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Horse Feed - Concentrates, Grains, and Supplements FAQ

Horse Feed Basics


large pelleted horse feed

Large pelleted feed

Image: K. Blocksdorf
Most of us like to feed our horses and feel we are taking the very best care of them by providing the best nutrition. Grass should provide the best nutrition for a horse, but it isn't always available or adequate. Many horses live on only hay, and that too might be problematic. You don't want your horse to have a nutritional shortfall. Fortunately, though, any shortfall, discovered by having your hay analyzed can be made up for. Learn how to feed your horse grains, supplements, salt, herbs, and concentrates.

Some, but not all horses may need extras such as concentrated mixes or grains. Learn under what circumstances you might want to feed extras.  Does my horse need grain, supplements or concentrates?

How much feed your horse will need will depend on a number of factors. Age, use and season all affect how much feed a horse may need to stay in healthy condition. Find out how much you should be feeding your horse.  How much grain or concentrates will my horse need?

Sometimes hays and grass may come short when it comes to certain minerals. In fact, there is one mineral that is depleted from the soil in some parts of North America, meaning that many horses (and humans) may not be getting enough. Find out what minerals you might need to supplement. Does my horse need a mineral supplement?

Vitamins are important too. Does your horse need extra vitamins? Learn how you can be sure your horse is receiving an adequate amount of vitamins.  Does my horse need a vitamin supplement?  

Depending on your horse's workload, extra supplements may be in order. Learn what supplements may be needed by horses who work hard or a building healthy foals. What other supplements might my horse need?

When you walk into a feed store, you'll notice that salt blocks come in various colors. What do these colors mean and, which is the right one for your horse? Learn which color salt you'll want to buy. And, should you feed loose or block salt?   Why are there different colors of salt blocks available?

Especially if you live on a farm or ranch, cattle feed might be a handy choice to offer your horse. But you must know why this can be a deadly mistake. Can I feed my horse cattle feed?  

Some of us that have horses that just don't gain weight easily. During the hot months, bugs, heat or other stress can make them lose weight easily. Here's how to feed your 'hard keep' for optimum health.  What’s the best feed for putting weight on a horse?

Many of us have horses that gain weight too easily. It seems that just sniffing a rich round bale can make some horses gain weight. Here's how to prevent your horse from getting overweight.  What are the best feeds for helping a horse lose weight?

There are tons of herbal supplements available advertised to solve any health or behavioral problem you can think of. Do they work? Find out what may or may not work and what you should watch for.  Do herbal supplements work?

Bran mashes have been a tradition for a long time. But they may not be as good as once thought. Here is what you need to know about feeding wheat bran to horses.  Should I feed my horse a weekly bran mash?

Psyllium has often been recommended as a preventative against sand colic. But will a couple of tablespoons of psyllium really make a difference? Learn about feeding psyllium to your horse. Should I feed my horse psyllium?

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