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Feeding tips for the very special horses

Tanja Dietz


10 Min. Lesezeit

Horses come in a variety of types, each with their own unique feeding preferences. Some horses are like omnivores, eagerly devouring any feed placed in their trough without a second thought. Others are more cautious, inspecting their mash closely to ensure there are no hidden powders or pellets. And then there are the picky sensitives, who can sense a change in their feed from a mile away and refuse to touch their trough if something new is introduced. Dealing with these different types of horses can be a test of patience for horse owners. However, fear not! Our blog post is here to provide you with answers to all your feeding questions, helping you navigate the everyday life with your horse. And for even more assistance, don't forget to check out the valuable insights shared by our customers in the "Customers Helping Customers" section at the end of the post.

Disclaimer: The following text has been translated from German. It is important to note that if you have any inquiries regarding the feeding of your horse, it is always recommended to consult your veterinarian first.


1. What to feed horses with gastric ulcers?

Feeding horses with gastric ulcers requires a careful selection of their diet. It is essential to avoid grains and opt for a low-starch feed instead. The feed should be rich in fiber and high-quality fats to support the horse's digestive health. Additionally, it is crucial to steer clear of excessive sugar, acid, and irritating ingredients that can further stress the horse's stomach. By providing a carefully balanced diet, we can help alleviate the discomfort caused by gastric ulcers in horses.

2. May horses with gastric ulcers eat oats?
Oats are truly one-of-a-kind when it comes to their composition among cereals. With their notably high husk content, oats boast a rich crude fiber content that encourages horses to chew more vigorously, resulting in better salivation and digestion. This remarkable attribute not only benefits the digestive tract but also provides a protective layer of mucilage for the stomach and intestines, ensuring their well-being.


3. What is the best concentrate for horses experiencing gastric ulcers?
When it comes to riding horses and ponies for about an hour a day, concentrated feed may not be necessary as long as they have an ample supply of high-quality roughage. However, if a horse requires extra energy due to intense training or other factors, it's important to choose the concentrate carefully, especially for those with stomach issues. Avoid feeding horses with stomach problems concentrates that are high in starch or sugar. Instead, opt for a concentrate that is rich in fiber and fat, while avoiding any ingredients that may further irritate the mucous membranes.


4 . Which roughage is most beneficial for horses suffering from gastric ulcers?
When it comes to selecting roughage for horses with gastric ulcers, hay is often considered the top choice. However, it is important to ensure that the hay is of impeccable quality. This is because silage, which contains lactic acid bacteria, can negatively impact the horse's intestinal flora and throw it out of balance. Additionally, haylage, with its low pH, can lead to acidification of the digestive system and the entire organism of the horse. As a result, haylage is not recommended for horses suffering from gastric ulcers.


5. What are some suitable treats for horses with gastric ulcers?
It's important to be mindful of the treats we give to horses with gastric ulcers, as their delicate stomachs can easily be irritated by high levels of sugar or acid. Instead, opt for treats that are gentle on the stomach, like carrots or beet. These delicious options not only provide a tasty snack for your horse, but they also won't cause any further irritation to their already sensitive stomach. So go ahead and spoil your equine friend with these stomach-friendly treats!

Secure a free feed sample of Equine 74 Gastric and help your horse to buffer  excess stomach acid, so it feels well again.


6. How can I help my horse gain weight and improve their condition?
If your horse is too thin, it's important to determine the underlying cause. It could be due to excessive workload, stomach ulcers, dental issues, or other factors. Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial to identify the root cause and develop an appropriate plan. To help your horse gain weight, increasing the amount of roughage in their daily diet is recommended. Additionally, providing easily digestible concentrated feed can help them absorb more energy. Mash, beet pulp, or a fatty concentrate are excellent choices, especially in challenging cases where weight gain is a struggle.


