Diet or Feed for an Indian Horse

Horses are by nature grass eaters. Horses nutritional and behavioral needs will be met by grazing. Grass also contains fiber that is essential for horses. Your horse’s diet should be based on grass or forage. This is processed by products such as hay. A horse weighing 500kg should eat 7 to 10 kg of hay each day in order to get enough fiber. If the forage doesn’t have enough necessary amount of nutrition, complimentary feeds must be added.

Nutritional needs depend on the type of horse. Also climate, age and level of exercise also contribute to their individual needs. Pregnant mare or young growing horse will often need extra protein and energy. Vitamin and mineral supplements are sometimes needed, supplements should only be used if they are really needed.

Before giving the feed, check the weight of the horse. Give 2.5 % of the body weight as food every day this is a basic thumbrule.

Here is a brief description of three different diet types for Indian horses.

Average Diet – Rs 5000 Rs  Monthly

You can give the below equally divided in two times per day

2 Kg of Gehu (Wheat grain)

8 to 10 Kg of Sukha Chara (Dry Hay), Jowar ki Kutti (Sorghum)

4 to 5 kg Hara Chara (Green Grass)

Water as required (20 to 50 Liter’s per day)

Good Diet- Rs 15000 Monthly

You can give the below equally divided in two or three times per day

100 g Atrificial Nutrient powders 

4 to 5 Kg of Grain, Gehu (Wheat grain)

8 Kg Sukha Chara (Dry Hay)

8 Kg Hara Chara (Green Grass)

Water as required (20 to 50 Liter’s per day)

Premium Diet – Rs 30000 Monthly 

Let’s start here with a proper routine for the day.

6 am in the Morning 

Cleaning and Massage for horse followed by 40 minutes launching. 

7:30 am back at the Stable

2 to 2 1/2 kg of Hindustan animal feeds or similar.

11 am in the Morning 

2 to 2 1/1 kg Gehu Dalia  (Gehu ka dhana broken into pieces or Wheat broken into pieces)

50 to 60 Grams Mineral Powders

20 Grams of powder for skin shine and hoves.

300 to 400 g Gud (Jaggery)

2 Pm in the Afternoon

4 to 5 Kg of Jowar ki Kutti (Sorghum)

6 Pm in the Evening

Sukha chara (Dry Grass)  or Mungafali ka chara (Pea nut hay) 7 to 8 kg

8 Pm in the Night

2 Kg of Sukha Gehu (Wheat seed) and 2 Kg Sukha Bajri (Pearl millet) once boiled it becomes 6 to 7 kg.

100 Grams Ghee

Mineral powder 50 Grams

20 Grams of powder for skin shine and hoves.

For rest of the Night

Mungafali ka chara  (Pea nut hay) 5 to 6 Kg

Also between the day give Milk two times at 2 Liters and sufficient water. Horses drink approximately 25 to 55 litres of water per day depending on the weather, their diet and the level of work they are doing.

Finally, Golden rules of feeding and watering

  • Feed a fibre-based diet and only supplement it with hard feed if absolutely necessary
  • Always offer water before feeding
  • Feed at the same time every day
  • Make any changes to the horse’s diet or routine gradually
  • Always feed good quality, clean food
  • Feed according to type, temperament and amount of work being done by the horse
  • Always leave at least an hour between feeding and riding
  • Feed little and often, subdividing the ration into several smaller feeds throughout the day
  • Feed chaff mixed with the hard food so that the horse has to chew every mouthful
  • Feed something succulent.

Below are the pictures of the food items mentioned above

Sukha Chara – Dry fodder

Hara chara

Mungfali chara

Gud or Jaggery

Gehu Daliya

Jowar or Sorghum.

Gehu or Wheat

Sukha Bajri

If the above food items are not easily available at your place then another option is to feed the Horse with Oats, Barley and Corn (Corn quantity should be less, if corn quantity is more then there could be problem with swelling caused by water in legs joints).

Morning: Oats 2.5 Kg, Barley 2 Kg

Evening: Oats 2.5 Kg, Barley 2 Kg

Grass and Hay 8 to 10 kg a day

Water as required (20 to 50 Liters per day)

In Hot climates Jawari (Sorghum Millet) or Gehu (Wheat grain) is preferred. In cold climates, Gud (Jaggery) is good component for diet. 

Disclosure: The above food diet and routine is based on personal experience. We suggest you to contact a veterinary doctor for expert advise. 


Founder of and a horse lover.

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