Have you ever wondered how to properly feed your horse? Well, look no further because in this article, we will be discussing the 7 golden rules of feeding horses. As a horse owner, it is important to ensure that you are not overfeeding, underfeeding, or giving the wrong type of food to your horse. We will also emphasize the importance of providing your horse with plenty of fresh water, especially during the summer months when they can drink up to 18 liters of water in a day. Additionally, we will cover topics such as the use of high-quality feed, feeding according to your horse’s body type and temperament, making gradual changes to their diet, avoiding the feeding of concentrates before exercise, and establishing a consistent feeding schedule. By following these golden rules, you can help maintain your horse’s health and prevent any future problems. So, let’s dive in and learn how to properly feed our beloved horses!

Feeding horses will be part of any horse owner’s daily routine, but you must be sure you aren’t overfeeding, underfeeding or giving the wrong food. Ensuring your horse is drinking plenty is vital, especially in the summer months. On average, a horse can drink up to 18 litres of water, and even more on hot days. There are plenty of rules you need to follow when feeding your horse, to ensure they stay healthy and maintain an easy temperament. 00:00 – Intro – How To Feed A Horse 00:18 – Plenty of Fresh Water 00:36 – Hard Feed / Concentrates 00:57 – Use High Quality Feed 01:10 – Feed According To Body Type 01:42 – Make gradual Changes To Diet 01:55 – Don’t Feed Concentrates Before Exercise 02:12 – Feed Your Horse At The Same Time 02:21 – Outro.

Understanding the Basics of Horse Feeding

Feeding horses is an essential part of every horse owner’s daily routine. But it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics to ensure your horse remains in peak condition and to avoid any potential problems down the line. If ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian or a reputable nutritionist for their expert advice. There are various important rules that you need to follow when it comes to feeding your horse to ensure their overall health and maintain their easy temperament. In this article, we will cover these rules in detail and provide you with comprehensive information to help you feed your horse properly.

Provision of Fresh Water

One of the most vital aspects of horse feeding is to provide your horse with clean, fresh water at all times. Water is essential for the overall well-being of horses, especially during the hot summer months. On average, a horse can drink up to 18 liters of water on a normal day, and this amount may increase significantly on warmer days or when they are engaged in more physical activities. It is crucial to ensure that the water source, whether it is a trough or a bucket, is safe and clean for the horse to drink from. Regularly check the cleanliness and quality of the water and refill the containers as needed to ensure your horse stays hydrated.

Understanding Hard Feed / Concentrates

Hard feed, also known as concentrates, should be fed to horses in small and frequent portions. The purpose of hard feed is to supplement the forage ratio in their diet. As a general rule, you should avoid feeding more than two kilograms of hard feed at a time. If your horse requires a larger amount of hard feed in a day, it is advisable to split it into several smaller meals throughout the day. Additionally, you can add chaff to the feed to encourage the horse to chew, which aids in their digestion process.

Use of High-Quality Feed

When it comes to feeding your horse, it is crucial to only use high-quality feed. Avoid the temptation to give your horse dusty, old, or low-quality forage or concentrates. It is always recommended to dispose of any feed that does not meet the standard of quality. Using high-quality feed has a significant impact on the overall health and well-being of your horse. It ensures they receive the necessary nutrients and minimizes the risk of any health issues or complications.

Feeding According to Body Type & Temperament

Each horse is an individual with unique needs, so it is important to adjust their feed accordingly. Understanding your horse’s body type and temperament is crucial in providing them with the right type and amount of feed. Some horses have a higher energy level and can become unmanageable if given the wrong types of feed. As a general rule, you should be able to feel your horse’s ribs but not see them. Be mindful of avoiding obesity and strive for a balanced body condition. In addition, it is essential to monitor physical changes in your horse to determine the suitability of their diet and make adjustments as needed.

Making Gradual Changes To Horses’ Diet

Any changes to your horse’s diet should be done gradually over a course of around a week. This gradual transition helps to prevent any digestive upsets or disturbances. Whether you are introducing new types of feed, adjusting the proportions, or changing the overall diet composition, it is important to do it incrementally. This includes changes in grass, forage, hay, and concentrates. By making gradual changes, you give your horse’s digestive system enough time to adapt and ensure their overall well-being.

Avoiding Concentrates Before Horse Exercise

It is not advisable to feed your horse concentrates directly before exercise. It is recommended to leave around one to two hours between feeding and working your horse. This interval allows their digestive system to process the food effectively. Fiber feeds, on the other hand, can be fed closer to exercise without causing any issues. Understanding the operation of the digestive system and its relationship with exercise is crucial to prevent any discomfort or digestive upsets in your horse.

Feeding Horses at a Consistent Time Daily

Horses are creatures of habit, and they thrive on routine. It is important to feed your horse at consistent times every day to maintain their overall well-being. Establishing a feeding routine helps them feel secure and reduces any potential stress or anxiety. By adhering to a regular feeding schedule, you can create a sense of stability for your horse and promote their overall wellness.

Monitoring Horse Reactions and Adjustments to Feeding Rules

While following the feeding rules mentioned above, it is crucial to monitor your horse for any signs of health or behavior changes. Watch out for any unusual changes in their physical appearance, such as weight loss or gain, changes in coat condition, or changes in energy levels and behavior. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian. They can provide professional guidance and help you make necessary adjustments to your horse’s diet based on their feedback.


Feeding horses is a responsibility that requires knowledge and attention to detail. By following the golden rules of horse feeding, you can ensure the health and well-being of your horse. The impact of sound feeding practices on horse health is immense, and it is essential to continually learn and consult with experts in the field to provide the best care for your horse. Remember to always prioritize fresh water availability, adjust the feed according to your horse’s body type and temperament, make gradual changes to their diet, avoid feeding concentrates before exercise, establish a consistent feeding routine, and closely monitor your horse’s reactions and adjust their diet accordingly. With this comprehensive understanding of horse feeding, you can contribute to your horse’s overall health and happiness.