Feeding a horse should be based on a natural and appropriate diet – this is one of the key principles for maintaining a healthy equine partner as part of your natural horse care program.
Nutrition is a huge subject that’s both a science and an art. Keeping that in mind, it’s not realistic to cover such a subject in great detail in a short article, however, what I can cover are some basic elements you need to consider when it comes to feeding a horse naturally.
In my opinion, diet is one of the most important ingredients in overcoming health problems in our horses as well as in ourselves.
As I mention in my article on foundational nutrition, I’ve found that the key to a horse staying consistently healthy is to help you understand that there’s a foundational level of health that a horse must obtain. By providing good foundational nutrition on a regular basis, common health problems are usually decreased or become non-existent.
Most horses are not on a good foundational nutrition program. Over time, this can cause various problems to arise due to feeding a horse an unnatural and inappropriate diet.
When I talk about foundational nutrition, most people think it’s just about giving your equine partner hay, the most popular processed feed on the market, and a mix of supplements that do not provide optimally bio-available forms of minerals – this is far from the truth.
What is fed to horses today is highly processed and not in-line with what their bodies need to stay healthy. Most people feed their equine companion like they feed themselves, which are highly processed foodstuffs that contain little or no nutritional value.
Nature’s Foundation for Health
The importance of nature’s foundation for health is something that’s usually overlooked (although not intentionally) by most equine guardians.
If a horse’s body does not get what it needs from foods, the body cannot function, health declines, symptoms worsen and in the end your equine partner may prematurely die.
A return to health must begin with a change of diet.
We must feed our horses more fresh, raw, non-processed (or minimally processed) whole foods and provide minerals created by nature, not those created in a laboratory or blended by a feed mill. In addition, we need to supplement our horses in order to replace what is missing and to pay back the nutritional debts created by years of poor diet.
When I say supplement, we must be careful because just like food, supplements can also be highly processed, resulting in the loss of the natural co-factors necessary for the body to utilize them. The nutrients we feed to our horses must be in an optimal bio-available form.
The nutrients within foods work synergistically to provide the body the tools it needs to maintain optimal health.
Keep in mind, as I said above, that supplements and other products you buy for your equine companion can be heavily processed, which cancels out the majority of the nutritional value. By understanding that fundamental concept, and learning how to properly read labels, you will be able to intelligently select nutrients to include in your horse’s diet that will help her thrive.
When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.” ~ Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb
To insure that your equine partner is getting all the nutrients her body need, you must first provide nature’s foundation for health. I cover this subject in a more detail in my book Guiding Principles of Natural Horse Care, click here to get your copy.
Keep it soulful,