by Pat McCarty of Stall Grazer published in the Horsemens Corral November 2019
In order to understand how to best feed our horses, it’s important to understand how a horse is naturally programmed to eat.
Horses are grazing animals. Their composition & digestion are based on being able to eat with their head closer to ground level. Similarly, they are intended to graze for approximately 17 hours per day. Being able to eat low to the ground and graze over most of the day is something that is natural to the species.
These days, most horses will spend a much more significant part of their lives in stalls or in paddocks and pastures that do not resemble the grazing lifestyle intended by nature. Many designs of feeders attached higher on the wall, do not take into account that the horses teeth will not come into alignment until their head is down. That being the case, much hay is wasted when it is placed too high up because the horse will pull it down and then eat it off the ground.
Another issue with an eating program that doesn’t consider that horses are supposed to graze a large part of the day is colic potential. Horses are intended to have food in the gut most of the day, but when feeding is done only twice a day with a high amount of concentrates versus forages, they will gorge themselves. This means that they will spend a good part of the day without food working through their system which leaves them at risk to colic.
When a horse eats so quickly, the hay and its nutrients are passed through the stomach with a very low degree of efficiency. If the acids in his stomach are not working on the digestion of forage for a significant amount of the day, it poses a risk for developing ulcers.
The Stall Grazer 3 in 1 Horse Feeder serves as a grazing station for your horses. It is designed to allow the horse to eat at ground level, putting the horses head in the natural grazing position. The feeder has a capacity to hold a full day’s worth of the feed and will virtually eliminate wasted hay. Keeping forage in the feeder at all times, most horses will soon learn how to self-regulate their hay consumption and return to a more natural way of eating. A natural slow feeder!
Start feeding your horse the way nature intended with the Stall Grazer 3 in 1 horse feeder.
Written by Pat McCarty of Stall Grazer. Stall Grazer horse feeders are in stock and available at Cashmans Horse Equipment located at 1646 US Hwy 42 in Delaware, OH or online anytime at www.cashmans.com Cashmans Horse Equipment is Celebrating 40 years serving and educating the equine community. Bringing you the best quality products at the best prices since 1979.