Posted: Apr 14, 2014 | Author: Health4Horses
The most basic requirement in a horse's diet is long stemmed forage, either in the form of grass during the grazing months, or as hay when not grazing.
What makes good quality hay?
If you are feeding your horse hay, the quality is just as important as the quantity. Clean leafy hay with good colour is ideal. However, faded or weathered hay can still be okay as long as it is not dusty or mouldy.
Watch out for mouldy hay or grains
Allowing horses free access to large round or square bales of hay is not recommended. This is because dust and mould can accumulate in the interior of large bales in the time it takes the horse to finish the entire bale. If the horse is given free access to these large bales, they tend to chew holes in the bales in search of the best hay. When the horse puts its head inside these holes, it creates a "breathing mask" around the nose and mouth, which means that the horse inhales dust and mould as it feeds. Mould can also be a problem with grain and supplements, so make sure they are fresh and stored properly so they do not go mouldy. And always inspect the feed before you give it your horse.