by Dr. Juliet M. Getty
Feeding time! Open a bag of readymade feed and you’re set, right? But wait—there’s a staggering variety of offerings on the feed store’s shelves, and it’s important you choose the correct one for your particular horse.
Manufacturers fortify these feeds with vitamins and minerals in a “complete” blend designed to provide all the nutrients a horse needs (when fed the recommended amount) without additional supplementation.
Hay and/or pasture grass should make up the bulk of your horse’s diet (he requires 1.5 to 2.5% of his body weight in forage per day), so most complete feeds are meant to be fed in addition to adequate forage. While many horses (particularly overweight or sedentary animals) simply need hay/pasture, water, salt, and a vitamin/mineral supplement to meet their nutritional requirements, the underweight horse or horse in training, for instance, will benefit from a commercially fortified feed.
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