Understanding Horse Nutrition

Hello!! Do You Understand your horse’s nutrition?
Are you feeling frustrated about what feed your horse should eat or not eat?

Understanding horse nutrition doesn’t have to be that complicated, most of the time people over think it.

You just need help getting horse nutrition information so you can be more knowledgeable, instead of overthinking it, because there is always going to changes in your horse’s nutrition.

Each horse is different just as we are. Their age and work performance all play a role, as well as the quality of their hay.

There are horses that are what’s called, easy keepers.
There are horses that are what’s called, difficult keepers.

In our years of experience and many different horses, we have had both.  At times I still feel frustrated trying to find the balance for my horse’s nutrition requirements. Right now you are probably asking yourself, “what is the easy keeper and difficult keeper”?

The answer to your questions is………

1. The easy keepers:  do not require extra food to eat to keep their weight up. Such as extra grain, extra hay, or special supplements, etc.

2. The difficult keepers:  do require extra food to eat to keep their weight up such as extra grain, or extra hay, or special supplements, etc.

When you have more than one horse you will find that every horse’s diet and nutritional requirements will not be the same all the time. That’s when it can get more frustrating to keep up with all of them.

Therefore it doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out in the horse world or if you have owned horses your whole life, you will always be learning something new every day.

Sharing My Different Feeding Experiences.

My mare was pregnant, so she was on grain and supplement for both of them called mare and foal.
When her filly was born, she was on grain for growing horses. Also, have a yearling stud that is on growing horse grain.

Another mare in her mid age that needed high protein grain and didn’t do anything other than a casual trail ride.

An old mare that couldn’t have hay or grass due to losing her teeth. All her food had to be softened up morning and night (beet pulp, senior feed, hay cubes) until we had to put her to rest.

A gelding that was hipper, so he had to have feed pellets or oats with no molasses.

Different Horse Feed Brands And A Different Type For Every Age And Performance.

How in the world can you possibly figure out what your horse needs with all the different brands and types?
Okay sit down and relax. Use paper and pen and write, so you don’t have to try and remember things that are important to you.

First, if you haven’t already done so. Call a vet and have a physical done on your horse.
Ask suggestions from your vet. The brands that are good or the type and how much to start with feeding?

Second, is your horse losing weight, is it because he has a lot of work performance or shows, or does he need more protein in his diet? Is your horse young, in his teens (mid age) or is he about to be in his 20’s?

Third, start looking at different brands and prices and compare the nutrition labels, they are on the out of the feed bags.

Try one that you find, if it doesn’t work, it’s okay just try another one and then another and again until you do find the one you and your horse likes.

Forth, weigh your horses feed and hay so you know they are getting what their body weight requires. That is on the outside of the feed bag as well. That’s it!! That’s not so bad after all is it?

Other people’s suggestions.

There is a lot of different information about horse nutrition. And when people are trying to help you by making suggestions, even though they mean well, but it can be frustrating too.

Remember one thing! what works well for someone else, doesn’t mean that the same exact thing is going to work for you.

So when someone tells you what they feed their horse and they tell you to feed yours the same way. Don’t do it. You can always take other people’s advice into consideration. Just don’t lose sleep over it.

Resources In Understanding Horse Nutrition.

Contact professionals to help you with understanding horse nutrition.
 a horse nutrition
horse university near you
your vet

 The Internet Is Full Of Information


horse blogs> read other peoples experience on or ask questions.

for specific brands and learn their nutrition.

At the end of the day get your final opinion from your vet.
ALWAYS continue researching what you can on your own!
Wish you all the best on your journey.

I am not a veterinary, so the information that I provided in my post is only from my experiences.
Please leave a comment or any questions you may have.
I will contact you back as soon as I get the message,
Thank You For Taken The Time To Read My Post.
Good Luck!       Michelle

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19 thoughts on “Understanding Horse Nutrition

  • Rawl

    I don’t have a horse but my oldest has wanted one for years. She’s worked really hard in school, graduated with high school honors and her associates degree at the same time; and June 2016 she will graduate with her bachelor’s degree at 20 years old. I’ll also be moving at the same time. I’m considering buying her a horse as a graduation gift and making sure I rent a home that will allow for horses.

    This post has been helpful because I see that I don’t have to be a veteran at owning a horse. I can be a novice and still take good care of my horse.

    I also read the article on vitamins, feeding a horse high-quality hay, proteins and fats. It will come in handy when the time comes to purchase her horse.



  • Git

    Hi Michelle,
    I like your page and it is a good start. I grew up with horses and a few years ago I had a horse that I unfortunately had to put to sleep due to an injury and he was only six years old. So sad.
    Good luck with your blogg!

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Git thank you. I am in the process of trying to fix my post. It isn’t lining up correctly and I can’t find the right size header picture. Sorry to hear about your horse. Again thank you for reading my page and your comment. Michelle

  • Dallin

    Hey there Michelle!

    Great points here! We sold feed and supplements for several years, so I can second that there are definitely a lot of different options for the different horses that are out there. It is important to learn the needs of your horse and how to help them grow the best.

