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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/correct feeding schedule for riding club horses


hello ma'am. recently i had been to a riding school. the club feeds horses in the morning around 9am. that was fine. and again they feed around 2pm rather than around 6pm or 7pm. 1 hour after 2pm, horses are taken out for riding(only trotting). so, my question is, do horses feel uncomfortable trotting immediately after finishing their feed? as per your knowledge, when to feed riding club horses when the riding timings are 6am to 8:30am and 3pm to 6:30pm. (i have even observed that horses take nearly 1 hour to eat the grain.)

Hello Rohit,

Thank you for your question.  The timing and frequency of feeding grain depends a lot on the type and amount of grain being fed.  There isn't necessarily an ideal time of day when grain 'must' be fed, but timing grain feeding in relation to exercise is a good idea.  It is not ideal to feed large quantities of starch-based feeds immediately before exercise. Because exercise increases the rate of passage of feed through the digestive system, starch-based feeds run the risk of spending too little time in the stomach if they are fed right before exercise.  If the grain is fiber-based, there is less risk associated with feeding it before exercise.  But if you're uncertain of the grain's components, and to err on the side of caution, allow a few hours between when grain is fed and the horse is exercised.  Feeding forages and hay is a much different matter.  Ideally horses should always have access to forage so timing its feeding in relation to exercise is irrelevant.  And because forages are digested differently, there is less impact on their digestibility with an exercise-induced increased rate of passage.

Thanks, Corlena

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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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