What Do Horses Eat?
Updated: Jun 2
If you have seen horses out grazing in a pasture, you have likely noticed that they like to eat…a lot. Whether they are grazing on lush pastureland, chomping on some hay, eating a nutritional grain meal or enjoying a special treat, the way to a horse’s heart is truly through its stomach!
Below, we will take a look at what horses eat, why they eat it and some of their favorite treats to enjoy.
Why Do Horses Eat Grass and Hay?
Horses always need to have access to roughage, such as grass and hay—this is why people will often put hay into horse’s stalls when they are put up. This is the most similar diet to what a horse’s typical feeding habits would look like, and for many horses, a grass and hay diet is enough to meet their nutritional needs.
Do Horses Need Grain?
For horses that have additional nutritional needs, using a grain-based horse feed is a great way to supplement their diet of roughage. This feed is typically made from oats, corn, barley, wheat bran or a combination of these, and provides a great way to give horses extra vitamins and minerals in their diet—plus, horses typically find their grain meals to be a highlight of the day!
Treats Horses Typically Enjoy Eating
In addition to roughage and grain, horses love getting special treats!
Some of their favorites include:
Fruits. Like humans, a lot of horses love to eat apples, bananas, grapes, cucumbers, peaches and other types of fruits! As long as the core or stone is removed, most fruits are safe and delicious for horses to enjoy.
Peppermints. Many horses like the taste of mind, so hard peppermint candies can be a great supplementary treat for them.
Vegetables. Green beans, carrots, celery and squash are veggies that many horses love to crunch on.
Salt blocks. You may have seen these pinkish-tan blocks in pastures before, as salt blocks are rather popular with horses. Like us, horses can lose salt and other minerals when they sweat, so keeping salt blocks available can ensure they can replenish these minerals when needed.
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