Horses have unique digestive systems that are designed to process good-quality forages. In order to feed our horses properly to meet their maintenance, work, growth and reproduction requirements, we must have an understanding of the equine digestive tract and horse feeds.

Mother Nature’s Design For Feeding Horses

A horse’s stomach makes up only a small portion of the entire digestive tract. This small stomach is designed to continuously process small amounts of forage and feed. When horses are fed large meals, many digestive disorders–such as colic, founder, ulcers, and tying-up–can result.

What’s best to feed your horse—oats, pellets, sweet feed?

All Grains Are Not Created Equal
You love that smell and look of fresh, plump oats, bright yellow corn and sweet smelling molasses in your feed, and so does your horse. (Just like kids love McDonald’s) But , is this diet good for your horse? What is in your feed? How will your horse react to what you feed him every day?

Does your horses’ daily diet provide him with the nutrients he needs to maintain a healthy immune system?

Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that energy must come from grains. In fact, of the four categories of horse feeds, grains are a poor second to fats and provide only slightly more energy per pound than ferment- able fibers (like soybean hulls and beet pulp) and good-quality hays. This means that grains supply only 35% as much energy as fats. However, corn and barley provide even less energy when they are not processed, due to their low pre-cecal starch digestibility. Soybean hulls, meal, and oil all contain estrogens, which we would prefer not to feed our horses. Corn always has a certain percentage of Aflatoxin in it. In animals, aflatoxin inside the corn kernels can cause everything from an upset stomach to pregnancy loss, and even seizures and death. I prefer not to chance feeding any corn. Beet pulp needs to have the sugar extracted from it. You do not want to feed your horse molasses or any other complex carbohydrates.

ADM Equine Nutrition has the correct formula for your horse. ADM believes in ‘Forage First’. From a scientific standpoint, horses are classified as non-ruminant herbivores, with digestive tracts designed to best utilize good-quality forages. Wild horses grazed as their only source of nutrients. With domestication, we’ve modified horses’ eating habits–yet their digestive tracts haven’t changed. In fact, substantial research shows that feeding programs relying too heavily on cereal grains, with limited forage, often result in health and performance problems. ADM’s unique Forage First approach is specifically designed to make it easy to feed your horse as nature intended.

I like the ADM feeds because the company puts a lot of time and money into testing their feeds, they make their feeds as a supplement to hay; realizing that forage is the most important part of the horse’s diet, they keep the starch in their feed as low as possible, they keep sugar to a minimum, and they have a great quality control program. Their products always are made from the same components, unlike many of the feeds that use the lowest cost products to make up the percentages on their label.

A very good feeding program is ADM Patriot 14% combined with ADM Gro Strong minerals. This program is very comprable in price to what you are feeding now.

ADM feeds that we recommend and carry:

  • PATRIOT 14P – is a fortified, highly palatable grain mix in pellet form, which provides 14% protein and14% fiber in a fixed ration that ensures product consistency and dependable nutrient sources. This product is a grain mix specifically designed for mature performance horses and broodmares.
  • PATRIOT JUNIOR (16P) – is a grain mix specially designed for foals up to 18 months of age, and is also suitable for gestating and lactating broodmares. It also is fortified, highly palatable grain mix in pellet form that is 16% protein, and 14% fiber in a fixed ration.
  • PATRIOT SENIOR – is a high-quality, palatable, complete, grain-forage feed in easy-to-chew-pellet form, which provides 14% protein and 20% fiber. It is formulated to meet the special nutrient needs of senior horses and provides a substantial amount of highly digestible fiber, allowing it to be fed without additional forage when fed according to label directions. It is an ideal product to use for the senior horses when forage supplies are scarce or of inferior feeding value.
  • POWERGLO – is a protein-vitamin-mineral fortified, pelleted feed, which provides concentrated energy from NATURAL GLO, Soy Shine, and Omega Flax. It is the perfect combination of fats, digestible fibers, and non-structural carbohydrates for elite performance horses and can be used in growing horses and broodmare rations.
  • SENIORGLO – is specialized energy blend product, contains NATURAL GLO, the original stabilized rice bran, which is considered the best source of beneifical dietary fat for horses. This product DOES NOT contain Corn, and is formulated by combining Natural Glo, Shoy Shine, and Omega Flax with the protein, vitamin, and mineral sources to produce a unique feed that is more energy dense, thus lowereing the feeding rate compared to traditional grain-based horse feeds. SENIORGLO is formulated for Senior horses but it is also EXCELLENT for GROWING horses and broodmare rations.
  • NATURAL GLO – stabilized rice bran, which provides 20% fat from rice oil. A Highly digestible form of energy that contains powerful antioxidants and a significant amount of natural source of vitamin E. A complete hypoallergenic protein(13%), rich source of B-complex vitamins, and improves body condition of thin horses. Can reduce the risk of digestive disorders, such as tying up, founder, colic, associated with feeding large amounts of grain. The use of dietary fat reduces the thermal load in working horses, resulting in better stamina and endurance.
  • MOORGLO – is a very palatable, pelleted, low starch, high-energy supplement made from the three best fat sources for horses, NATURAL GLO, Stabilized rice bran, Soy Shine soybean lipids, and Omega Flax processed flaxseed. This product provides Prosponse Yeast, and a natural source of vitamin E with a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio. This product does just as the Natural Glo does to reduce the risk of digestive disorders such as tying up, founder, and colic, associated with feeding large amounts of grain. It improves body condition and gives better stamina and endurance for all work loads.
  • STAYSTRONG METABOLIC MINERAL PELLETS – are built upon the rock-solid foundation of GROSTRONG Minerals (since 1925) with electrolytes and enhanced with direct fed microbials to boost foregut efficiency and Prosponse brewers dried yeast, known to improve digestibility of forage components in the hindgut. Less acidity and stress in the hindgut with more efficient digestive activity-reducing the risks of the number one and two killers (colic and founder) of horses. An added bonus with this product is the CORN-. ALFALFA-, AND MOLASSES-FREE FORMULA, which allows “easy keepers” and starch-sensitive horses to receive needed nutrients without the extra calories and starch commonly found in traditional horse feeds.
  • GROSTRONG MINERALS – provide the necessary minerals and vitamins to complement forages and grains, enabling horses to reach their performance potential. It provides a balanced, scientifically formulated complex of 27 minerals and vitamins formulated specifically for horses. Mineral and vitamin supplementation is necessary for horses for several reasons such as required for digestion utilization of feedstuffs, and for metabolic processes, mineral depletion of soils, mineral and vitamin content of forages varies greatly, and due to vitamin-mineral interactions, these nutrients need to be supplied in the correct amounts and proportions to achieve optimum performance. These product can be purchased in a loose form, block form or in a tub with protein called Pro Vitamin Tub.

For easy keepers, you can feed ADM Staystrong minerals, which will not make them heavier, but will provide them with the vitamins and minerals that they need. One very small cup provides the easy keeper with a balanced nutritional program.