3 Things to Consider When Feeding Your Horse

In many respects, caring for a horse can be a fulltime job. Not only do have a substantially longer lifespan than many other animals, they also require a great deal more attention. This is particularly apparent when it comes to feeding practices. Whereas most other animals can simply be given their food for the day and left alone, horses need more attention paid to their dietary needs. Taking the time to arm yourself with the proper knowledge can prove tremendously helpful in keeping your horse well-fed. As such, new horse owners would be wise to consider the following factors when feeding their animals.
1. Horses are Natural Grazers
By nature, horses are grazing animals. This means they’re liable to become bored, restless and hungry if they don’t have grass and/or hay to graze on throughout the day. If your horse is left in a pasture and has ready access to high-quality grasses, it isn’t going to need much hay. Conversely, if your horse spends most of its time in a grassless area, it will need access to a steady amount of hay. Furthermore, if your pastures dry up and die during the winter months, you’ll need to provide your horse with enough hay to account for the lack of grass. Since good feeding practices are every bit as important as comprehensive horse insurance, don’t skimp on the grazing materials.
2. Administer Grain in Several Servings
When administering your horse’s daily grain, avoid dishing it all out at once. In addition to being bad for the animal’s digestion, eating its main meal in one sitting promotes hunger and boredom in horses. For best results, split your horse’s daily grain into two or three servings.
3. Adhere to a Set Schedule
Horses are creatures of habit. With this in mind, it’s in your best interest to set a feeding schedule and stick to it. Not only will this prevent your horse from feeling wayward and anxious, it will promote healthy digestion – which is vital to keeping horses in peak physical condition.
Taking care of a horse is a far cry from owning dog, cat or any other traditional pet – and never is this more apparent than feeding time. Fortunately, providing your horse with the proper sustenance doesn’t have to be an arduous chore. Familiarizing yourself with the best feeding practices for horses is sure to serve you well in your efforts to provide your animal with a healthy diet.