The 3 Worst Things to Feed an Earth Horse
One of the advantages of understanding horse temperament is to know what foods are best or worst for each type. Some foods that benefit one type may be totally wrong for another.
The 3 worst foods for the Earth horse are:
1. Free Choice Hay - Horses do best when they can eat continuously but the Earth horse temperament loves food and he is not inclined to exercise on his on volition. This is not a good combination and if allowed free choice hay the Earth horse will overeat. Some temperament types that are less food driven do great with free choice hay and in those cases it works well to satisfy the need to eat small amounts continuously.
A better option, over free choice hay, is too determine the total amount of food needed per day. This should be around 1.5% of the horse's body weight. Provide this amount of hay in a small hole feeder or net that forces the Earth horse to eat slowly so his food will last longer. Also step up his exercise program. Walking for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day will keep his metabolism functioning at a higher level so he does not gain weight so easily.
2. Poor Quality Fat - The Earth horse temperament does a good job with digesting high calorie foods like fat. He does not do so well with absorbing his proteins, vitamins and minerals. So it is best to avoid foods, such as vegetable oils and some seeds that have empty calories. A much better choice to provide your Earth horse's fat would be chia seeds. Chia seeds are full of good quality fat with lots of protein and minerals but you can feed a small amount so they won't make the Earth horse gain weight. Blue green algae is another great supplement for the Earth horse that provides quality fat and plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.
3. Extra Salt or Electrolytes - Adding salt or electrolytes to the food of an Earth horse is rarely needed unless the horse is working extremely hard and losing lots of electrolytes in his sweat. The Earth horse already has a tendency to hold extra fluid in his tissues and extra salt can make this worse. This extra fluid can cause conditions such as stocking up in the legs or sheath area in a gelding. The extra tissue fluid can make the Earth horse even more sluggish. A better choice for the Earth horse is to provide free choice loose salt that the horse can access easily. Providing a TBS or 2 a day of kelp in a separate bucket is a great way to get salt into your horse along with other beneficial minerals.