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Homemade horse feed

ArticleHow to -FeedingThursday 14 January 2010
What Horses Eat
Feeding your horse is quite a complex part of owning a horse. Knowing what horses eat is very important, you must remember that they are vegetarians but still need protein, fats, vitamins and minerals in their diet. Getting the right horse feed is therefore tricky but rewarding when you get the balance right. Having good quality forage is usually enough to keep your horse fit and healthy, but if you fancy making up your own horse feed at home then you will need to know the basics. This article should help you to feed your horse correctly.

What horses eat

Grains – Oats are a horse’s favourite. You can give a horse a straight diet of oats if you wish and it will do him no harm. If you just feed your horse oats however you will need to provide a salt and mineral block for them to lick. The good thing about oats is you do not need to crush and steam them to make the perfect homemade horse feed, the oats are good enough as they are. You could also feed your horse dried corn instead of oats. You have to monitor the amount of corn you feed a horse; corn has a high starch content which can cause colic or founder. Some grains are not entirely safe so I would advise staying well away from barley and milo. 
Bran – Bran does work as a laxative so remember that a little goes a long way. You will only need to add a handful of bran on top of the grain you are feeding your horse. A homemade horse feed favourite is very simple to make, just add a handful of bran to the grain, some salt and sugar and a cup of warm water; this will make the grainy mix delightful. 
Fruit and Vegetables – You should not rely on fruit and vegetables to make up the main part of a horse’s diet. A horse will happily eat lettuce, green beans, watermelon, grapes, celery, carrots, broccoli and apples. Horses do love to have some fruit though and you can give your horse fruity treats for good behaviour. 
A Touch of Sugar – It is not essential that you add molasses to a horse’s feed; but they do like it. If you want to give your horse a little pick me up then you can add a cupful of molasses or corn syrup to the grains and mix it in with a cup of warm water. Be careful not to make the grain too sticky or your horse will turn his nose up at it. By adding a little sugar  you should be able to make the fussiest horse eat his meal. 
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