Natural instinct

Written by Alexandra Wesker on 08 August, 2016

Published in Horse Magazine, June 2015 issue.

Discover how following a more natural feeding regime can make your horse healthier and happier, says equine nutritionist Alexandra Wesker.

It is early in the morning and a herd of wild horses have already been grazing for several hours. The sun filters through the trees and the air is filled with the sweet anticipation of another warm day of eating grass. Later on, when the sun is at its highest, the horses will find shelter in the shade of the trees. They will take a nap, before continuing grazing in the cooler air of the afternoon and into evening. Then they will rest longer over night, in preparation for another day ahead.

This is the daily pattern of horses in the wild, whose lives are filled with open spaces full of interest and who have freedom to stretch their legs. Perhaps best of all, they have access to fresh grass all day long, even if they have to search for it.

Horses are very well equipped for living a natural lifestyle – the neck and back can hold the head in the grazing position for a long time without using much energy. The digestive system is built for a huge intake of low-energy feed each day. And the brain and hormones form strong emotional bonds between the horses that keep the herd together.

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categories: wellbeing, nutrition, behaviour
tags: natural-feeding, roughage, fibre, hindgut-health, stomach-health, nutritional-requirements

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