The health of a horse depends largely on proper nutrition. What should a horse eat to stay in great shape into old age?
A horse is a unique animal. Before agricultural machines became common, hard work on the field was only possible with the support of a strong horse’s back. For centuries, horses were also used as a means of transport. They pulled carts, carriages, they were also ridden in the saddle. Today, horses are less and less used for hard work and breeders are starting to focus on other things. Nowadays, these animals are often used for hippotherapy, among other things. Breeders also breed horses as a hobby.
In order for a horse to enjoy good health, it should be properly taken care of. Two things are important – nutrition and regular grooming. Today we will deal with what a horse should eat every day and how you can vary its diet so that it receives an optimal set of nutrients.
As a rule, every horse has its own preferences in terms of nutrition. There are, however, general guidelines to which it’s worthwhile to adhere in the interest of the animal’s health. First of all, one should take care that the feed is given regularly. How much and how often a horse eats depends largely on its breed, age and size. One feeds a foal differently and an adult horse differently. Specialists recommend that the horse receive food relatively often. However portions shouldn’t be too abundant, because horses have stomachs of rather small capacity.
If you want to diversify the animal’s diet with new elements, then remember to begin with small doses. The horse’s stomach isn’t fond of sudden changes. What’s interesting, too drastic an introduction of better quality feed may initially bring negative consequences. If you change anything in the horse’s diet, you should carefully observe the animal’s behavior. As its caretaker, you will know best if these changes will have a beneficial effect on the animal’s health and well-being. If problems with the digestive system arise, consult an experienced veterinarian as soon as possible.
Without water there is no life. It seems to be a truism, but still you can meet situations in which animals are watered too rarely. It’s best, if the horse will have a constant access to fresh water. If for some reason it is impossible, it is necessary to water the horse several times a day, especially in hot weather.
Feeding a horse that is used to hard work in the field every day is different, and a horse intended for reproduction should have a different diet. In the first case, you should make sure that the diet does not lack carbohydrates. They are the main source of energy for these animals. In breeding sires it is worth taking care of a varied diet, which cannot lack vitamins and minerals. Especially important are those nutritional elements which translate into the quantity and quality of semen in the stallion.
Optimal feeding for a horse, which takes into account his daily energy needs, is one of the key factors influencing successful breeding. Horses should be fed fresh and varied forage. This will keep them in good shape. To make sure that the diet is correct, it is worth regularly monitoring the health of the animal.
You should keep in mind that it is just as dangerous to make a horse skinny as it is to make it too fat. If you have any doubts about how to compose a diet for an individual horse, it’s a good idea to consult a specialist in this field. Remember that fresh, high quality feed is the basis of a healthy diet. The better your pet’s diet, the better condition his health will be in.
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