Concentrates are grain mixtures formulated specifically for horses as a concentrated source of energy (calories). They provide much more energy per pound than hay or pasture, so be careful not to overfeed these. The horse’s digestive tract is not equipped to handle large meals of starchy carbohydrates, so it is best to feed only small amounts of grain at a time, preferably dividing them into at least three meals a day. This will still keep your horse at a good weight. Most lightly worked horses will maintain condition from high-quality hay or pasture grazing alone. Only horses in moderate or heavy work will need the added calories supplied by grain. If you opt to feed concentrates, do not exceed the amount specified by the manufacturer, and store feed in air-tight containers where loose horses and barn pests cannot get into it.

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This article originally appeared in the 2010 issue of Horses USA. Click here to purchase a copy.

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Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider since 2007, and in August 2019, she took over as head editor. She’s been instrumental in the production of both magazines and helped Horse Illustrated win a 2018 American Horse Publications Media Award in the General Excellence Self-Supported Publication (circulation 15,000 and over) category. Before getting involved in the editorial side of print media, she worked as an award-winning ad copywriter for Thoroughbred Times magazine. Caccamise has her MS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, where she studied equine nutrition and exercise physiology, and her Bachelor’s from UCLA in Biology. Caccamise has also worked as a research assistant, horse camp counselor teaching riding and vaulting, and as a top-level show groom in the eventing world, where she continues to compete her horse, Artie, at the lower levels.


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