problems. Pellets are a good option for traveling animals & horse shows – they are easier to store & travel with than loose hay.
There are several different types of grain that are commonly fed to horses. Each one has its own specific properties, but they are all a good source of energy.
It should be noted that animals fed grain should always be given ample room to exercise. High energy feed gives animals high energy & if they aren’t exercised there is a risk of injury.
Almost anyone who owns a horse likes to treat them from time to time & there is a long list of treat types which means something for everyone.
Remember treats are just that – treats. They should not be fed in an attempt to supplement hay & grass feeding, but rather as an less frequent change of taste.