Horse feed

A look at different types of horse feed

More and more people today are conscious of where their food comes from and look at what is in it. You should use the same care and attention for animals too. This is wise for pets, horses, and livestock. It can ensure they are happier and healthier. What we want to do here is look at horse feed in particular to cover some of the various types. Hopefully it will make it easier for you to decide what to choose.

Lots of options

Before we start looking at different products though, we want to comment on how many options there are. There are lots, from dried grass to cereals, pellets to coarse mixes. So, you have plenty of choice.

The greatest thing here is you can do some trial and error to find the best option for each horse. Your goal should be to keep them happy and healthy. Remember the experience of eating is just as important as ensuring horses actually consume the right things.


One of the most common types of feed is chaff. It is easy to spot because it looks like dry grass, hay or forage that has been cut up into small pieces. It can be a good alternative to the long stems you see with hay.

A lot of people use chaff to bulk out horse feed. It is a good option if you need to get more fibre into a horse’s diet. Plus, it is great for slow release energy. A lot of chaff will have a molasses coating too.

Lucerne or Alfalfa

This is similar to chaff and is a common alternative. It is a different type of plant but comes in a similar dried and cut way. It offers a number of the same benefits, including fibre and slow release energy. However, it also provides a good source of calcium and protein.

Sugar beet

Here we have a feed that uses the remains of the sugar beet root crop once the sugar has been extracted. You can choose it in pellets or shredded. It holds an interesting place between forage and concentrate feed.

A lot of people choose this kind of feed because it is a really good source of fibre. The energy content is also similar to grains, higher than other options due to the sugar. It is also highly palatable for horses.


You will likely hear this term or straight horse feed when you explore the options. They literally mean there is only a single ingredient in the feeds. For example, you can find straights that are oats, barley, and maize. They are usually good sources of energy and form a good part of the overall mix.

Conditioning feed

These feeds are designed specifically to help horses gain weight. They tend to focus on gaining muscle or toning in different areas. For example, there are topline feeds for building the top of the neck muscle. You can find these products in cube or coarse mix forms.

Balancer feed

Finally you can choose balancers that are high in specific nutrients but low in energy and calories. Typically you will use them in small quantities to top up feed.

Only buy high quality horse feed

The best thing to maximise horse health is to ensure you get their feed and diet right. What you need to do is factor in how much exercise and exertion there is and then ensure you provide a sufficient amount of calories. Plus, the feed must provide the right volumes of different nutrients. If it doesn’t you may need supplements.

If you are thinking about horse feed, you can come to us for some exceptional products. We have options for working and non-working horses. Contact us to learn more.