Average Cost Of Feeding A Horse

Average Cost Of Feeding A Horse


If you own horses, chances are you spend a lot of time feeding them. Here at HelperRING, we value the time it takes to care for equines and have put together this guide to explain how much money it takes to feed a horse.

What do horses eat?

Horses are herbivores, which means they eat grass and hay. Horses also eat grain and concentrates, but these are not necessary for their survival. In addition to grass and hay, horses need access to water at all times.

Different Horse feeds

There are different types of horse feed. A balanced diet is important for your horse’s health, so it’s best to consult a vet before switching out any part of their diet.

  • Hay: Horses need hay in their diets because it provides fiber, which helps the digestive system work properly and prevent colic.
  • Grain: Grain is an important source of carbohydrates (energy) for horses; however, too much grain can cause obesity or founder (when one foot sinks into soft ground).
  • Concentrates: Concentrates are other foods that can be added to your horse’s feed such as oats or corn meal


Hay is the main source of nutrition for horses, providing a good balance of nutrients like fiber and protein. It’s also a good source of calcium and potassium, as well as vitamin A.

Hay is usually fed to horses in a bale form (a large square or rectangular bundle). Depending on the type of hay you buy, it can cost $1-$15 per pound—or more!

Grass Hay

Grass hay is the most common type of hay and is a good source of nutrition. It’s a good source of fibre and protein, as well as carbohydrates. Grass hay can be used to feed horses that have different nutritional needs: pregnant mares, lactating mares, adult horses and weanlings (young horses) all need different types of food.

Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa hay is the most commonly used horse food. It’s high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Most horses prefer the taste of alfalfa to grass or legumes. In fact, if you don’t have any other choice than grass, it’s still better than not feeding your horse at all! That being said, there are some instances where alfalfa hay is absolutely necessary:

  • If your horse has allergies or digestive problems (e.g., ulcers), he may need a more balanced diet with more fiber and less grain; this will help him feel better overall. The extra fiber will also help curb cravings for non-hay foods like carrots that they shouldn’t be eating because they’re fattening

Straw Hay

For the majority of horse owners and breeders, straw hay is the main form of roughage fed to their animals. Straw hay is a by-product of the grain industry and made up of a mixture of wheat, barley, oats and rye (in varying amounts). It’s low in nutrients but high in fibre which makes it an excellent source for horses suffering from colic or gastric ulcers.

Straw hay is usually quite dusty when bought as bales. This dust can cause respiratory problems so you may want to consider storing your straw on pallets to allow better air circulation through each bale.

Timothy Hay

Timothy hay is a popular hay for horses, and it’s no wonder why: it is high in protein and fiber, which are both important for your horse’s health and the nutritional quality of his diet. Timothy hay also provides important nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.

It’s important to note that timothy hay should not be fed to your horse exclusively because it lacks essential vitamins such as B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 as well as minerals like copper and iron.

Orchard Hay

The first type of hay you should look into feeding your horse is orchard grass. Orchard grass is a high-nutrition feed that contains calcium, phosphorus and potassium—all important nutrients for growing horses. It’s also high in protein, which means horses who need to gain weight will benefit from it. You can find orchard grass at many farm supply stores and even sometimes at big box stores like Lowe’s or Target. If you’re buying online, check out websites like Haywire Ranch Supply that offers an easy-to-navigate shopping experience with fast shipping options and great customer service!

Grain / Concentrates / Commercial Feeds

If your horse is in work or training, you may have to feed him concentrates to make sure he’s getting the right amount of energy and protein. Concentrates are high in fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Horses with digestive problems can’t eat concentrates because they won’t be able to digest them properly. So if your horse has any kind of stomach problem (such as ulcers), it’s best not to feed him anything other than hay for a while until his gut recovers.


Oat hay is a good source of fiber and protein, which makes it great for horses who need to lose weight. It also has a lot of energy, which makes it great for horses that need to gain weight. Oat hay is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium—all minerals your horse needs to grow strong bones and muscles.


Corn is a cereal grain that is a good source of starch and protein. It’s also a good source of energy (calories), vitamin B-6, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium and selenium. Corn provides fiber and antioxidants.

Corn can be purchased in several forms: whole kernel corn, flaked or canned whole kernels; steam-flaked corn; cracked corn; sweetened condensed milk (corn syrup); dry-milled products such as grits, flakes and meal; bran (outer coat) separated from the germ portion with germ removed separately or both parts ground together producing germ meal or farina; gluten feed pellets (protein) which are used as an ingredient in some baked goods or processed meats instead of flour because they produce better texture

The most common uses for corn are animal feed products such as silage (green fodder), dairy cattle rations containing up to 50% dried ground shelled sweet yellow dent variety kernels with few cob fragments added back into rations at two months old when they begin eating solid foods regularly during summer months after weaning until fall when mature enough not needing anymore supplemental feed requirements due to having adequate nutrient levels stored up inside body tissues from having consumed these types


Wheat is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also a good source of magnesium, zinc, selenium and vitamin E.

Wheat is also high in manganese and copper which are important elements for horse health. The phosphorus content in wheat can be lower than other grains so it should be used in combination with other sources like corn or oats if you want to keep your horse healthy.


Barley is a good source of fiber, low in fat and high in carbohydrates. It contains plenty of protein as well as vitamins B1 and B6.


Beans are a good source of protein, fiber, calcium and iron.

Protein is an essential nutrient for strong muscles and bones. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract healthy. Calcium makes your horse’s bones strong while iron is crucial to the production of hemoglobin (the part of blood that carries oxygen). You’ll also find plenty of B vitamins in beans—a group that helps convert food into energy—plus potassium which keeps your horse’s heart beating at a steady pace.


Feeding your horse is a necessity, but it can be expensive. You may have heard that peas are one of the cheapest sources of protein and energy, but that’s not all they’re good for. Peas are also a great source of vitamins A, C and K and iron.

Peas should be fed sparingly to horses, no more than once every two weeks. Some people feed their horses peas twice per week as an alternative to hay; however this isn’t recommended because it can cause digestive problems in some horses if too much is eaten at once or on an empty stomach.

If you decide to feed peas regularly then make sure that they’re fresh (not dried or frozen). They should also be soaked overnight before feeding so that they retain moisture while helping with digestion.”


I think the key takeaway from all this should be that good grammar is a cornerstone of effective communication. It’s not a useless relic from a bygone era, and it should never be treated as such. In today’s world, when so much communication happens online, it’s easy to forget the power of language—but knowing the ins and outs of your grammatical choices still gives you a huge advantage in both the written and spoken word; it still affects how well your message reaches your audience, and how willing they are to listen. If you’re stuck on the idea that good grammar is an outdated concern of the past, let me leave you with one final thought: if your spelling and grammar are so poor that no one can understand what you’re saying, what’s the point of speaking at all?

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