One of your most important responsibilities as a horse owner is to make sure your horse is always well taken care of and properly fed. If you overfeed your horse with too much grain, you can give him gas colic, which is a horse’s inability to burp, which can be a serious problem. If the horse cannot burp, they will develop gas in their digestive system and they will experience very severe abdominal pain.
In order to avoid the problem of colic, be sure to feed your horse at regular intervals. You will need three smaller meals a day instead of one large one. Each meal needs to include plenty of fiber for the horse’s digestive system, so they will need a lot of good quality hay. You will also need to make sure that your horse’s water is frequently changed. If your horse is extremely active or even pregnant, you will have to put in horse grain or pelleted feed.
Fiber is extremely important for your horse. You will need to make sure that you have the right kind of feed for your horse at all times. You will need horse quality hay delivered to you to avoid getting hay that wasn’t cut or dried properly for your animal. In fact, if you give your horse bad hay, it can kill it. You will need to break a bale of hay open and smell it before you think about feeding it to your horse. If it looks or smells dusty with a musty scent, do not feed it to your horse. Hay that comes from the first or even second cutting is okay and has a lot of nutritional supplements. The third or even fourth cuttings are worthless to a horse.
Your horse will need to consume around three flakes of hay every day. If your horse is getting fat from lack of exercise, you can cut down to two flakes every day. A flake of hay is a substantial amount of hay that weighs roughly four pounds. Most of the time, you can mix timothy hay with alfalfa hay for your horse. If your horse ignores the timothy hay to get to the alfalfa, feed him his timothy first on the next feeding when he is very hungry. The timothy has more nutrition and is less fattening than the alfalfa hay.
If you don’t have a lot of storage room for hay bales, you can think about giving your horse horse fiber. The hay cube is one of the most popular versions of horse fiber. You can get tightly compacted cubes of hay that will take up a lot less room. The most popular version is the cubes made from alfalfa. You can also find cubes in pet stores, but generally, these cubes are for bunnies and other small animals, not horses. You need to ask for at least 50 pounds in hay cubes to get the best deal. You can also get pelleted hay, but experienced horse owners don’t typically prefer this option.
If you compete in horse shows frequently or prefer long trail rides, you will need to give your horse supplemental pieces to his diet, including more grain or pelleted feed. Most of the time, pleasure horses will just need a cup of grain a few times a week. You can talk to your vet about what is appropriate for your horse, but you shouldn’t give your horse grain every day or else you will end up with an overweight animal. Definitely ask your vet if your horse qualifies for vitamin or mineral supplements as well to make sure that all of his requirements are being met!