All they can eat !

Published on 14 July 2023 at 20:00

Feeding horses properly is essential for their overall health and well-being.

Hay, Food , Fruits & Vegetables are the ingredients of the daily diet of my horses.

I personally divide the food portions into 3 times during the entire day plus the “ mash snack”  , hay in 2 times.

They all stand on straw, straw itself is not a significant source of nutrition for horses, but can play a role in maintaining digestive health. The long, fibrous strands of straw can help stimulate proper gut motility and promote the passage of food through the digestive system.

Here it is how I divide their “ Daily Menu”:

BREAKFAST:  in the morning between 05.30 - 06.00 Hay &  Food

LUNCH : at 12.00 Food

MASH SNACK : in the afternoon between 16.30-17.00 with fruits and supplements

(you can see and read more about it on the previous blog :

https://www.hofmarabuntablog.com/1393418_summer-hot-weather )

HAY : around 19.00 so they can eat it during the night

DINNER : at 19.30 Food

Every horse has  specific needs, so this is why I use different kind of foods of different brands.

What is extremely important to me is to keep a consistent and regular timetable in feeding. That is because horses have a unique digestive system that is optimized for grazing. They have a relatively small stomach and a large hindgut, which requires a steady supply of food to function properly. Establishing a regular feeding schedule helps maintain a consistent flow of food through the digestive system, promoting healthy digestion.

In addition ,horses rely on a steady supply of nutrients and energy to support their daily activities and overall health. Feeding at consistent times helps regulate the horse's metabolism and energy levels. It ensures that the horse has adequate fuel for exercise, maintains a stable blood sugar level, and prevents energy fluctuations that can affect performance and behavior.

Keep also in mind that horses are “creatures of habit” and thrive on routine. By sticking to a regular feeding timetable, you establish predictability and stability in their daily lives. Horses become accustomed to the routine and anticipate mealtimes, reducing anxiety and promoting a calmer demeanor.

All this allows for better monitoring and control of the horse's food intake. It helps prevent overfeeding or underfeeding, allowing for more precise portion control and ensuring the horse receives the appropriate amount of feed to maintain a healthy body condition. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for a horse's overall well-being.

It's important to note that any changes in a horse's feeding schedule should be made gradually to allow the digestive system to adjust. Abrupt changes in feeding times or amounts can disrupt the horse's digestive process

 

Here, I would like to give you a resume of what I said up there:

 

1. Provide forage: Horses are natural grazers, so their diet should primarily consist of good-quality forage such as grass or hay. Ensure they have access to forage throughout the day, ideally by turning them out on pasture or by providing frequent hay feedings.

 

2. Consider the horse's weight and activity level: The amount of forage and grains you feed will depend on the horse's weight, body condition, and workload.

 

3. Divide meals: Instead of feeding large meals, divide your horse's daily ration into multiple smaller meals. This helps mimic their natural grazing behavior and aids in proper digestion.

 

4. Introduce concentrates cautiously: If your horse requires additional energy or nutrients, you can supplement their diet with concentrates such as grains. Start with small quantities and gradually increase over time. Be sure to choose a balanced feed that meets the horse's nutritional requirements.

 

5. Provide fresh, clean water: Ensure your horse always has access to clean, fresh water. Clean the water trough regularly to prevent contamination.

 

6. Monitor body condition: Regularly assess your horse's body condition to ensure they are neither overweight nor underweight. Adjust their feed accordingly to maintain an ideal weight.

 

7. Provide salt and mineral supplements: Horses require essential minerals in their diet. A salt block or loose salt should be available for them to lick.

 

8. Consider individual needs: Some horses may have specific dietary requirements due to health conditions or allergies. In this case I would work closely with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to develop a feeding plan tailored to your horse's individual needs.

 

Remember, these are general guidelines, and it's crucial to consult an equine nutritionists to develop a feeding plan suitable for your horse's specific needs.

 

Silvia

 

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