STEP 1: FEED A FORAGE BASED DIET
Your horse should receive 1.5-2.5% of its bodyweight per day in forage. That means a 1000 lb horse will eat 15-25 pounds of forage per day depending on body condition and workload. You want to minimize any time your horse does not have access to forage by using a slow feed hay net or feeder. Horses needing to gain weight may do best on alfalfa or orchard grass. Horses that are easy keepers may do best on timothy or teff.
STEP 2: FILL IN NUTRITIONAL GAPS
Test your hay/pasture and identify any nutritional deficiencies in your basic diet (forage). Most forages are deficient in some vitamins and minerals. Horses that are thin will need some of the forage replaced with higher calorie concentrates. Additionally, all horses will need salt/electrolytes provided. Some good salt/electrolyte products are: Redmond Agriculture, Redmond Equine, Smartpak, Uckele.