Sticking to a strict feeding schedule?

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Sticking to a strict feeding schedule?

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  • Do horses need to be fed on strict schedules
  • How to strict schedule

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    10-21-2008, 09:54 AM
Sticking to a strict feeding schedule?

I couldn't tell if this has been covered in another post or not. How important is a really strict feeding schedule? I.e. Is it harmful to the horse if they end up getting their feed at different times during the day?

Blaze gets free pasture grazing all day and munching on a round bale. I usually come out in the evening (6-7 pm) to give him his scoop of feed. However, on Thursday I'll be coming out early in the morning (8-9 am) and then on Friday I'll be out sometime in the afternoon. Is it bad to give him his feed whenever I'm out there? I ask because otherwise I have to pay extra for my BO to do it, or find another boarder who will be out there to do it for me.
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    10-21-2008, 10:23 AM
I was told they keep the weight better if it's strict. However mine is not strict at all and I never run into any problems with it. Weekend mornings are always later. And now I switched from 6-7 pm to 8 pm (as nights get colder).
    10-21-2008, 10:44 AM
It depends on what your feeding...if it is super rich energy based food...then yes it matters...generally you want horses to be fed grain atleast twice a day that way the meals are smaller and the gut isnt overloaded...I feed at 7 am and 7 pm. But if you are feeding a small meal that isn't really rich in fat or probably doesnt matter.
    10-21-2008, 10:46 AM
I'm feeding about 1 lb of a ration balancer, so nothing rich in fat. However, it is somewhat high in protein...
    10-21-2008, 11:51 AM
Since he's munching all day on pasture and a round bale I would think your fine. We feed four times a day as they are not on pasture this time of year. They only get a cup of grain twice a day and we feed it mixed with some soaked hay cubes.

My worry would be giving a big grain meal without having any grass or hay in their gut, but you've got that covered.
    10-21-2008, 12:01 PM
Thanks G&K. I'm definitely conscious of that-I got to hear the Purina rep speak a few months back about how important it is to give them hay/grass first to stimulate the salivation glands and basically get the engine running, so to speak.
    10-22-2008, 08:16 AM
I stick to a very strict feeding schedule only for the fact that my horses are on hay, no pasture, and they get restless if I'm late! I guess for them it's like sitting in a diner and the waitress is ignoring them They will begin to whinny if they see me outside and it's feeding time. I don't think small variation causes so much of a physical problem as much as an emotional one.
    10-22-2008, 09:13 AM
Mine get fed in the evening but there have been times when I was away and relying on someone else to feed them and they would get fed whenever. Didn't kill them
Mine are on 24/7 pasture, hay or both so the grain for me is just a way to get them to come in for the night. I can get a good look at them every day on the days I don't ride too.
    10-22-2008, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the helpful replies everyone! I'm not stressing.
    10-22-2008, 09:44 PM
Green Broke
I feed mine at random times. Generally they are fed AM, Noon, and PM, but rarely at the same times. I find that too strict of a feeding schedule creates anxiety in horses. By breaking things up, you are less likely to find your horses pacing at the gate at feeding time .

That said, I do keep their diets consistent on WHAT they get, and never wait too long in the morning to feed. I don't like them standing too long without hay to munch on.

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