What do I need to consider in terms of nutrition as the grass changes in autumn/winter?

As autumn begins, grass growth slows, and its nutritional profile becomes deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Horses tend to spend more time stabled, and as a consequence it’s an important time to supplement their forage ration (grass, hay or haylage).

Every horse is an individual, and we should feed according to their condition and workload, but as a general guide 2 to 2.5% of their body weight can be fed daily for weight maintenance.

An average 500kg horse could be fed around 10kg to 12.5kg total feed/day, aim for 80% of this to be forage (approx. 8kg to 10kg).

Additional forage provision allows your horse to maintain a healthy gut as a trickle feeder, fermentation in the hind gut keeps your horse warm, so serves a very important role, BUT hay and autumn/winter grass is typically low in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so ensure the rest of your horse’s diet is balanced to compensate for this. The inclusion of probiotics in your horse’s diet also allows them to utilise the most of their forage ration.  

For those who lose weight more easily in the colder months, good quality protein is vital and as hay is commonly low in this, look for additional feed with high quality protein content, and oils such as Blue Chip Native, Original or Pro, alongside alfalfa based products.

For horses who gain weight easily, use the winter to kick start your weight loss plan before the spring. Feed a forage based diet, supported by a low sugar and starch content balancer, such as Lami Light.

Horses need MORE water in colder weather. Adding water to feed and/or providing a mash is a great way to help your horse stay hydrated.

For feeding advice we are here to help you.

Contact us by phone 0114 266 6200, by email info@bluechipfeed.com, or through social media, where we have active Facebook and Instagram accounts, just search for Blue Chip Feed.

Pictured: Chrissie Wynne's 24 year old Minnie, fed on Blue Chip.

Blue Chip Native (16% Protein), Blue Chip Original (18% Protein) and Blue Chip Pro (20% Protein) also Blue Chip Lami Light - The Ultimate Diet Balancer, using top quality functional ingredients.

Back to blog