Horses - Diet and Nutrition/Feeding


Hi. I was wondering what you should feed a horse to keep it healthy. Like how many oats, grain, hay, etc. if you have any other tips please let me know!

Hi Sydney,

Thank you for your question.  Horses are designed to live on forages and really do best on fresh pasture or good quality, well preserved hay.  The digestive system of the horse is designed for a horse that spends 19-21 hours a day eating and so horses need to have access to forage all of the time.  If your horse is on good quality pasture, they will eat ad lib, but if your horse is in a small paddock or stall you will want to make sure it always has hay available.  And of course, horses need unlimited access to fresh clean water.

Each horse's nutritional needs are a bit different and depend a lot on the horse's age, management and level of exercise.  Where an adult horse not doing any work can survive well on quality pasture and/or hay, an exercising, growing or geriatric horse may need some kind of supplement to ensure all of its nutrient requirements are met. Choosing the most appropriate supplement for your horse, if it needs any, may require the help of someone who understands its nutritional requirements.  I can help with more specifics if you can provide more detail about the horse(s) you're feeding, or you can work with a qualified nutritionist in your area who can help both formulate a ration for your horse and select the appropriate feeds.  

Thanks, Corlena

Horses - Diet and Nutrition

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Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

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