Skip to main content
Feeding Growing Horses
The feeding program of the young, growing horse is critical to the structural and muscle development of the horse. During the first 12 months, over 90% of mature height and 66% of mature weight are attained. Properly fortified feeding programs can make a huge impact on the fitness of the growing and developing horse. Inadequate or imbalanced feeding programs can have disastrous consequences for the horse, sometimes permanently altering the functionality of the horse. Forage First® feed programs are aligned to supply the nutrients lacking in forage, the horse’s base diet, to encourage optimal, healthy growth.

Nursing Foals
Dam’s milk provides a great source of nutrients; however, at 2 to 3 months of age, the nutrients needed to sustain a good, healthy growth rate for the foal exceed nutrients supplied by mare’s milk. To bridge the nutrient gap, creep feeding has become common practice. Creep feeding also makes the weaning transition easier since the foal will be accustom to eating a concentrate feed.

The period between weaning and one year of age is very critical in the development of bone and muscle. The proper diet can have a significant impact on the foal. The diet will depend on the goals of the horse owner, with foals that are intended for yearling sales and shows often needing greater attention to the nutritional impact of the diet on muscle growth, bone development and hair coat condition.

Proper nutrition is still vital as the yearling continues to grow, just at a slower pace. The ratio of forage to concentrate during this phase will depend on the owner’s goals. If high performance is the goal, then the yearling may be fed more concentrate while a yearling destined for pleasure or to become a broodmare may be fed a higher forage to concentrate ratio diet.

A well-balanced, nutritionally solid diet is still important especially considering maximum bone strength is still being developed and continues until the horse is 4 to 7 years old. For two-year-olds in training, the diet must also supply sufficient energy in a form readily available to the horse, such as stabilized rice bran, vegetable oil and highly digestible, fermentable fibers.

Refer to Usage & Feeding Guidelines under the “Resources” section for recommended products to feed to growing horses. Additional energy can be supplied with HEALTHY GLO® or MOORGLO®.