The simple balanced bucket that we advocate is not designed to trick the horse into eating something he doesn’t want or need. As long as changes are made slowly, horses soon appreciate a healthier bucket feed that provides the nutritents they need – without the ingredients that we humans tend to see as tasty!

Although the odd sliced carrot, sprinkle of soaked grass-nuts, cup of copra or other ‘tastier’ ingredients  can be helpful while transitioning, in the long-run, horses don’t really need these addatives in the daily feed.

The purpose of a bucket feed is to provide the essential things that are lacking or are present in insufficient levels in the forage.  Generally, to provide essential nutrients that are lacking in hay-orientated forage, we employ the following ingredients:

  1. Plain salt (sodium chloride)
  2. A good-quality vitamin and mineral supplement (Premium or Premium MVA)
  3. A source of omega 3/6 fatty acids – (micronised linseed)
  4. A plain chaff – hay or hay/oat straw chops. This is provided to enable chewing, rather than because of any nutritional value the chaff might have. Having said this, avoid chaff that introduces alfa, molasses, oils and other unnecessary additives.
  5. An additional source of calories when needed (linseed oil, coconut oil, copra meal or small amounts of oats)

In the pictures, you can see that this simple bucket does not look very appealing to us humans! But it is good horse-feed! Never forget that the forage is the biggest part of the diet! The bucket is only required to add the finishing touches to its forage – thereby fully meeting the horse’s needs.

 

The top picture shows that there is quite a lot of power, and the amount of other ingredients is relatively small.  Below you can see this mixed well with a small amount of water.

 

My horses generally get their small bucket feed twice a day and will come down from their hay stations and wait in line for their bucket to be put out.

To the foundations of a diet based on long fibre forage (hay and mature grasses), you can add GrazEzy and Alleviate C as approprite to the horses needs.   In our experience, these ingredients are all that are regularly needed to provide a well-balanced and nutritionally-appropriate diet for your horse.