Nutrición del caballo
The basis of a horse’s diet is roughage (pasture, hay, etc.), so careful attention must be paid to this feature of the diet above all others. Generally, roughage accounts for 70 to 100 percent of a horse’s caloric, mineral and fiber intake. Good quality mixed (legume and grass) pasture under some form of weed reduction program is an excellent way to support horses. But, more and more, real estate prices and urbanization are leading to the use of hay as the primary source of dietary roughage for most horses in the United States. The purpose of this section is to provide some basic principles in roughage feeding to horses. Specifics concerning your horse’s activity and your local area need to be taken into account to identify the ideal diet, as sometimes certain foods are just not available. Growing, pregnant and working horses need special attention. Feeding horses isn’t very complicated when you’re armed with some basic information.
The goal of feeding horses should be to provide sufficient quality and quantity of calories and other nutritional needs for your horse’s activities. However, quality can come at such expense that it’s unaffordable. Luckily, the digestive tract and physiology of horses will allow owners to compensate for deficiencies in quality by feeding greater quantity. This approach has its limits. The best approach is to strike a balance between cost, quality and quantity.
Your Horse May Lack Variety
It’s generally assumed that the nomadic life of wild horses (and their constant ability to forage on a variety of plants) accounted for their balanced diet. This is a reasonable assumption. It also follows that if the domestic horse is fed a limited diet (a diet with a small variety), then there may be some nutritional problems to address
Expensive Diets Aren't Good Diets
Concerns of nutrition-related diseases seen in horses are secondary to concerns of dietary imbalance and overfeeding. Lack of feed is seldom a problem. Overfeeding, and supplement enthusiasm, create many nutritional problems: it is not unusual for owners to spend a great deal of money on supplements and forget that the basis of a good diet for healthy horses is roughage.
Hays and roughage generally come in four forms: legumes, grasses, cereal grain hays and residuals from food processing (e.g. sugar beet pulp).