Horses are beautiful animals and their physical characteristics of a lean body, being extremely strong and powerful add to their appeal and are a favorite among many to house as pets.
Horses not only serve as great pets but are also being used since ages for doing a lot of hard work as these animals possess great stamina and strength. It is also for this reason that their demand increased for various sports and events like endurance riding, 3 day events, open jumper, racehorse, games jumper and so on. Due to the range of activities that these horses perform, their diet plays a crucial role in staying healthy.
They need the required intake of nutrients in order to be able to grow, produce and reproduce. You also need to keep in mind that the nutritional needs vary for different horses and that is why it is very difficult to determine an exact proportion. The needs are primarily influenced by the age and size, the health, nature and condition of the horse and so on.
Vitamins are minerals are a must for performance horse nutrition and these should be included apart from feeding them quality food. However, most horse owners do not know the importance of feeding them the required minerals and vitamins.
Selenium, copper, iron, calcium, salt, phosphorous, magnesium, iodine, zinc and potassium are a few minerals that are essential for horse nutrition. Vitamins that are useful for horses are vitamin A, D, E, K and C to name a few. Vitamin E is very beneficial wherein it is known to increase the stamina of the horse to a great extent. Selenium is important to maintain the muscles of horses and thus should be included in the diet but be careful of not overdoing it as an excess amount of it may be harmful to their health. A pasture of good quality is very important for performance horse nutrition as it provides them with all the vitamins, proteins and fiber. They are also very beneficial as they provide excellent source of energy and aid in better digestion. Horse food should consist of hay or pasture every single day and 50 percent of it should preferably consist of forage. You know that the hay you are feeding your horse is of good quality if it is a little green in color, does not contain moulds and dust, has a sweet smell and has a high leaf as compared to the stem.