You can figure out what your horse is getting from his grain — just follow these three easy steps!
1 Weigh In
If you already know how many pounds of grain your horse eats per day, kudos! You can skip to Step 2. If you’re not sure, it’s time to weigh in. Grain rations are always based on weight (as in pounds), not volume (as in quarts). If you’re feeding by quarts or “scoops,” put your horse’s normal daily ration into a light plastic bag and weigh it (shipping scales work great). If you don’t have a scale, we recommend the SureScoop.
2 Check the Label
Most feeds will list how many pounds of grain should be fed per 100 pounds of your horse’s body weight, depending on his workload. Start by dividing your horse’s weight by 100, then multiply that number by the serving recommended for your horse’s age and workload. The resulting range is the amount of grain that would be required per day to meet all of your horse’s nutrient requirements.
Smartie the SmartPak Horse
Weight: 1100 pounds
Workload: Heavy Exercise
Daily grain ration: 4 lbs (AM & PM total)
1100 pounds/100 = 11
11 x 0.6 to 0.8 lbs = 6.6 to 8.8 lbs/day
Because Smartie is only getting 4 lbs of grain and the minimum serving size for his workload is 6.6 lbs, his daily ration is not meeting his nutrient needs.
3 Measuring Up
If your horse’s normal daily ration falls within the range you calculated, you’re good to go! His daily diet is already meeting his nutritional needs. If, however, your horse’s daily grain is coming up short, that doesn’t mean you need to up his grain. If your horse is maintaining his weight and his energy level is good, instead of increasing his grain, consider adding a multi-vitamin or ration balancer. These supplements can “fill the gap,” providing the additional nutrients he needs, without the extra calories and energy he doesn’t!
3 reasons your horse might not be getting a full serving of fortified grain
- He is overweight or gains weight easily
- He gets more than one type of grain or a “mixed ration”
- He is high energy or “hot”