Can Horses Get Adequate Nutrition by Only Eating Grass

Can Horses Get Adequate Nutrition by Only Eating Grass?

When it comes to your horse’s nutrition, well-being, grooming, and hygiene, there seems to be unending controversy in the equestrian world. From clipping your horse to choosing your horse’s bit, it can feel like you can never get things right. Naturally, we all want what’s best for our horses. However, with so many gray areas and opinions, we all feel lost and overwhelmed at times. It’s helpful to remember that horses are like us, humans. Each of them is a unique and different being, and that what works for another horse may not essentially work for yours. As long as you provide it with unconditional love, care, tolerance, and patience, your horse will do the same. You will both be able to work together and experiment with tack and techniques that you both feel comfortable with. Though, needless to say, a horse’s nutrition is not something to be taken lightly. If you want your horse to stay healthy and thriving, you need to make sure that it is receiving sufficient nutrition. Read through our article to find out if horses can get adequate nutrition by only eating grass.

Grass and Equine Life

All equine animals have evolved so that they are able to draw out the nutrition that they need from grass. Some horses and donkeys, in particular, can obtain the necessary nutrients from coarse plants or grasses that may not typically sustain larger horse breeds. Their teeth are designed in a way that allows them to easily grind the fibers of the coarse plants. Horses have slow and long digestive systems that work efficiently to draw out the energy and nutrients that are available in the plants. While some horses can survive, and even thrive, on a relatively small amount of grass, others can starve if they keep up this diet. You should assess your horse’s weight, their level of activity, and the type of work that they do so that you can find out the type and the amount of food that they should eat. For instance, since a dressage horse does not require much energy intake, and additional fat may affect its performance, 50% of its diet should consist of forage. Meanwhile, show jumping horses participate in high-intensity, anaerobic activities and therefore need adequate glycogen supply to support their needs. If you own a draft horse, you should feed it at least 1.5% of its body weight in forage every day.

Grass and Nutrition

Can Horses Get Enough Nutrition by Only Eating Grass

Generally speaking, your horse should get sufficient nutrition if you have good quality pasture. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to this kind of high-quality grassland. Before you decide to make your grass the main source of your horse’s nutrition, you should thoroughly assess its condition. Keep in mind that poor land management, poor soil, drought, snow, overgrazing, and the harsh weather conditions in the UK, can significantly affect the quality of your soil, preventing your horse from obtaining the needed nutrition. If your pastures are not essentially top-notch, the equine nutritionists at suggest that you look into carefully curated horse feed options. This will allow you to ensure that your horse receives the right, balanced nutrition. Regardless of how well your pastures are taken care of, you need to remember that your horse will most likely need supplementary support with fodder, concentrates, or minerals, alongside the grass, for at least some part of the year. Make sure to provide your horse with mineral or multivitamin supplements, as well as hay. Keep track of your horse’s appearance and look out for any signs of weight loss. Remember that another flourishing horse’s diet may be inadequate for yours.


One of the most common problems on any equine property is overgrazing. What you can do to reduce this phenomenon is to limit the number of horses that are present on the pasture at once. You should also make it a point to rotate your pastures so that you can give them enough time to recover. Horses love grass; they will nibble on it and crop it down to the soil. If you are in summer, the hot and dry weather may cause the grass to dry out and burn before it even starts growing out. Avoid keeping too many horses in one small area, as this will encourage only the aggressive weeds to thrive. If your grass becomes overgrazed, the nutrients and minerals that the soil contains will be diminished, leaving your horses in a nutrition deficit.

Pastures, when maintained and high in quality, can potentially be your horse’s sole source of nutrition. However, you should keep in mind that you will need to provide it with supplementary nutritional support from time to time. What really determines whether your horse can thrive on pastures is its metabolism levels, level of activity, weight, and general needs.

Article written by admin

By Profession, he is an SEO Expert. From heart, he is a Fitness Freak. He writes on Health and Fitness at MyBeautyGym. He also likes to write about latest trends on various Categories at TrendsBuzzer. Follow Trendsbuzzer on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.