Feeding Horses

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all of the options available regarding what exactly to feed your horse? Today’s choices and varieties of commercial feeds can make choosing your horse’s diet pretty overwhelming.

There used to be hardly any options when it came to deciding what horses should be eating. If a horse was able to maintain their weight on hay and grass alone, then that is what that horse ate. If, however, a horse could not maintain a healthy weight on horse and grass, one of the only choices available was to add oats to their diet. Now, with all the different feed companies, there are many more options for feeding horses that may need more than just grass and hay.

The first thing to keep in mind regarding horse feed is that there is no right way to feed a horse. Horses are like people in the fact that each horse has different needs in terms of energy sources and calories. But unlike people, horses are herbivores and have a unique digestive tract that is very different than ours. Their long digestive system requires specific dietary needs- a high fiber diet consumed in many small amounts throughout the day. In addition, feeding your horse depends on a the horse’s age, activity level, your budget and any medical issues the horse may have. It is recommended that a horse’s diet contain no less than 1% of body weight of roughage (hay, pasture, etc). For example, a 1,100 pound horse requires at least 11 pounds of roughage.

When we think of a horse’s natural diet, we know it should consist of pasture grass and tender plants. Pasture, when well maintained, contains almost all of the nutrition that a horse needs in order to maintain a healthy weight. Pasture also contains silica, which is essential for a horse’s dental health. Unfortunately many people don’t have the ability to let our horses graze on good pasture all year round, so when grass isn’t available, alfalfa hay is the next best option. The color of hay is an important indicator of its quality and nutrient content – good hay is bright green.

If pasture and hay aren’t always available, concentrates are where we turn next. Commercially prepared foods such as small cereal grains such like oats, barley and corn continue to be commercially available, but now many feed companies produce various specialty-feed options that are all nutritionally balanced for different types of horses. These food options are convenient, but keep in mind that they spoil more quickly than a natural whole food grain. It has been found that cereal grains don’t contain a balanced nutrient profile, so they should be paired with additional fortification for the health and longevity of a performance horse. This could be beet pulp, oil or another fat supplement. Additionally, cereal grains are high in starch, and many horses’ digestive systems simply don’t cope well with large starchy meals.

In terms of amount of feed, we have found this chart from Pennsylvania State University to be extremely helpful in deciding the correct amount to feed your particular horse.

Work Hay Grain
No Work 20-25 lbs none
Light (1-2 hrs./day) 15-20 lbs 1-3 lbs (1-1.5 lbs grain/hr. of work)
Medium (2-4 hrs. /day) 15-20 lbs 3-8 lbs (1.5-2 lbs. grain/hr. of work)
Heavy (4 or more hrs/day) 15-20 lbs 5-10 lbs (1.5-2.5 lbs. grain/hr. of work)

Most people like to give their horses treats, such as apples, carrots, handfuls of grain, sugar cubes or candies. Treats are fine, but they do need to be considered as part of the overall feeding plan and kept to a minimum, especially if your horse needs to watch its weight. Also be careful of feeding your horse meat and sugar, as they may cause discomfort to your horse’s stomach.

No matter what you decide is the best feed for your horse, it is important to not overfeed or underfeed your horse. Overfeeding can lead to obesity or digestive issues such as colic, while underfeeding can be detrimental, especially for senior horses or horses with high activity levels. It is also important to remember to provide lots of clean water to your horse, especially to those who eat primarily hay.

Use Stable Secretary to keep track of what your horse is eating. Then, add staff, owners, and health providers as Team Members in your Stable to give them easy access to what Feed and Supplements each horse should receive.


Stable Secretary Announces Convenient Invoicing Upgrades for Clients and Collaboration with Equestrian Payment Solutions

For Immediate Release
Kim Beaudoin for Stable Secretary

New London, NH- October 5, 2017 – Stable Secretary, the innovative equestrian record keeping software system, is proud to announce the inception of its newest invoicing technology upgrades for Professional users. Originally created to assist barn owners and managers with record keeping needs, Stable Secretary offers easy-to-use applications to help improve the productivity of equestrian facility management.

Stable Secretary has partnered with Equestrian Payment Solutions, to create a faster and more effective payment process. The improved technology saves time, prevents mistakes, and eliminates paper waste, by recording directly into the App via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Invoices are generated quickly, and tracking of payments and balances is just a click away. The key features of the invoicing section of the app include tracking services, creating bills, tracking payments, and accepting credit card payments online.

Robin Wertlieb Schwartz, of Equestrian Payment Solutions commented, “What we are trying to do is create a number of improvements that help trainers and stable managers, to not only get paid more efficiently, but also in a timelier manner. The emphasis is on the fact that they still have to run their day-to-day business, but cash flow will be improved now that they have this vehicle to provide to clients.”

The company is also working on tools for exporting records and income to QuickBooks, and hopes to launch this pro-active feature by the end of October.

“The feature also offers options for their customers,” continued Schwartz, “So they are able to use multiple forms of payment, via check or credit card. In the future, we hope to incorporate a place for fixed fees, where customers can be put on automatic recurring billing. The fixed fee is for services that are current, while the invoicing focuses on services that have already been provided.”

The invoicing also features new and innovative details, that include links from invoices to payment opportunities, as well as linkage to individual company websites that syphon to direct payment plans.

For more information, and to learn more about Stable Secretary, please visit www.stablesecretary.com.
The objective of Stable Secretary is to improve the health and performance of horses, enable communication between clients, staff, and vendors, and ultimately increase revenues for businesses. With the activation of the newest invoicing system, Stable Secretary is able to increase this mission in a positive way.

Press Release: StableSecretary Set to Donate Profit Percentages to Breast Cancer Research Foundation Throughout October

For Immediate Release
Kim Beaudoin for Stable Secretary

New London, NH- October 1, 2017– This month, Stable Secretary, the innovative equestrian record keeping software system, pledges to donate $5 per sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation throughout the month of October.

Customers may use the promo code “BCRF2017” at their time of purchase on products including custom Stable Secretary Pink Ribbon hats, as well as the Stable Secretary application itself. Stable Secretary’s software and mobile app let users view and add horse information, health and service records, and files anywhere, anytime. The interface makes your records easy to manage, and invoicing feature makes billing simple.

This year, Stable Secretary’s contributions will honor the memory of Elizabeth Solter. Elizabeth was a beloved daughter, mother, sister, wife, and friend to many.  Horses and people loved her, and she truly lived life to the fullest. Read more about Elizabeth at equiery.com.

“I wanted to donate to breast cancer research because I have several friends, and a family member, who have been affected by the disease,” commented Stable Secretary owner, Kate Rice. “When I was young, my aunt died of Breast Cancer, and as a result I never really got to know her well, and my cousins lost their mom.  As an adult, it has been incredibly sad to watch my friends afflicted with the disease, and their family members too, go through the anxiety, sadness, and sickness associated with the whole cycle of the disease.”

Breast cancer knows no age, gender or race. As the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall, it remains a fact of life. Nearly 1.7 million women around the globe were diagnosed in 2012, and incidence rates are on the rise.

Rice continued, “I was – and still am – so sad when Elizabeth Solter, who was a friend and mentor to me, lost her life to the disease a few years ago. That being said, I want to do what I can to rally support and funding for research to find treatments.”

Every subscription or hat that customers purchase throughout the month of October, will provide important funds to help save lives – and will be appreciated by many.

For more information, and to learn more about Stable Secretary, please visit www.stablesecretary.com.

The objective of Stable Secretary is to improve the health and performance of horses, enable communication between clients, staff, and vendors, and ultimately increase revenues for businesses. Save time, stress, and money with Stable Secretary.

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