The ideal diet for your horse is a mixture of pasture feeding, grain and water. Keeping your horse healthy means balancing its food requirements with how active it is [source: HSUS]. With some planning and a good feeding routine, you'll have a healthy horse. Here are some tips about how to feed a horse.
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times. A typical horse will drink about 12 gallons (45 liters) of water per day. However, after exercise, water intake should be limited [source: Lardy, Poland].
- Weigh your horse to figure out how much your horse needs to eat. Your horse should eat between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent of its body weight in forage (i.e. plant material eaten when grazing) and equal to or less than 1 percent of its body weight in concentrate (i.e. processed grains) [source: Lardy, Poland]. More active horses will need more food [source: HSUS].
- Weigh the feed, using a scale, until you can tell what your horse's normal ration is. Once you know the amount, you can measure the feed with a scoop or can that holds the right amount [source: HSUS].
- Provide your horse with long-stemmed forage to aide its digestion. If you use higher quality forage, your horse will need less concentrate to meet its nutritional requirements [source: Lardy, Poland].
- Feed your hose small, frequent meals if you feed it grain. This will be more natural for it, and allow for easier and more effective digestion [source: HSUS].
- Feed your horse during quiet times of the day so it doesn't eat too quickly or become distracted [source: Lardy, Poland].
- Feed your horse at the same times every day [source: HSUS]. Irregular feedings can cause digestive problems or stress for a horse [source: Lardy, Poland].