Historically speaking, once hay was introduced to horses, it gave them and their riders more mobility as they didn’t have to follow pasture grasses only. While hay is just one option for horse feed, it should take up the majority of the horse’s diet. Hay offers many nutritional benefits to horses and needs to be offered regularly for their digestive health. Here are some of the most important reasons hay needs to be a part of your horse’s diet.
Horses Need Roughage
You care to upkeep your arena with equipment such as a pole bracket caddy, jump posts and water bins, so you need to care for your horses with the proper items, too. When pasture grass isn’t available for grazing, hay is the next best thing for horses. Horse digestive systems are made to extract the nutrients from grassy stalks. Their natural feeding pattern is to graze throughout the day, which can be replicated with hay bales placed in their stalls. About one to two percent of a horse’s body weight should be eaten in the form of roughage each day.
Use Alternatives Only When Necessary
If there is a low supply of pasture grass or hay in your area, there are grains available for horses. If grains are necessary, they should be given in small amounts multiple times per day. This type of food should be weighed on a scale to ensure you aren’t overfeeding your horse. Extra weight on a horse can cause multiple issues that may require a vet visit. Prevent this additional cost by feeding your horse the proper amounts and only if grass or hay is unavailable.
Having a routine may be the best thing for a horse, especially one who has a colic issue. Avoid abrupt changes in the schedule to prevent problems with the digestion of your horse. Keep reading other articles!