feeding horses and ponies

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Proper Feeding of Horses and Ponies

What is Best? Horse Feed or Forage

proper feeding of horsesBest practices for feeding horses and ponies to keep them healthy and in top performance condition. Most horse keepers use a combination of commercial horse feed and hay to feed their horses.

Horse Feeds

Horse feeds are designed to provide horses the nutrients they need at their life stage. Different feeds are formulated for sport horses and race horses in order to give those horses the protein they need for strenuous activity.

Horse Feed and Forage

Feb 14, 2019
How to Feed Senior Horses
by Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Twenty percent of the U.S. horse population is now over the age of 20. And with age comes increasing risk for several conditions, including colic, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, aka equine Cushing’s disease), dental disease, and weight loss/gain. Fortunately, nutrition can aid in managing these issues. After all, “age is a number, not a disease,” said Megan Shepherd, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN. More info...

Feb 1, 2017
Feeding Horses With Muscle Issues
By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Horses with exertional myopathies can experience muscle fatigue, pain, cramping, and damage. Special modifications to diet and exercise can help these horses. Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences described how to maintain these horses in her presentation at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida. More info...

Oct 19, 2016
Slow-Feed Hay Nets Prove Their Worth for Horses on a Diet
The use of a slow‐feed hay net coupled with a feed-restricted diet appear to be effective in decreasing body weight in overweight adult horses and maintaining more moderate blood and hormone patterns, researchers report.
The University of Minnesota study team noted that modern horse management systems tended to limit their opportunity to forage, instead relying on meal feeding. This, they said, may contribute to the rise in equine obesity. More info...

Mar 22, 2016
Horse Hay and Feed Storage: How Long is Too Long?
By Clair Thunes, PhD
I’d like to save money by buying horse hay and feed in bulk. How long can I store each, and is spoilage a concern?
Storing Hay
You can store hay indefinitely if the stack is managed correctly; although, in humid climates, using hay within three years of harvest is ideal. Hay growers need to bale it at correct moisture levels because if it’s baled too damp the hay will generate heat, which leads to molding. Barn storage, especially long term, is best as it will prevent damage from weather. Rodents and other animals should be kept out and hay should be stored off the floor. Bales places directly on concrete could sweat and, if placed on the ground, might wick up moisture, which could result is losing up to 50% of your bottom bales. Placing hay on pallets or a thick layer of old hay or straw is recommended. More info...

Mar 21, 2016
The Grass Guide: Alfalfa
By University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Name: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Life Cycle: Cool-season perennial
Native to: Middle East (Iran)
Uses: Hay, haylage, pasture
Identification: Long, narrow leaves in groups of three with serrated edges only at the tip. A purple flower.
This erect-growing legume is one of the most in-demand species for hay production in the United States. Well-managed alfalfa hay contains high amounts of protein, minerals, and vitamin A, making it very desirable for high-performance animals, such as horses and dairy cattle. More info...

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