7. What is the recommended ratio for feeding calcium and phosphorus to horses?

Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals for strong and healthy bones in horses. To ensure optimal absorption and utilization of these minerals, it is important to maintain a specific ratio of calcium to phosphorus in their diet. For adult horses, the ideal ratio should be between 1.5-2:1, with a minimum ratio of 1:1 and a maximum ratio of 3:1. Growing horses, on the other hand, require a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.5:1.

When feeding supplements that protect the horse's stomach from excess acidity, it is crucial to consider the horse's calcium and phosphorus intake. Some supplements contain high levels of calcium, so it is important to monitor the horse's calcium and phosphorus levels to maintain a healthy balance when feeding these stomach supplements.


8. Which essential minerals do horses require? What mineral feed is appropriate for horses suffering from gastric ulcers?
Minerals play a vital role in a horse's overall health and well-being. They can be categorized into two groups: bulk elements and trace elements. Bulk elements, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine, and sulfur, are required in larger quantities, approximately 50 mg per 1 kg of body weight. On the other hand, trace elements, including iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, and manganese, are needed in smaller quantities, less than 50 mg per 1 kg of body weight.
These minerals should be incorporated into a high-quality mineral feed to ensure that your horse receives the necessary nutrients. The choice of mineral feed depends on your horse's individual needs, including their basic diet and level of activity. It's important to note that broodmares, young horses, and older horses have different mineral requirements than riding or pleasure horses. By providing the appropriate mineral feed, you can support your horse's overall health and well-being.


9. "What essential vitamins are necessary for horses with gastric ulcers?"

The vitamin requirements of horses are highly dependent on their daily activities, age, overall health, and the season. Horses require a range of essential vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin H, and vitamin K. Vitamin C, in particular, plays a crucial role in activating cell metabolism and protecting against infections. It also acts as an antioxidant, safeguarding other vitamins from degradation. Unlike humans, horses have the ability to synthesize sufficient amounts of vitamin C in their large intestine.

Vitamin C can also be obtained from various feed sources such as grass, hay, and carrots. However, in horses that are exposed to high levels of physical activity or constant stress, their own synthesis of vitamin C may be inadequate. This is particularly important in relation to preventing stomach ulcers in the long term, as stress can exacerbate the condition and create a vicious cycle. By reducing stress and preventing stomach ulcers, the risk of vitamin C deficiency and subsequent infections can be minimized.


10. What types of fruits and vegetables are suitable for horses dealing with gastric ulcers?
Fruits and vegetables are excellent choices for providing horses with a diverse and well-balanced diet. However, when it comes to horses with gastric ulcers, caution must be exercised. Fruits, which are high in fructose and acid, should only be fed in small quantities, even to healthy horses. Citrus fruits, in particular, should never be given to horses suffering from gastric ulcers due to their high acidity. On the other hand, vegetables are generally more easily digested by the horse's stomach. Horses can safely consume beets, broccoli, beet, and collard greens without any harm. However, it is important to avoid feeding horses nightshade vegetables, ginger, or avocado as they can be detrimental to their health.

We greatly appreciate the insights and feedback from our valued customers. You may stumble upon the ideal suggestion here that sparks your interest and inspires you to give it a try.

B vitamins

B vitamins are vital for the overall health of horses, particularly those with stomach issues or undergoing medication treatments.
Bianca shared a valuable tip, emphasizing the importance of providing consistent vitamin B support throughout gastrogaard treatments. This essential nutrient helps prevent deficiencies and supports the horse's well-being, ensuring they maintain optimal vitality and energy levels.
Janina explains the significance of vitamin B for horses, emphasizing the potential consequences of a deficiency, such as anemia. Pale mucous membranes and a lack of energy are clear indicators that the horse requires an adequate amount of vitamin B. Ensuring that their diet includes enough vitamin B is crucial for their overall well-being and vitality.


Salt lick
Salt licks are a popular choice among horse enthusiasts for meeting their equine companion's salt requirements in the stable and pasture. But what about when you're on the go? Here's a valuable tip from Greta: "Don't forget to bring a salt lick with you to overnight shows or courses, as the increased workload can elevate your horse's need for salt." Make sure your horse stays hydrated and balanced, even when you're away from home!


