Hear From our Experts > Equestrian

10 Golden Rules of Feeding

Published 13th October 2020
Estimated 2 minute read time.
10 Golden Rules of Feeding
Rule 1
Provide fresh clean water at all times! The container of water, be it a trough or bucket, MUST be kept clean. An average horse will drink 18 litres of water per day. This may increase due to the environment and work being done.
Rule 2
Feed by weight and not volume! To ensure you are feeding the correct quantities you need to weigh one scoop of each different type of feed you use. Feed scoops are available in store.
Rule 3
Concentrates must be fed "little and often".
Chaff can be added to the feed to encourage the horse to chew, resulting in easier and more efficient digestion. No more than 2kg of concentrates should be fed in one feed. Large intermittent feeds can put stress on the horses' system. Chaff available in store: own brand chaff, Mollichaff, Happy Hoof, Dengie, Safe & Sound.
Rule 4
ALWAYS use high quality feeds. Never be tempted to feed dusty, mouldy or old feed. Brands available in store: our own brand, TopSpec, A&P, D&H, Saracen, Spillers, Baileys.
Rule 5
Feed according to body weight, temperature and work being done. Every horse is an individual and adjustments must be made according to how they respond to feed.
Weigh tapes available in store.
Rule 6
Make any changes to the diet gradually to reduce the risk of digestive upsets. This applies to both concentrates and roughage and grass! Consider a supplement to aid digestion. Products available in store: GastriAid 1.8kg, Thrive 1.4kg, Tumeric 2kg, Horslyx Pro Digest Balancer 5kg, Horslyx Original Balancer 5kg.
Rule 7
Don't exercise directly after feeding. Allow one to two hours after feeding concentrates before working your horse and if you have worked your horse hard, do not offer a feed of concentrates until they have fully recovered. This allows the digestive system to process the feed most effectively. Fibre feeds can be fed closer to exercise. Available in store: A&P Fast Fibre, Fibre Beet, D&H Classic Fibre Cubes, Baileys Fibre Plus Nuggets, Saracen S/Fibre Pencils, TopSpec Hi Fibre Mash, TopSpec Fibre Plus, Friendly Readigrass, D&H Just Grass.
Rule 8
Feed your horses at the same time (where possible) each day. Horses are creatures of habit and thrive on regular routine. A lunch time boredom breaker idea is an equine decahedron with carrots.
Rule 9
Increase feed quantity and energy content according to the level of work your horse has done. Increase their levels of work gradually too. You may be providing your horse with grazing during winter, but just how good is the grass quality in winter? Once the temperature drops the grass quality is very poor and will need to be supplemented with hay (& concentrates where needed)
Rule 10
Feed plenty of good long fibre. Horses have evolved to live on high fibre diets and good fibre levels will help stimulate a healthy gut function and reduce the risk of digestive upsets. A minimum of 50% of your horses diet should be roughage. Range of "roughages" available in store: Haylage, Hay, Readigrass & D&H Just Grass.

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