Horse feed is made up of all kinds of ingredients. In fact, different feed mills put very different ingredients in their feed. Knowing what to feed your new four-legged friend, and how much, is all based on what kind and brand of feed you are using. Depending on the size of your horse, the age of the horse, and whether or not the horse has any dietary restrictions or sensitivities, will dictate what feed you give your equine friend. For the sake of argument, let's say that your new horse is about four years old, weighs around fourteen-hundred pounds, and has no dietary restrictions. That said, you can feed your horse the following: 


Horses are herbivores. They primarily eat only "greens," with the singular accidental ingestion of a bug that clings to blades of grass or hay. Your horse needs a minimum of about six pounds of pasture grass or hay daily. A single hour in the pasture is enough for a hungry horse to get close to the necessary amount of grass that it needs. If you do not put your horse out to pasture, he/she will need that much hay, split in half and served in the morning and at night. This grass or hay is the necessary roughage your horse is going to need to clear the bowels of food and waste.


Horses could live on grass alone, but they would be mineral and vitamin deficient doing so. Feed provides a lot of what horses still need that they cannot get from hay or pasture grass. In most feed, you have some high-carb fuel from oats, barley, and wheat, flavored with molasses.

The molasses itself also has some vitamins that are vital to your horse's health, so if your horse does not like molasses (which is very unusual), you may have to find another way to get these nutrients into your pet. Dried whey is added for protein, but it may be substituted with soybeans or soybean oils infused into the grains. Alfalfa and hay bits plus millet is good for your horse's stomach too. Look for a high-quality feed that also contains some fats, since fats are not extracted from hay or grass. About three to five pounds of feed daily is acceptable. If your horse has been working out or has been out for a ride, you can feed him/her a little extra feed to help replace lost nutrients from exercise.

Lots of Water and a Salt Lick

Horses need a lot of water. The water helps move all of that feed, hay, and/or grass through their digestive tracts. Horses also need the salt, a mineral they cannot get any other way besides through a salt lick.