An Herbivore's Candy Store
Horses are Herbivores that are ALWAYS Hungry.
That is Horse-Nutrition - Fact #1
Horses in nature will graze 20 out of 24 hours of the day. Moving around from place to place. They eat plants and especially grass and herbs. Horses have very small stomachs compared to their size and intestinal track.Horses cannot regurgitate or vomit. What goes in the mouth must come out the other end.!! Because of this the horse's digestive system is fairly delicate. Colic or stomach aches accountfor a large percentage of deaths.
Therefore we need to compensate for this.
This brings us to:
Horse Nutrition - Fact #2 If your horse is not hungry (will not accept food or treats) then he or she is sick. (Of course there are the rare finicky eaters that evade this rational)
In nature horses are fairly passive physically and move slowly picking and choosing the grasses and herbs that are available to them. In a man made environment we tend to increase theirphysical activity and decrease the number of hours that they have access to grass.
Want a handy feeding guide to post in your feed room?
go to Feeding-tips.com
Horse-Nutrition - Fact #3 Our horses need to be fed roughage (grasses or bulk)and concentrates ( grains and supplements). Adding succulents such as carrots and apples is icing on the cake!
For horses turned out to pasture or horses kept at pasture it is wise to know about poisonous plants
Horse Nutrition - Fact #4 Every horse is an individual that has specific nutritional needs determined by factors such as of his breed, age, size, temperament, exercise, job demands.
Horse-Nutrition - Fact #5 The quality of hay that is fed is more dependent on the composition of nutrients than on the hay's appearance. Fewer supplements and concentrates are needed if the hay's nutrient composition matches the particulart horse's nutrient requirements.
Horse Nutrition - Fact #6 In some cases the hay that is available locally does not provide enough of the nutrients to match the horse's requirements. In this case concentrates and supplements can be added to the daily feed ration.
Concentrates are grains such as bran, oats, barley and foods such as corn, beet pulp and molasses.
Supplements are vitamins and minerals that are added in addition to the concentrates. Some concentrates have vitamins and minerals added to them to address a certain difficiency.
Read the label!
Today concentrates come bagged in cube form or coarse mixesand are ready to be fed. They are made from a variety of ingredients to contribute towards a balanced diet.
This takes some of the guesswork out of feeding the concentrate.
Much like grocery shopping for the family: check the labels for ingredients.
Quote for a Tuesday
Where would we be without the horse? It is kind of like asking where would seeds be without the wind?" Anonymous
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