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With so many Different Types of Horse Feed, What Should You Feed Your Horse With?

Updated on May 13, 2011

What to Feed a Horse & Different Types of Horse Feed

Feeding Horses Hay and Haylage

Hay horse feed is without a doubt the most popular and widely used types of horse food. Hay or grass makes up as one of the highest percentages of the horse's overall diet. It's important to feed your horse’s only hay of high quality. When feeding horses hay, the grass should never have weeds or dust mixed in with their hay. The most common types of hay horse feed include examples like soft meadow hay and vacuum packed grass called haylage which is highly nutritional for horses to eat, but haylage is often mixed with other forms of hay horse feed as well.

Feeding Horses Oats

When you’re feeding horses oats the food should be full of high nutritional value with diet essentials such as fiber. It's best not to feed horse’s whole oats because of the way its whole oats are digested. Horses should eat oat feed that is bruised, rolled, crushed, or something else along those lines.

Feeding Horses Barley

There are a large number of ways of going about feeding horses barley. Usually barely tends to be rolled or crushed, but barley can also be flaked, boiled, micronized, and extruded depending on the way that you buy horse barley. More times than not horse owners choose to supply their animals with barley over oats due to the fact that barley tends to not excite horses nearly as much as oats do. However in some cases horses can actually be allergic to barley , so just remember to keep that in mind.

horses eating leaves
horses eating leaves
horse eating grass
horse eating grass

Cube Feed

Cube feed is full of plenty necessary vitamins and minerals for the standard horse's diet. Cube feed is not only nutritious, but Cubes also come in a wide variety of styles and forms like Competition, Stud nuts, and Pony types.

Coarse Mix

Coarse Mix is very similar to cube feed and is bought in various types.

Maize Food

Maize food for horses is a high fattening horse feed that supplies horses with loads full of energy. Generally, maize food tends to fit horses that are highly active and is not just for horses that tend to spend most of their time just wondering on the open fields. Some horses that tend to be on the lesser side of active, if they're fed maize food they tend to get overly excitable. Maize food only comes in two forms which is flaked and cooked.

Sugar Beet Horse Feed

Sugar beets are both tasty and high in fiber when compared to different types of horse feed. Sugar beets should "always" be soaked in some water before feeding it to any of your horses. If you don't soak sugar beet horse feed before giving it to your horses, this can cause severe health problems like terrible colic cases. Once you soak the beets in water, immediately give them to the horses that you're feeding. Other than if you forget to soak it, Sugar beet horse feed is a wonderful way of providing your animals with high in fiber tasty food.


two horses eating
two horses eating
palomino mare and foal
palomino mare and foal

Feeding Horses Bran

Feeding horses bran takes hold of high quantities of water; plus, bran horse feed is an amazing source of fiber. Depending on how you're feeding horses bran will depend on how it affects your horses overall diets and bowel movements. For example, if you feed your horse’s bran mash this will work as a laxative. Horses should not eat all that much barn though, due to the fact that bran tends to be low in many very important nutrients to a horse's diet.

Linseed Food

Linseed Food is actually poisonous to horses if it does not go through a process before hand. In order to feed horses linseed one must soak the seeds in 3 and a half to 4 inches of water for about 12 to 12 and a half hours. Afterwards you take the linseed food and boil it for a number of hours. The Linseed should then look like it's in a jelly form. Keep in mind that horses should not eat high levels of linseed.

Why linseed food for horses is so popular though is because of the fact that Linseeds really ad to the health and appearance of a horses coat. Because linseed is a very oily type of horse food, it creates a noticeably shiny look to a horse’s coat.

Chaff Feed

Basically all chaff feed is, is just simply something along the lines of a mix of chopped up hay, some sort of straw, and sometimes even molasses is added to the combination. Chaff feed helps horses to actually eat and chew their food properly. If your horse if having problems with eating too quickly, I highly recommend giving chaff feed a shot to help your horse eat slower.


horses eating together
horses eating together


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    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 5 years ago

      My horse eats only hay. He's a pleasure horse and I ride him for about an hour every other day.

    • profile image

      georgia 5 years ago

      very good but what about pasture mix

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I don't have horses but they do show up in stories I write,

      so this information is useful in that regaard.