The Importance of Nutrition for Your Horse

Horses, like human beings, will perform at peak performance when their nutrition is in check. We all know that human beings need to eat a balanced diet meal every day to not only survive but also function at their best. Horses too, considering that those who tame them often rely on them either for recreational or domestic purposes, need a balanced diet every day to function at their best. Whether it’s riding it around the farm while doing chores, or preparing one to win the next race, you should consider what and how you are feeding your horse. If you are not getting the results you expect, especially if at one point you were getting good results, there’s probably something wrong with what or how your horse is eating, or both. In the next few lines, discover the significance of nutrition for your horse to get the best from it or them.

Poor Nutrition

According to Spillers, poor nutrition is the main cause of subpar performance from horses. Furthermore, horses with poor nutrition are just not very attractive to the human eye. If the females in your household no longer find your horse adorable or feel it looks funny, chances are that it’s a nutrition issue. Horses that are lacking as far as nutrition is concerned will be slower than usual in doing their routine tasks, and even their appearance won’t be pleasing; for instance, their coat won’t be as shiny as usual. Nonetheless, these are not the only signs you should look for because things are not always as they seem. If you witness any of these symptoms, you should be concerned. And to be certain of what’s really going on, you should consult your vet and get a more detailed and thorough analysis of your horse’s current state. As long as all is well and you know where you are with your horse, here are a few things you should consider and keep in check to either improve or maintain the health of your horse for peak performance.


If you are human, you must know by now that proteins are bodybuilding foods. Horses have the reputation of being one of the strongest animals in the world. Ever wondered why they were picked for pulling carriages? Even the strength and speed of vehicles are called ‘horsepower’, after the original engines; horses. Before mechanical engines, there were biological engines; horses. Anyway, proteins are essential for the building and repair of muscle in horses. Horses are used for one of two main things; either their muscles or speed. Both of these two aspects of horses involve muscle. If you want your horse to fulfill its intended purpose exceptionally, you must consider its protein intake.

Mind you, horse protein intake should be measured according to the total grams consumed in a day, and not the percentage. A good source of protein for your friend or servant are seed meals like linseed/ flaxseed, or soybean meals.


Horses are unique creatures in that when it comes to vitamins, they can synthesize the B complex vitamin, vitamin C, and K. Just to reiterate, you don’t need to provide them with these particular vitamins. However, you’ll have to ensure that your horse has enough exposure to sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. You too need sufficient exposure to sunlight for the same. Vitamins A and E are available in hay and pasture. Ensure your horse is feeding well and as far as vitamins are concerned, you’ll have little – if anything – to worry about.

Carbohydrates (Energy)

It’s amazing what horses can do. Horsing around is no joke. Imagine pulling a 1-ton load for miles, nonstop. Imagine running for miles, without rest, food, or water. Or just imagine running across a field during a battle or a sports event, for hours. It’s no joke and a lot of energy is required to keep this up. Carbohydrates and fats, subsequent to being metabolized, generate the energy that the horse uses to do these many amazing things, even dancing. Moreover, fats maintain the sleek, healthy coat on your horse that you love to look at from a distance and pass your fingers through when you are close to it. They increase the endurance of your horse when on duty; i.e. racing, working on the farm, or whatever.

A typical horse feed is a good source of fat and carbohydrates for your horse. Fat-based tablets and powders can also be used as healthy sources of carbohydrates. Also, mixing liquid oils like flax, linseed, soy, fish oils, and corn with the normal horse feed can serve as additional sources of fat and carbohydrates for your horse.


Very few animals can go for long without water and horses are not one of them. Horses need water to survive and remain in a healthy state. If you’ve watched cowboy movies before, or any movie that has a horse in the desert, you must have noticed that horses die before their human companions when the two go without water for too long. Horses need water to survive. Yours should always be near a good source of water.

And that’s the essence of it all. Ensure your horse has a balanced diet and drinks enough water, and you should have a healthy looking horse that performs exceptionally well.

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