Date of this Version



© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide discusses the horse's digestive system and appropriate feeding procedures.

Because of the horse's eating habits and digestive system, feeding practices common to other species of livestock often result in severe digestive dysfunction or even death for the horse. In fact, several anatomical peculiarities of the horse's digestive tract predispose horses to digestive disorders such as colic and laminitis even under the best management. Under poor feeding management, the onset of these disorders is almost assured. The objective of feeding management is to provide a ration with balanced nutrition that both maximizes nutrient utilization while minimizing the occurrence of digestive disorders.