Your horse’s feeding program is about more than just the price you pay for each bag of feed. It’s important when evaluating your horse’s feeding program to look at the whole picture from forage to concentrate to supplements.
Use this checklist to evaluate your horse’s program:
Does your horse have any underlying health issues? Have your equine veterinarian look over your horse and assess any potential issues. If your horse has ulcers, insulin resistance, Cushing’s or other health issues, it will affect how to make the best feeding decisions.
Have your horse’s teeth been floated recently by an equine dentist or vet? Your horse’s teeth are his first point of contact with his feed. If he is unable to chew adequately, it can affect his ability to digest feed. Horses should have their teeth looked at approximately once per year by a trained professional.
Is your horse on a deworming program? Worms will reduce your horse’s ability to digest and absorb vital nutrients effectively. Consult your veterinarian for the latest deworming strategies.
What is your horse’s forage situation? A horse should eat at least 1-2% of their body weight in forage per day, and this can be a combination of fresh grass and hay. You cannot judge a hay’s quality by looking at it – have your forage analyzed to know its actual nutritional value when developing your feeding program.
Do you weigh your feed in pounds? It’s important to weigh your feed in pounds, not quarts, scoops, coffee cans or tupperware containers. Invest in a scale if you don’t already have one.
Are you adding supplements? Calculate the cost per day of the supplements your horse is on and factor that into your feed program expenses. Whether you are adding an oil for fat, forage additives like hay pellets or beet pulp, or another supplement, these expenses factor into your feed bill.
Feed as you need
Start with a high quality forage, and add a concentrate if your horse’s energy requirements are not met. Use a high quality feed concentrate that takes your horse’s weight, health and activity level into account. Add supplements when your horse has a specific nutritional need that needs to be addressed beyond the foundation that your feed program offers.
Questions? Call the Cavalor office for your local representative’s contact information for help formulating your horse’s Cavalor feeding program.