Horse management is an essential tool to keep horses healthy and workable. Horse owners must follow many management tools. Management of horse feed is one of the most critical. Many horse diseases and disorders arise due to faulty feeding management of horses. Moreover, horses are susceptible to their feed and timing.
General Horse Management Guidelines
There are many techniques and principles are available in the book and open sources on horse management. In my article, I shall highlight the eleven most critical horse feed management guidelines for you. You can keep your horse healthy, workable, economical, and shiny if you follow the guidelines.
1. Exercise Horses Regularly
Horses are athletes and should be allowed to work. Exercise is necessary to keep the muscles in good condition and prevent the horses from becoming too fat.
2. Make Sure That Parasite Control is Adequate
The most common cause of thin horses is a heavy load of parasites. A heavy load of parasites can decrease feed utilization and total feed intake and prevent weight gain. To ensure a good feeding program, parasites must also be adequately controlled.
3. Examine Horse’s Teeth Regularly
Care of horse’s teeth, including floating (filling or rasping the sharp edge of the cheek teeth), is essential. Thin horses often have poor teeth because an animal with poor teeth cannot eat or chew properly. The diet of older horses with poor or missing teeth can be ground and pelleted to aid digestion.
4. Horse Management: Feed at Regular Time
Horses are creatures of habit. They appear to appreciate being fed at regular times. Feeding at regular times may also help decrease some stable vices.
5. Avoid Mouldy Feed
Horses are pretty susceptible to moldy feed toxicosis.
6. Keep the Feed Manger Clean
A clean manger decreases feed waste and help prevent horses from going off feed. Molds might also develop if the manger is not clean.
7. Give Small, Frequent Feeding
Small, frequent feedings decrease the chances of gastric distension, founder, or colic. It is recommended that grain be fed at least twice a day if total grain intake exceeds 0.5 percent of the body weight.
8. Feed By Weight, Not By Volume
There are considerable differences in density among horse feeds. Therefore, when feeding by volume, severe discrepancies may arise. For example, a quart of wheat bran weighs approximately ½ pounds, whereas a quart of barley weighs one and a half pounds. One quart of corn may provide twice as much digestible energy as one quart of oats because corn weighs more per unit volume and is more digestible.
9. Make Changes Types of Feed Gradually
Abrupt changes may cause colic or diarrhea or can cause the horse to stop eating. The most common problem occurs when a low-energy diet is changed to a high-energy diet.
10. Horse Management: Do Not Overfeed
Remember the Arab proverb, “Fat and rest are two of the Horse’s greatest enemy.” Excessive fat can reduce performance, reproductive efficiency, and perhaps even longevity.
11. Free Access To Clean Water Always
Water should be frequently available- except, of course when the horse is hot. Automatic water bowels can be very useful because water is thus made available at times, and labor costs are decreased. A small heating unit with thermostat controls prevents water from freezing in the bowl.
Concluding Remarks on Horse Management
Healthy and timely feed ensures a healthy horse. Horses feeding behavior is susceptible. They want regular and small amounts of feed. Moreover, the digestive system of horses is different from that of cattle. In the above article, I have discussed mainly the principles of horse feeding management. I think these principles will help your horses a lot.