Horses are animals that have a lot of rules preceding their care. You need to keep certain basic rules in mind if you have plans to rear a pet horse. This is especially true with respect to feeding them. You have to make sure to remember the rules in order to keep your horses healthy and happy.
Feed more roughage
Horses require a lot of calories and most of these calories need to be given in the form of roughage. Hay and pasture are some good sources of these calories. There are many myths out there stating that a lot of grains are required for the horses to grow into healthy beings. While this is true to a certain extent, you need not always provide them with a lot of grains. As long as the horses are given a lot of hay, you can reduce the quantity of grains given to them.
How much roughage should you feed them?
This depends on the body weight of the horse. On average, a horse should be fed with 1-2% of its body weight in terms of hay. This means that if a horse weighs 100kg, you should be feeding it with 1-2 kg of roughage on a daily basis.
Are grains required?
While grains are essential for a horse, it is not necessary to feed them with a lot of grains. You need to add a certain quantity of grains to their daily intake. What you can do is to split this quantity into 2-3 parts and feed it to them. This will help them digest the grains better and also ensure that they get to enjoy the entire nutritional value of the grains.
How to set up a feeding schedule?
Once you have bought a pet horse, it is important to remember that their feeding schedules cannot be changed overnight. You need to make the change in a very gradual manner. If you are bringing in some new food, replace only 25% of the total quantity with the new food. This will ensure that the horse gets adapted to the new food easily.
When not to feed a horse?
Immediately before or after an exercise routine, do not feed your horse. Just as we humans follow, the same rule applies to a horse as well. Wait for an hour before you fed them after an exercise. This is to ensure that their breathing returns to normal. If a horse is fed before a rigorous activity, they may not have enough space for their lungs to expand. This means that they won’t be able to perform the activity properly.
Other important points to remember
Horses are known to have an amazing internal clock. Hence they will be waiting for their meals at the same time every day. If you delay their feed even by an hour, they may get restless or suffer from some form of colic. Remember to feed them on time to keep them active and healthy.