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Dallin thank you for your comment, it’s really nice to have someone look at my pages that knows about the feeds and supplements. It helps to know that I am doing an ok job here with information. Best wishes to you with WA success. Michelle

  • Peggy Menke

    Hello, Michelle. Love the photo, is that Cinny? I laughed out loud when I saw it, so cool!
    I remember when my Grandma had horses, I didn’t know at the time, but they were all easy to care for. And they all seemed happy. I love horses, they are one of God’s beautiful creations!

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Peggy thank you again for your comment and support. Yes lol that is Cinny. She was very easy to take care of until she got older then she had to have special care. You are so right. They are God’s beautiful creation’s and he has given them a peaceful spirit. Michelle

  • JP

    Really interesting site and option you had for what you wanted to base it off of. This is a great niche because you are for sure going to interest those who are die hards about keeping their horse ready for the races. Keep up the good work and look forward to reading other posts

  • Michelle Post author

    Hello JP,

    Thank you so much for the nice comment on my site. The encouragement makes it worth trying more to make something out of the website.


  • Linda

    Hi Michelle,
    Love the pics! Is that a pony poking his head over the fence? You’re so right that understanding your horse’s nutritional needs are very important to keeping them healthy. And of course, their needs change over time as they age. I’ve had my horse for 23 years now. He’s 29 this year and still healthy. Keeping weight on them gets more challenging as they age but Purina makes a great Equine Senior feed that he does well on.

  • Jyl

    Hi Michelle – great advice 🙂 I don’t have horses but I have 3 dogs and I can tell you that it’s the same principle. They each eat different things because of either personal preference, diabetes (unfortunately) or runny poo’s…. don’t ask….! But yes, it is a fact that a healthy dog is a happy dog – just the same with horses. If I could just offer a slight criticism… I found your font hard to follow. It looks great but it’s just not ‘reader friendly’. Sorry to point that out but you did say you wanted all comments 🙂 Apart from that you’ve done a great job 🙂

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Linda

    Thank You for your comment. Yes that is a pony at the fence. I had to have my mare put down last October. She was 30. So sad. I miss her so much. I’m glad your 29 year old is doing good. Yes I agree with you on the Purina Equine Senior Feed.

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Jyl

    LOL! Yes you are right I did say all comments. Thank You for letting me know about the font. I was wondering about that. I also have dogs and I have cats. And no I won’t ask…lol. Got to have a great sense of humor. I really do appreciate your truthfulness. I wish you all the best.

  • Daniella

    Hi Michele,

    I really liked your article, I found it very interesting!
    I’ve grown up with horses and have worked with them a lot. I also did a course in France in La Cense to understand horses behavior because I always felt that riding a horse was not enough for me. I wanted to know how this beautiful creature thinks, reacts and feels. It was very interesting, I would recommend this course to anyone who own a horse or for who wants to ride a horse. However, I’ve always checked the health of my horses by looking whether the hairs shone, their behavior, their weights, teeth, if the feet are swollen and many other things. You are right, there are many factors that come into play when checking the health of our dear friends “Horses”
    We had once a horse that died from a colic because he didn’t digest the grains during the summer.
    We really need to be careful when nourishing horses.
    Thank you very much for this excellent post!

  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Daniella

    Thank you for the wonderful comment. I feel good to here your thoughts. I am sorry to hear about you losing a horse. Sounds like you no longer have horses. Do you still have any horses? I am honored that you liked my post and would share it. thanks again and take care.


  • Paul

    Hi Michelle,

    Nutrition is a very involved and specific subject. There is no doubt that nutrition is very important to the health and well-being of your horse.

    You mention a lot of factors that show the health of a horse, such as its weight and general happiness.

    All living things, including horses, need proper nutrition to be healthy and perform at their best. This is a very interesting blog topic and one I am sure will be an informative read to all horse owners.

    Do male and female animals require the same foods to remain healthy?

    How important is nutrition to pregnant horses and how does nutrition affect the quality of the milk a mare will produce?


  • Helen

    Michelle, I haven’t worked with horses for years but in my intrepid youth I worked on a quarter horse stud and as a ringer (cowboy) on a cattle station in Queensland Australia.

    Boy are you right about the vagaries of horse nutrition. I have had both good keepers who needed to be watched for overeating and those that looked a little bony. These bony ones tended to stay that way no matter how much they ate. The over eaters had to be worked very frequently else they were pretty unfit for working the cattle.

    When the balance of feeding was found one nice little side effect was their superb coats. Lots of people only associate grey horses with dappling. Most of mine regardless of colour were dappled.

    Good information and informing post.


  • Michelle Post author

    It depends on the individual whether it’s a male or female. Nutrition for pregnant mares is very important. I currently have my mare on a special supplement morning and night for mare and unborn baby along with a special grain that is for mare and unborn baby given morning and night. The nutrition that the foal gets from the mare’s milk is very crucial. The baby needs to drink his first milk from the mare within 2 hours of birth.

    Thank you for your interest


  • Michelle Post author

    Hi Helen, sounds like you had lots of fun with your horses too. That is something I always dreamed of doing. Riding through the land and rounding up cattle and camping out on the ranch. Thank you for your comment.

    All the best to you.