Here are a few of our top tips when it comes to feeding, if you have something to add or your opinion differs in any way, let us know in the comments!
FEED LITTLE AND OFTEN
That pretty much explains itself... It's important not to feed too much hard feed at once as it can lead to a bit of a hyper horse or (at worst) colic. Feed small feeds at multiple times during the day to avoid this.
Make sure you use chaff to slow your horse's eating down, this helps to avoid choke and aids your horse's digestion, also important to prevent colic. Make sure you stir the feed well to ensure your horse doesn't bolt the feed.
We use Spillers Alfalfa Pro Fibre because the horses love the taste and it adds varying textures to the horse's feed which is ideal for picky eaters. We also feed the chaff on its own to horses who need a little something on top of their grass and hay.
Supplements can give things to your horse that feeds can't on their own. It also means that you can add specifics that your horse needs, without feeding lots of different feeds that your horse may not need. We feed all sorts of supplements for gut health, joint health and general health!
Always make sure to add water to your horse's feed. Not only does it keep the feed moist, to make it more palatable and avoid choke, but water is also one of the most important colic preventatives out there. It may mean you have to take an extra trip to the tap but it's worth it!
Is your horse turning their nose up at your carefully made feed? This is so frustrating because you just want them to get the extra nutrients (or medicine), otherwise you wouldn't be making up a feed! There are lots of ways to make your horse eat but one of our favourite is apple juice.
If apple juice doesn't work, or you need a quick fix and have no time to pop to the shops, feel free to contact us, we are always happy to help, even if it's just to chuck ideas around, at Hesteyri Horses.
This may be the strangest tip but if you want to warm up your horses feed on a cold winter's night, adding herbal teas can be the ideal solution. You can get teas to do different things too!
So, do some research as to what you want and then infuse a bag in hot water before adding it to the feed. Make sure it's not too hot to feed by checking the feed against the back of your hand.
Our favourite tea to feed is probably chamomile as it is really calming and, we've found that it can also settle the stomach so brilliant for ulcer prone horses.
Another thing we do is soak our mash in tea as it soaks faster and adds something new and tasty!
Try to feed at roughly the same time each day to avoid restless horses. As we know, they are very sensitive and something as small as feeding them a couple of hours late can cause a horse to colic.
Check what you are feeding your horse! Does your horse need a feed? A lot of people use the same balancer for their laminitis prone ponies as we do as weight gain for our thoroughbreds!
Don't forget that feed companies will always want you to buy their feed so will tell you that this type of feed won't put weight on but your horse needs the nutrients. If you would really like your horse to have the right nutrients, you can always buy a mineral supplement to add to a handful of chaff.
If your horse is hot headed, check out the customer reviews of feeds before buying them! There's a well known feed with the word 'calm' in the name, in reality, it's like rocket fuel and has send all of our horses potty!
Hope you liked this post, if you have anything to add, let us know! Hated it? Tell us why! Whatever you thought, thank you for taking the time to read!