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Advice from an expert on parsing feed label lingo so you can make the best nutritional choices for your horse.
By Kathy Anderson, PhD
You do your best to provide your horse with everything he needs for a healthy life, and sound nutrition is integral to those efforts. The three basic necessities--good grass and/or hay, salt and ample fresh water--are enough for many pleasure horses, but youngsters, broodmares, seniors and hard-working horses require the extra energy that grains and concentrated feeds provide.
When you purchase a ready-mixed feed, you rely on the manufacturer to formulate a nutritionally sound, high-quality ration. Yet choosing the right product for your horse requires more than just grabbing a bag of "senior feed" for an older horse, for example. It’s also important to balance what’s in the bag with the rest of your horse’s diet--such as the quantity and type of forage he eats and any supplements he might receive--as well as his activity level, special health issues, etc.
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