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18: Picky Horses: What they want you to know
Episode 186th February 2024 • Healing Horses with Elisha • Elisha Edwards
00:00:00 00:18:26

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Picky eating in horses is a common concern for horse owners. 

Horses, like people, can be very selective about what they like to eat- particularly after being introduced to a new feeding program containing foods they have never eaten before. Fortunately, most horses can be encouraged to enjoy their meals after some experimentation.

Sometimes, however, there are genuine reasons why a horse may be reluctant to eat, and that is what we will explore today.

Understanding Your Horse’s Preferences 

You need to understand your horse’s food preferences because prevailing opinions often stem from human perspectives rather than understanding what horses genuinely like to eat.

Addressing Health-Related Picky Eating

The main reason horses tend to be picky is not feeling well after eating something that causes indigestion. In those situations- especially for horses with compromised digestive systems, I find it helpful to simplify their diet by incorporating whole foods and then observing how the horse responds to those changes.

Medication Side Effects: 

Another factor contributing to pickiness is the side effects of medications. All medications impact the digestive system, so I advise horse owners to research potential side effects and understand that individual horses may react differently toA medications.

Taste Preferences and Flavors 

Horses’ taste preferences play a significant role in their picky eating, as they can be particular about flavors like salt, sour, sweet, and spicy. I like experimenting with those flavors to learn about the specific preferences of each horse.

Gradual Transition to New Feeding Programs 

I recommend a gradual transition when introducing horses to a new feeding program, especially for horses already addicted to certain foods, as abrupt dietary changes may be counterproductive. Making a slow transition allows the horse's taste buds to adjust over time.

Building a Positive Relationship 

I always emphasize the importance of building a positive relationship between a horse and its food to enhance its health. Encouraging trust in a new feeding program and observing how the horse responds over time is essential for ensuring optimum physical and mental well-being.

Links and resources:

Connect with Elisha Edwards on her website 

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