The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Horses
Horses are popular as pets, but taking care of them is a huge responsibility, and this is something that a lot of people don’t realise. Proper nutrition is one thing that a lot of people struggle with when it comes to horses, because an optimum diet for horses is very different to an optimum diet for people.
Horses have quite small stomachs compared to their size, and this means that they need to graze throughout the day. They need a lot of protein, and they also need a lot of carbohydrates, but they do not have a gall bladder so they struggle to digest fat. They typically enjoy diets of 2-3% fat, but they could digest up to 20% fat, given time for their bodies to adapt to that kind of intake.
Horses cannot regurgitate food. This means that if they ingest something toxic, they could end up becoming seriously ill. Over-eating is also an issue for them depending on the environment that they are in.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that your horses have ongoing access to high quality feed and grazing spaces, as well as lots of water. Hydration is very important for them. Without the right nutrition, a horse could become very sick.
Giving your horse the ability to graze throughout the day, and also stay active, will support muscle tone and good health. Try to discourage any children, friends or none-horse owning family members from feeding your horse from their own food, because this is the sort of thing that can make them seriously ill. The best way to take care of a horse is to give them an environment that is close to what they would enjoy in the wild – which will allow them to regulate their intake themselves.