How to Give Your Horse the Right Supplements

Horses, like humans, require a daily intake of various nutritional needs, and must obtain these vitamins and minerals either through their food stuffs, or through supplements. Depending on the horses age, work load, medical requirements and a weight, each horse needs to be assessed individually.


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    Roots and Fruits ~
    • Fruit and vegetables should be fed in moderation. Horses primary feed stuffs should be roughage - hay and grass is ideal, along with extra feeding (hard feeds) if required.
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    Fruit and vegetables should be kept to a minimum, and fed more as a treat than a 'daily' need. Too much will result in a spike of sugar levels, which may result in founder, or steps towards obesity.
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    Cod-liver Oil ~ Before adding anything to the horses diet, get an equine nutritionist to have a look over the dietary plan. You may not need to add anything extra, or you may need some extra supplements in certain areas.
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    If you just start adding different supplements because your friend told you to, you could upset the levels, which can result in a change in energy levels, coat changes, personality changes, and greater effect the body.
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    Molasses ~ This is not a supplement, but a sugary treat. It's recommended that if you are traveling, to mix a little bit into the water, as some horses do not like to drink 'new' or 'different' water from new places. This will mask any 'new' tastes to the water, and ensure he or she gets hydrated.
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    Not recommended for daily use as it is very sugary - this could result in hyper activity, founder (hoof related issues), and lead to being over weight.
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    The Salt Lick ~ Provide this at all times. It is an important part of a horse's diet. Mostly fed in winter, the salt lick gives the horse a little salt whenever he feels that he needs it.


  • Do not feed a horse any large amount of apples. Fence off apple trees in a horse's paddock.
  • Do not make it a regular routine to feed your horse a treat after riding or before riding, or anywhere else regularly. When you come to the place where you feed your horse a treat, it may start to expect the food each time that you come, and it may nip and stomp to say that it wants food. This can be the beginning of a bad behavioral pattern.
  • Avoid risks like feeding large chunks of food to a horse, as this may cause choking.
  • Find out from your vet if your horse is allergic to any of the foods stated in the article above.
  • You might want to ask your veterinarian about the right dietary plans for your horse's specific needs. Every horse is different, and make sure that your horse's dietary plan meets the amount needed for its exercise program. This is important especially where your horse is sick, pregnant, lactating, aging, under stress, etc.


  • When using molasses, do not inject molasses into a horse. Use molasses in oral medications only.
  • Make sure you RESEARCH every fruit and vegetable you want to feed your horse, there are lots of good foods for them, but there are also LOTS of bad ones. Avocado, for example, is very toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit
  • Roots
  • Molasses
  • Corn oil
  • Cod-liver oil
  • Salt lick (block)
  • Box or Stall
  • Feed Bucket
  • (Each Supplement Is Optional)
  • Pick only one oil (optional)
  • Fruits and Roots

Article Info

Categories: Horse Feeding