Sugar/dried or beet pulp

While sugar can provide a quick burst of energy, it's important to use it in moderation. Excessive sugar can disrupt the pH balance in the stomach and intestines, leading to irritation of the mucous membranes and potentially causing stomach ulcers. If you're considering feeding your horse dry or beet pulp, Steffi offers a valuable tip: "Make sure it's molasses-free, as excessive sugar can be detrimental to the stomach."



Flaxseeds are a fantastic addition to your horse's diet as they provide a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do they support a healthy digestive tract, but they also contribute to a shiny and lustrous coat.

Pia, one of our knowledgeable contributors, suggests feeding your horse golden linseeds. You can either serve them dry in their feed to promote intestinal health or boil them up to release the mucilage, which can have a soothing effect on the stomach. Give your horse the benefits of flaxseeds and watch them thrive!


Red beet

Red beet is a true powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. Packed with essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron, as well as folic acid, vitamin C, and B vitamins, it offers a multitude of health benefits for your horse.
Lisa shared this valuable tip: "Including beet in your horse's diet promotes a healthy immune system and can also contribute to a beautiful coat and support the hair change during shedding season. Additionally, adding linseed oil can further enhance their coat's luster."
Anna-Lena also chimed in, saying, "I highly recommend beet chips. They are not only enjoyed by horses but also recommended by equine clinics due to their valuable ingredients. Even my horses with sensitive stomachs happily consume them daily." Give your horse the goodness of red beet and watch them thrive!



Oats are the ultimate horse feed, providing a concentrated source of energy with its high fat content of 5-7%. Not only do oats offer a healthy supply of unsaturated fatty acids, but they also pack a punch with numerous vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
Helen, a staunch advocate of oats, explains why she believes it's the best feed for horses: "If horses can handle oats and grains, it's a top choice because the act of chewing oats stimulates saliva production, benefiting the stomach and intestines."



It's common knowledge that providing horses with ample roughage is essential for their diet. To avoid any competition or disturbances during feeding time, Inka shared a valuable tip with us:

"We make sure to offer hay 24/7 in different areas, giving each horse a chance to eat peacefully. ❤️"

And what about when you're on the go? Nadine has a clever solution:

"I always keep a small bale of hay in my car, which my horse regularly uses to fill his beloved hay ball."

Keep your horses content and well-fed, whether at home or on the road!



Looking to reward your hardworking horse? Treats are always a great option, but what if your equine companion has a sensitive stomach? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Bianca has a valuable tip for you:

"If you're determined to give treats, there are specially made treats for horses with sensitive stomachs. These treats are free from grain, molasses, sugar, and other ingredients that can upset their tummy. You can even find treats that contain stomach-soothing ingredients!"

E74: That's a fantastic idea! And you know what every horse loves?

Janina: Lots of cuddles and affection as a reward and substitute for treats ❤️😍


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is truly a multitasker! It not only activates cell metabolism and protects against infections, but it also acts as a powerful antioxidant. When it comes to boosting your horse's vitamin C levels, the go-to choices are apples and rose hips. However, our knowledgeable contributors, Britta and Natalie, have shared two insider tips to add to your arsenal.

Britta suggests trying flaxseed gel, which is particularly beneficial during the cold season. It's not only enjoyed by horses, but it also provides significant benefits. And according to Britta, it is eaten with pleasure and offers great support.

With these additional tips, you can ensure that your horse gets the vitamin C boost they need to thrive, no matter the season.


For further information on feeding your horse, don't forget to explore our E-Book section. Here, you can access our exclusive Feeding ABC guide for free and discover valuable insights to keep your horse nourished and thriving.



Equine 74 Gastric

The long-term solution

Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.

Equine 74 Stomach Calm Relax

In case of acute stress

Supports the nervous horse stomach in stressful situations.