Feeding a horse can be confusing. There is a large number of available foods and each horse is different.
The amount and type of food will depend on the breed, age, weight, health and work load of the horse, as well as the climate and products that are available in your locality.
Provide plenty of fresh and clean water. Horses require between 18 and 56 liters (5 and 15 gallons) of water per day. If possible, make sure your horse has access to water at all times. Otherwise, be sure to give him water at least twice a day and wait a few minutes until you finish drinking.
• Make sure the water in the trough is clean and does not freeze. Keep the trough clean and rinse it with a hose every day.
Supply many structural carbohydrates. This type of carbohydrates (such as hay and grass) are essential for a horse’s diet. Horses consume large amounts of hay and grass, since these are their main source of food. In fact, horses must consume between 6 and 9 kg (15 and 20 pounds) or the equivalent of 1 or 2% of their body weight in hay every day, so you must make sure that your horse always has enough hay to chew. .
• Make sure that the hay you give your horse is free of mold and dust.
Provide non-structural carbohydrates sparingly. Non-structural carbohydrates such as oats, corn and barley are also essential for your horse’s nutrition. Provide small amounts of grain throughout the day. Horses can also consume 250 g (½ pound) of grain for every 45 kg (100 pounds) of their body weight every day. Give two to three equal portions of grain during the day.
• Be sure to measure the portions you give your horse to make sure they have the correct amount.
• If the weather is warm, give your horse grain during the coolest hours of the day (for example, early in the morning and late at night).
Schedule your feeding one hour before or after having assembled. Do not feed your horse before or immediately after strenuous exercise because the blood flow deviates from its organs and may interfere with your digestion. Establish your feeding schedules based on the activities you have scheduled.
• If your horse is going to perform an exercise that is too strenuous, schedule your feeding three hours before that activity.