In the wild, horses spent most of their day as part of a herd, roaming and foraging on variable pastureland. As non-ruminant herbivores they are well-suited to this high fibre, low starch diet. They grazed continuously and rarely ever fasted for more then 2 – 4 hours and instead would feed voluntarily for up to 16 – 18 hours a day.
Today, what, when and how horses eat is determined by us.
We therefore have to take full responsibility for the effects that our choices in feeding have on the overall health and wellbeing of our horses.
Good nutrition is fundamental as the horse’s whole psychological and physiological system relies upon a continuous supply of the correct food.
Horses can suffer from psychological stress – manifested in weaving, crib-biting, box-walking, rug-chewing – or physiological disorders such as colic, choke or digestive upsets – as a direct result of an inappropriate feeding regime.
Good equine nutrition, therefore, has to remember the ‘gut design’ of our horses; the effects that this has on their psychology; as well as producing powerful performance results.