How should I feed a horse?

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

Guide to feeding your horse the right nutrition, including tips on how to start making changes.

Each horse is different and needs different types of food. We must think about why an animal needs food, how it eats in its natural state and the rules for feeding.

Animals need food to sustain their bodies, supply the raw materials for growth, heal damaged tissues, and provide energy for work or play.

Horses are grazing animals, and they eat almost every day. Horses eat grasses, edible shrubs, and plants for their natural food. They can eat 18 hours out of every 24 hours.

How should I feed a horse?

Horse Feeding Rules

Take your time and eat well

This mimics the horse’s natural eating pattern and ensures a steady flow of food through the digestive tract.

Give your livestock plenty of bulk and raw material such as grass, hay, and haylage.

This ensures that your digestive system is always fully stocked, just as it would be in nature.

Feed your horse according to its size and work load

Increased work means more energy and more food. Animals that eat too much or not enough food can gain weight.

You should keep an eye on the health of your horse

You can determine if your horse needs to gain or lose weight by regularly fat scoring. This information is crucial when determining how much feed to give your horse. Remember that horses with a low energy level are more likely to be overweight than horses with a high energy intake.

This page provides more information and a way to evaluate your horse’s health. Remember that feed can include grass, hay, and haylage.

Avoid drastic changes in your diet.

Large intestine bacteria breaks down the food and must adapt to changes. Some bacteria can die from sudden changes, while others may produce poisons or cause metabolic disorders.

Each day, eat at the same time each day

Horses are creatures that thrive on routine and habitual behavior.

Make sure that your feed and your feeding utensils have been cleaned.

Horses are very picky eaters and can be difficult to deter from eating.

Every day, eat something succulent

Horses love carrots and apples, which help keep them interested and provide moisture for their feed.

Fast work should not be done immediately after a meal.

A full stomach can put pressure on the lungs, which can affect the horse’s ability to breathe. Rapid work can cause redistribution of blood throughout the body, which can lead to poor digestion.

Maintain a steady supply of water

If it is impossible, make sure that your horse is hydrated before you feed him. This will ensure that any food that isn’t digested is not absorbed too quickly.


It is important to understand what feed to give your horse, in addition to grass and grass products like hay. Many horses are more comfortable with a vitamin and mineral supplement than a concentrated feed.

In the past, it took a lot of skill and knowledge to give horses a balanced diet. Today, it is much easier to make balanced mixed feeds from many trusted feed manufacturers.

They offer a range of feeds that can be used by animals of different ages and health, as well as balanced for the type or exercise they are doing.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!