Smithfield horse market dates for 2012: January 1, February 5, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, October 7, November 4, December 2

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Feeding a horse

Feeding a horse is one of the most important responsibilities of a horse owner. If not done correctly and overfeeding grain feeds a horse can develop colic, (build up of gas) it is caused as horses are unable to burp. This is very serious and in same cases can be fatal.

The Ten Rules Of Feeding

There are 10 rules to feeding horses these are -

FEED LITTLE AND OFTEN - Horses have quite small stomachs so food must be fed small amounts at frequent intervals. Ideally a horse should never go more than 8 hours without feed.

PLENTY OF BULK - To work efficiently a horses digestive system needs to be constantly filled. To achieve this feed bulk feeds such as hay and grass.

CORRECT AMOUNT AND TYPE - You can cause your horse physical and mental problems feeding too much, too little or the wrong type of feed.

GOOD QUALITY - Make sure your food isn't past its sell by date.

MAKE NO SUDDEN CHANGES TO DIET - Introduce new feeds gradually to avoid digestive problems.

DO NOT FEED DIRECTLY BEFORE EXERCISE - A horse must be allowed at least 1 hour after a feed before he is worked. If this isn't done a horses can develop colic and breathing problems.

ROUTINE - Horses are creatures of habit.

CLEANLINESS - Keep all utensils scrupulously clean.

A SUCCULENT EACH DAY - This is very import if the horse is not at grass. Apples, carrots and swedes add variety and provide some essential vitamins.

WATER BEFORE FEEDING - A horse can wash undigested food out of its stomach if he drinks after feeding.

By Louise Cordell

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