Horse feeding guide
When working out how much feed to give your horse, you need to know how heavy he is. For information Click here
When you know how heavy the horse is you need to assess his condition. If he is in good condition he weight will be correct. Click here for the horse weight guide.
You then need to decide how much work the horse is doing each week.
If you overestimate the level of work, it will lead to overfeeding and the horse gaining too much weight. (Horse care tips)
So you need to feed the horse the correct amount of food for the work he is doing.
You should take into account the age, condition and temperament of the horse.
All horses are individuals with different needs, so certain feeds for one horse might not be suitable for another.
How much hay and hard feed should I give my horse?
This is guideline information only, so it should be tailored to suit the horse.
Not in work – Hay only
Box rest – Hay only
Very slow light work such as gentle walking 85% hay and 15% concentrates
Light work such as walking and trotting – 80% hay and 20% concentrates
Medium work such as schooling and jumping – 70% hay and 30% concentrates
Hard work such as endurance riding, hunting or eventing around 60% hay and 40% concentrates
Caring for your horse - The dangers of feeding the horse on box rest.
Some people, and I have seen this for myself keep feeding hard feed to their horse even though he is on box rest.
When I challenged one such person, she told me her horse expects to have hard feed and that she didn’t want to lose his “top line”
I felt it was my duty to educate her but she carried on doing it her way.
The horse was on box rest for a leg injury was now gaining weight and kicking out at the walls and rearing in the stable.
Some people won’t take telling, they think they’re being kind, but in actual fact they are being cruel!
It’s important to remember that all horse and ponies are different; therefore one horse might need different food to another.
Some are “good doers” (survive on little) whilst others struggle to maintain weight.
Horses have different temperaments such as highly strung, placid, laid back.
When buying concentrates for the horse you need to take this into consideration.
There are suitable feeds on the market for ponies or horses with Laminitis.
So you really need to know what is in the food you are feeding and is he doing enough work for the amount you are giving him.
You’ll be surprised at how many people are over feeding their horses with hard food. Stick to the horse feeding guide!
Some horse feeds are non-heating, so a horse that is highly strung, would need this type of feed.
Other horses can be laid back or sluggish to ride, so they require a different type of feed that gives them more energy.
The older horse may require a senior hard food.
These feeds have all the required vitamins and minerals with senior horse nutrition in mind.
Horse feeding guide