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Trainer Q&A - Other Training Questions - How much hay and grain should I be feeding my new horse?

How much hay and grain should I be feeding my new horse?

Tinabishop6006 Asks:

Hi: I wanted to know how much feed and hay I should be feeding my horse on a daily basis.


Our Trainer Answers:

How much feed and grain a horse needs daily depends on his age, his work load and his general physical condition.

Young horses need a high protein diet, which includes a 16% grain feed and a high quality hay ( I like to feed my young horses, up to 2 years old, an alfalfa-grass mix hay). Weanlings need 3 lbs. of grain and 2 flakes of hay twice per day. Yearlings need 5 lbs. of grain and 2 to 3 flakes of hay twice a day.

Riding horses need a lower protein diet, which will consist of feeding a 11 to 12% protein grain and a good quality grass mix hay. I feed my lightly ridden adult horses 2 lbs. of grain and 2 flakes of hay twice a day. My training horses, which are ridden between 1 and 2 hours per day receive between 3 and 5 lbs. of grain and 4 to 6 flakes of hay twice per day.

Older horses need a senior feed for easier digestibility. Start with 2 lbs grain and 2 flakes of hay twice per day.

Always monitor your horses weight and adjust his feeding program accordingly. If you notice him gaining to much weight, cut his grain a bit. If he is losing weight increase his grain intake or choose a higher protein feed. I don't recommend to decrease his hay intake, as horses need roughage in their system to prevent colic.

Always keep fresh, clean water available as well as a salt-mineral block.

If your horse has continuous access to good pasture, you may omit feeding the hay except for during inclement weather, such as wintertime.

Thank You and Happy Trails!

Christy Mellington