Whats in a normal horses diet! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-07-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Whats in a normal horses diet!

I have been wondering whats in a normal horses diet i want to no before i get a horse and i want to no if i can mix up hay pasture an ect. Thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-07-2011, 10:36 PM
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Good quality hay is a normal diet. At least for my horses. They have pasture during summer too, but I limit number of hours there (although many people just keep horses on pastures spring - fall, unfortunately I don't have enough pasture dot that). As for hay I feed 1/2 square bale each during winter (less in summer). I also feed 1 lb of low sugar/low starch pellets with added flax twice/day (although for many horses pellets/grain is not needed really).
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-07-2011, 11:22 PM
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A normals horses diet cam be anything! All horses are different..for example, draft horses dont need to have much food because their metablolisms are slower than you would think. Thourobreds need extra food because their matabolsims can be really fast! It all depends on the horse.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-08-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lakotasbluesky View Post
A normals horses diet cam be anything! ....Thourobreds need extra food because their matabolsims can be really fast!
Hey Lakota, I think OP may have meant a natural diet. While some types do indeed have different metabolisms, they don't *necessarily* need more food and it comes down mainly to deed rather than breed - a TB in little work won't be necessarily different to any other horse for eg.

OP, agree with both above, esp with Kitten, that basically the best 'staple' is grass/hay. Learn a bit about their digestive system & what is natural to them & this will help you work it out. Eg. they are 'trickle feeders' meaning they've evolved to eat tiny amounts near constantly. They have evolved for fibrous, poor grade(compared to most cattle-fattening pastures) roughage and don't cope too well with sugary, starchy feeds. Their metabolism has also evolved for storing fat over the 'good' seasons in order to survive the 'bad' and IMO it is not a bad thing for them to lose some weight & use their fat stores over winter.

safergrass.org is a good source of info on diet as it relates to health. FeedXL.com is a valuable service to help you get specific horse's diets right. hoofrehab.com has a number of articles on feeding, along with all the other great info there.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-08-2011, 07:43 PM
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Horses evolved eating large quantities of poor quality food. Generally that is best for overall health. Alot of people dont have enough fields though, so they substitute smaller amounts of higher quality feeds. Thats usually when the problems start.
Ideally free choice grass hay, with a low starch feed to to supplement nutrients that may be lacking in your areas grass, with a salt block. Pretty much it.
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