How do you Feed and Water a Stabled Horse?
When horses are kept in a predominantly stabled situation, feeding can become one of the main highlights of the day. A horse that is stabled does not have access to its natural forage feed of grass and we compensate for this by supplying hay or other fibre substitutes. Any hay fed should always be high quality and free from mould and dust.
If a stabled horse is being ridden regularly and carrying out hard work then additional concentrate feed may also be required to increase energy and to maintain condition. It should be remembered that the horse is naturally designed to eat small amounts often so concentrate feeds should be split accordingly and fed several times throughout the day.
The following rules of feeding should be remembered:
- Fresh, clean water should be freely available to the stabled horse at all times. This can be provided by buckets, containers or automatic drinkers. However it is provided, all buckets, drinkers etc. should be scrupulously clean and scrubbed out on a regular basis.
- Feed by weight not volume of feed. To ensure you are feeding the correct quantities you need to weigh one scoop of each different type of feed you use.
- Concentrates must be fed ‘little and often’
- Always use high quality feeds.
- Feed according to body weight and temperament
- Make any changes to the diet gradually to reduce the risk of digestive upsets
- Don’t exercise directly after feeding
- Feed at the same time each day
- Increase feed quantity and energy content according to the level of work your horse is doing
- Feed plenty of good quality roughage.