Winter Dietary Change For Your Horse October 26 2015

Horses are grazing animals and are designed to eat almost constantly throughout the day. Many horses will now be switching over to their winter routine which will normally mean less time out at grass. The nutrition level in grass will also drop dramatically over the winter, your horse will probably need his diet supplementing with good quality forage and in some cases extra hard feed.

No matter what type of horse/s you own, the most important aspect of your autumn & winter feeding regime is to have good quality forage.

If your horse is overweight the next few months are they ideal time to slim him down a bit and get rid of any excess summer weight. If your horse holds weight well and has a small work load, you might only need to add a vitamin & mineral supplement with some chaff to his diet.

If your horse is the more sensitive type and is inclined to loose weight over the winter now is the time to look at adding to his diet to try and stop any drop in weight or condition. You can provide additional nutritional support for you horse through digestible fibre (sugarbeet, chaff), cereals and complete mixes, supplements and oils.
Highly strung horses need a diet of highly digestible fibre rather than cereals to provide additional energy and nutrition.
Speak to a nutritionist if you have any concerns.

Older horses or horses with poor teeth, can struggle in the winter and lose condition. You can soak fibre cubes to make a mash which offers an easier to eat alternative to hay.

Basic Feeding Rules

Adjust your feed to reflect the change in weather and your horses workload.

Adding carrots or apples to a feed will keep your horse interested and add moisture content.

Make sure you do not work your horse immediately after feeding.

Feed at regular times, your horse will get used to the routine.

Make sure you store feed correctly and keep utensils clean.