With cooler fall days quickly approaching, it’s time to make adjustments to our daily routines, especially when it comes to feeding our horses.
Sometimes, mistakes happen. Busy schedules get in the way. Even the best horse owners don’t always make the best feeding choices for their horses. But don’t worry, there is a quick fix to these common fall horse feeding mistakes.
1. Not Checking the Water Supply Daily
When the colder weather sets in, horses tend to drink much less than they would in the summer. Ice may start to become a problem, too, one that can be easy to overlook as summer transitions into fall.
Quick Fix: Provide your horse with warmer water during the autumn months.
2. Overlooking the Quality of Forage
Horses rely on hay and pasture, rather than grain or feed, for most of their daily calories and fiber needs. When fall comes, you may need to adjust your horse’s diet from nutrient-rich pasture grass to quality hay and supplements.
Quick Fix: Buy fresh, leafy grass hay. It tastes better to horses and provides better nutritional value.
3. Adding Too Many Supplements
Either extreme — providing too many vitamins (and sweet feed) or not enough — is an easy mistake to make when transitioning your horse to a fall feeding schedule.
Quick Fix: Talk to your veterinarian before making major dietary changes.
4. Immediately Changing Your Horse’s Diet
Speaking of adjusting from pasture to hay, it’s important to make steady, gradual changes to your horse’s diet. If your horse has been eating pasture during the summer, slowly add hay and other supplements to the feeding routine.
Quick Fix: Add about 25% of the new feed to your horse’s old feed every couple of days.
5. Not Sticking to a Schedule
Horses thrive on routine. Their feedings should be scheduled at the same time each day. Sometimes, like with a move to a new home, the transition period can lead to a lapse in a feeding routine.
Quick Fix: When moving with horses, keep the routines as consistent as possible before, during, and after your move.
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