What do horses eat most?

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By Rachel

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Horses are herbivores and munch on hay, grass, and grains. But not all food is created equal, so it’s crucial to choose high-quality and nutrient-dense options. These majestic creatures also need fresh, clean water and may need vitamin and mineral supplements. It’s important to stick to a feeding schedule, with hay always available, and exercise is a must for their health. Keep these things in mind, and your horse will be healthy and happy. Giddy up!

What do horses eat most?

As a horse enthusiast, one of the most important aspects of taking care of your horse is making sure they have a healthy and balanced diet. But what exactly do horses eat most?

First and foremost, horses are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. Their diet consists mainly of hay, grass, and grains. However, it’s important to note that not all hay, grass, and grains are created equal. The quality and nutritional value of these foods can vary greatly depending on where they come from and how they are processed.


Hay is the most common food for horses, and it’s important to choose the right type of hay for your horse’s needs. Timothy, orchard, and alfalfa are the most common types of hay, with alfalfa being the most nutrient-dense. However, alfalfa can also be high in protein and calcium, which can lead to health problems if not balanced with other types of hay.

When choosing hay, look for bales that are green and free of dust and mold. Horses should have access to hay at all times, as it helps keep their digestive system healthy and prevents boredom.

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In addition to hay, horses also eat fresh grass. Grazing is a natural behavior for horses and allows them to get exercise while eating. However, not all grass is safe for horses to eat. Certain types of grass can be toxic and cause health problems.

It’s important to make sure the pasture where your horse grazes is free of poisonous plants and weeds. Additionally, horses should be gradually introduced to new pastures to prevent digestive upset.


Grains, such as oats, corn, and barley, can also be a part of a horse’s diet. However, grains should only make up a small portion of their diet and should be balanced with hay and grass.

When feeding grains, it’s important to make sure they are properly processed and free of mold. Overfeeding grains can lead to health problems such as colic and laminitis.

Horse health and nutrition advice

In addition to choosing the right types of food for your horse, there are other factors to consider when it comes to their health and nutrition.


Water is essential for a horse’s health and should be available at all times. Horses can drink up to 10 gallons of water per day, so it’s important to make sure they have access to fresh, clean water.

Vitamins and minerals

Horses also need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. While hay and grass provide some of these nutrients, it’s often necessary to supplement their diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine the right supplement for your horse’s needs.

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Feeding schedule

Horses should be fed on a regular schedule to prevent digestive upset. It’s recommended to feed horses at least twice a day, with hay available at all times.


Exercise is also important for a horse’s health and can help prevent obesity and other health problems. Horses should be given regular opportunities to exercise, either through riding or turnout in a pasture.

In conclusion, a horse’s diet should consist mainly of hay, grass, and grains, with a focus on choosing high-quality and nutrient-dense options. Additionally, water, vitamins and minerals, feeding schedule, and exercise are all important factors to consider when it comes to a horse’s health and nutrition. By taking the time to carefully consider these factors, you can help ensure your horse stays healthy and happy for years to come.

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