Hay: What Kind and How Much is Right for Your Horse?
The Last Ride Arizona Discusses Types of Hay for your Horse
Finding the right hay for your horse is one of the essential components of ensuring its long-lasting good health. Not only is hay an essential source of nutrients for your horse, but your horse’s protein and energy requirements are also met with the help of hay. But how much hay should your horse eat each day and what type of hay is right for your horse?
According to most experts, a mature horse should eat 2 to 2.5 percent of its body weight each day, with most nutritionists recommending that at least half of this be in the form of roughage such as hay. Therefore, for a 1000-pound horse, you should feed at least 10 pounds of roughage each day. If your horse has access to grass to graze on throughout the day, you clearly do not need to provide 10 pounds of hay each day. You will, however, need to supplement the grass that is available with hay to ensure your horse is receive enough nutrients each day.
Generally speaking, there are two types of hay to select from: legume and grasses. Legume hay is higher in energy, protein, calcium and vitamin A. The nutritional needs of your horse will help you to determine which is the best option for you.