12 Sep Top Tips For Feeding Your Horse During Spring
Your horse’s Winter and Spring feeding program can differ significantly. Feeding your horse during Spring means that you are dealing with longer days and warmer temperatures. Usually, this involves an increase in activity.
Every horse reacts differently to its environment, making it important for you to keep on top of its nutritional needs. In this article, we’re providing you with some tips for feeding your horse during Spring, ensuring you keep it happy and healthy for longer.
Continue reading to see what you should keep an eye when Spring comes into full swing.
Every horse is different and thus its body reacts differently during winter. During the colder months, your horse could have either lost, gained or kept its weight constant. Evaluating your horse’s condition is critical, so that you are able to appropriately adjust its nutrition plan.
The best method for checking your horse’s weight is with a scale. Otherwise, if you don’t have access to a scale then utilise the body conditioning scoring (BCS) method. Ideally, your horse will have a BCS of 5 out of 9 throughout the year.
As grass becomes more mineral rich with the start of Spring, it is important that you’re not overfeeding your horse with grains that act as a supplement. It could lead to excessive weight gain and is not ideal for your horse’s health.
Vitamins, Minerals and Protein:
Ideally, your horse should be grazing in fields containing a wide array of mineral-, vitamin- and protein-rich grass. There will typically be less of a need to feed your horse with feed that usually supplements grass during Spring. Though, a balancer will ensure that your horse receives all the micronutrients it needs alongside those that the grass provides.
Grass will undoubtedly be your horse’s main source of forage throughout Spring. In fact, energy levels in grass are able to support the nutrition requirements for harder working horses. In most cases, you won’t need feed that provides your horse with boosts of energy, save for feeds that will boost your horse’s vitamins, minerals and protein.
Where grass lacks however is with its fibre contents. You would have fed your horse hay throughout the winter and it is a good idea to continue to do so during Spring. Hay is an excellent source of fibre and will also provide your horse with some variety.
Even more important than grass, but easily overlooked is water. Horse’s often get more exercise during Spring, results in greater water loss through sweat. It’s important to ensure that your water always has access to fresh, clean water that is free of contaminants.
You can add one or two tablespoons of salt if to your horse’s water if you need to encourage it to drink more. If your horse refuses to drink “unfamiliar” water then you can take your own as well. For harder working horses, consider adding electrolytes in order to help with recovery and hydration.
The change from Winter to Spring does have the potential to significantly impact your horse’s nutritional needs. By closely monitoring your horse’s condition and keeping to the tips we’ve mentioned above, you will ensure that your horse remains happy and healthy throughout spring and beyond.
Remember, these are our tips and are not meant as professional advice. For professional advice, we always recommend that you speak to your veterinarian.