Time-Saving Feeding Tips for Horse Owners

Here are a few ways to make feeding time more efficient without sacrificing your horse’s dietary balance.
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Time-Saving Feeding Tips for Horse Owners
Be sure you have a solid nutritional program in place before making feeding shortcuts. | Photo: Photos.com

Shortcuts that don’t sacrifice dietary balance

If only we could be as eager as our horses about feeding time. While they’re nickering and stomping in anticipation of the impending feast, sometimes we’re just struggling through this time–consuming chore. So how can the busy horse owner make feeding time more efficient without bypassing the opportunity to cast an eye on each horse, double-checking its health and well-being? We’ll explore some time-savings options in this article, but be sure you only make feeding shortcuts once you have a solid nutritional program in place.

Satiate Them With Hay

If only we could be as eager as our horses about feeding time. While they’re nickering and stomping in anticipation of the impending feast, sometimes we’re just struggling through this time–consuming chore. So how can the busy horse owner make feeding time more efficient without bypassing the opportunity to cast an eye on each horse, double-checking its health and well-being? We’ll explore some time-savings options in this article, but be sure you only make feeding shortcuts once you have a solid nutritional program in place.

“The key point to remember in establishing a healthy feeding program for your horse is to look at the horse’s anatomy and physiology, how nature designed them, and remember they are built to primarily eat forage (grasses such as hay or pasture),” says Clair Thunes, PhD, an independent equine nutritionist based in Sacramento, California. She helps owners construct diets for their horses while also teaching part-time at the University of California, Davis. “Start with forage as the backbone of your program and a goal to maintain (your horses’) weight with forage alone. This goal won’t be achievable for all horses, so if you have a horse that can’t maintain a good body condition with just forage, then you go to adding a feed that is more calorie-dense, such as a fortified performance feed or unfortified feeds such as beet pulp or oats

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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