Owning a pet of any kind comes with a lot of responsibilities, and that is doubly true if you own a horse. They require a lot of upkeep and a lot of work, but for those who have a passion for these beautiful animals, it’s worth it. One of the biggest things that you will struggle to keep up with as a horse owner is the basics of equine nutrition.
It’s much more complicated than just buying a bag of food from the grocery store. You must consider the quality of the hay, plus the amount that horse needs; then you have to make the same considerations for alfalfa. How much hay and alfalfa you feed your horse is also dependent upon the time of year; you can feed them less during the summer months when there is plenty of grazing, but will need to increase their feed in the winter to keep their weight up.
On top of feeding them the proper amount and proper type of hay and alfalfa daily, you also need to feed them the right type and amount of grain once a day. Your horse will naturally love their oats, and you may be tempted to fill their feed bucket to the brim just so you can see how happy it makes them. However, that’s like piling your child’s plate with sweets. Your horse will love you for it while they’re downing the goodies, but it’s terrible for their health.
Just like you, sometimes the nutrients included in your horse’s daily diet are not enough. Depending on their age, and any other number of factors, your horse may need a variety of supplements to keep them in prime condition. This is especially true as your horse ages. Just like with humans, or any of your other pets, their needs will change with age; their muscles will become weaker, they may have digestion issues, and their joints may be a bit tender.
Depending on your horse’s needs, you may want to consider supplements for stronger hooves, improved joint mobility, and stronger bones. If you want your horse to be ready for show, there are also equine nutrition supplements that can improve the sheen of their coat, and even promote mane and tail growth. That way, not only will your equine pal be healthy, but they will look good too, both of which can be extremely important factors if you are a competitive rider.
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