Myth Busters: Three Common Feeding Trends That Are Actually Bad For Horses

by | 03.14.2018 | 8:11am

It can be difficult to meet the complex nutritional needs of horses; many well-intentioned feeding customs have become mainstays in horse care though they can actually be detrimental to a horse's wellbeing. Here are three of them.

Myth One: Only work horses when they have an empty stomach.

While it may be uncomfortable for a human to exercise on a very full stomach, the same is not true for equines. Though a grain meal should not be fed immediately before exercising, hay or forage should be available for a horse to eat before exercising to prevent digestive upset. Chewing hay produces saliva, which acts as an antacid for the stomach acid that is being constantly secreted.

Myth Two: If a horse is fed electrolytes, he doesn't need access to salt.

A horse that is fed an electrolyte supplement still needs encouragement to drink water; providing salt is key to keeping the horse drinking. Salt can be provided in provided in loose form or in a salt lick, or added to a horse's grain ration.

Myth Three: Don't feed much hay at night as horses are sleeping and won't eat.

Horses don't sleep in eight-hour stints like humans; they are awake the majority of the day, sleeping only in 15 to 20-minute intervals. Because of this, hay or pasture should be available 24/7 so the horse can eat when he is inclined. This constant eating will keep the horse's digestive system functioning normally.

Read more at HorseTalk.

  • Scottie Goldfish

    I have never, in all my years of owning and caring for horses, heard of any one of those myths.

  • Nona Kaenel

    I heard all these myths and ignored them.

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