feed changes cowgirl magazine

Seasonal changes, your horse’s workout schedule, and their body condition can be some of the reasons a change in feed is necessary. You may need to increase or decrease the amount or even change the type of grain altogether. All changes to your horse’s food should be done with care. Their digestion system is sensitive!

Tips for Changing Food

  • Increases or decreases in the same grain should be done at +/- 0.5 pounds per day.
  • Ideally, you’ll have some of your horse’s current feed left. This will allow you to mix the two and slowly wean off the old one.
  • Follow this ratio- first two days 75% old feed and 25% new feed, day three and four 50% old and new feed, day five and six 25% old and 75% new, and on day seven 100% new.
  • Even if their previous grain is not available, you’ll still need to adjust them to the new grain slowly. You can follow the above ratio minus mixing the old grain. Day one and two 25%, day three and four 50%, day five and six 75%, and day seven 100%.
  • You may want to offer extra hay or pasture to account for the lack of grain until day seven.
  • Grain isn’t the only thing you’ll want to slowly switch. New hay should also be introduced gradually. You can add 25% new every couple of days.
  • For horses new to pasture, start with 15 minutes increments each day. Once you reach four to five hours, your horse should be safe for any duration.
  • Check with your veterinarian and equine nutritionist before you make changes.

Changing your horse’s feed requires some preplanning. By gradually changing their food, you’ll prevent digestive upset or colic.