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The Natural Horse NZ Recommended Horse Feeding Plan

Discover a Feed Plan that can heal your horse from the inside out by using natural, affordable foods as medicine. Not only will this plan improve your horse's behaviour, resulting in a calmer and happier horse, but it is also low in sugar and starch. This makes it perfect for all horses, including those with metabolic conditions like laminitis and cushings.

Safe Horse Feeding Plan -Affordable and Easy For All Horses

Anti-Inflammatory Healing Diet for Horses

Our research on Equine Nutrition has shown that feeding horses natural, whole foods can significantly improve their health. Our carefully tailored feeding plan includes low-sugar forage and moderate protein levels to provide essential amino acids for muscle maintenance. We recommend avoiding processed feeds and feeding natural products such as hemp, flaxseed/linseed, or chia instead. Our plan has proven to be effective for achieving a calm disposition and benefiting medical issues such as Ulcers, Laminitis, and many digestive issues to name but a few areas it can benefit your horse's health. Each ingredient complements each other to provide balanced and powerful nutrients for optimum health.

Happy Healthy Horses at Natural Horse NZ Sanctuary

Natural Horse NZ Anti-Inflammation Equine Diet Components

STEP 1-FORAGE-YOUR HORSE'S STAPLE DIET:

To ensure the best health for horses in New Zealand, it's recommended that they only consume a moderate amount of green grass as the country's ideal climate for grass growth, with wet and temperate conditions, can result in excessively high sugar levels in pastures that can lead to illness and various medical issues for our equine friends.

 

To further support horse health and avoid the risks of developing laminitis and grass-affectedness from green grass, low-sugar meadow hay is recommended.

 

Feeding this hay through a slow feeder hay net can significantly aid in digestion and help to regulate sugar levels, providing health benefits that are more in line with a horse's natural habitat.

 

For more information, please refer to our guide linked below.

Slow Feed Haynets at Natural Horse NZ

STEP 2-THE DAILY BUCKET FEED:

Ensuring your horse receives a daily meal is crucial for providing them with essential nutrients that may not be present in other feed sources. However, it's important to note that a large meal is not required.

Natural Mixed Grass Chaffs are Best For Horses

CHAFF:

To ensure your horse's optimal health, we recommend opting for a low-sugar chaff such as meadow, timothy, or oaten chaff as the foundation of their daily bucket feed. This chaff is solely intended to facilitate the delivery of other ingredients into your horse's system so a few cupped handfuls, which is the equivalent of two hands held together as a base for the bucket feed meal is an ideal amount for a full sizes horse. Utilizing chaff as a low-sugar carrier is an effective way to prevent your horse from rapidly consuming their feed. Please note that it is recommended to avoid lucerne and lucerne-based products, along with baleage and haylage, which we have seen can lead to skin problems, digestive upsets, allergies, and heightened and excitable behaviours in a lot of horses.

FLAXSEED/LINSEED OIL:

Add 30-50ML of cold-pressed flaxseed oil to your horse's food to promote optimal health. It's a rich source of omega 3's, reducing inflammation, enhancing joint and skin health, promoting digestion, and reducing the risk of colic-we buy the farmlands brand at $50 for 4L. 

flaxseed oil is best for horses
Feeding natural sources of whole foods to horses is best for health

FIBRE, PROTEIN & MORE OMEGA 3’S:

Flaxseed and Linseed are the same thing and a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamin E for horses. Give up to 300G per day in ground seeds or meal, pelleted form, or flakes. It's a natural and chemical-free option that can reduce inflammation and benefit all horses, ponies, and donkeys.

Please note: some horses can be reactive to flaxseeds and if that is the case with your horse, chia or hemp seeds can be used as a safe alternative if available in your country.

OPTIONAL PRO+PRE BIOTICS + LIVE YEAST+ AMINO ACIDS:

Equi-Digest is our solution to help horses with digestive issues caused by various factors such as worming, antibiotics, stress, travel, competitions, and other medications. Our proprietary blend contains digestive bacterium, live yeast, and amino acids that work together to restore a struggling digestive system. It also helps to eliminate excess sugars produced in the hindgut, reducing the risk of metabolic problems like laminitis.

EQUI-DIGEST horse pro biotic for improved digestive health
NATURAL HORSE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR WITH THE MOTHER

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (ACV):

For optimal health benefits, it is recommended to use raw and unprocessed Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, which is the natrually occuring culture that includes all the beneficial enzymes, good bacteriums and microbes. Add 10ml-20ml to a small cup of water and mix it into your horse's food every day to assist with digestion, lower blood sugar levels, and eliminate harmful pathogens. 

GRASS PROTECTION SUPPLEMENTS:

To address grass sensitivities in horses, we highly recommend using our Equi-Protect supplement in a dosage of 20-30g. And to ensure your horse's optimal health and prevent mineral imbalances caused by New Zealand soil deficiencies, we advise using our Natural Horse Minerals and Vitamin Formula. You can find more detailed information about our pure minerals on our supplements page. To start, we suggest a combination of these two supplements are used for at least two weeks as a loading dose to effectively eliminate active toxins and address any mineral imbalances. Once you've completed the loading dose, we recommend switching to our All In 1 MIX formula for maintenance. Our All In formula contains all the essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids your horse needs, along with our Equi-Protect Grass Affects Formula. For more details and pricing, please visit our supplements page.

equi-protect natural toxin binder that helps grass affected horses

SALT: We suggest adding a heaping teaspoon of Himalayan Salt to your horse's bucket feed every day and providing a natural salt block for any additional salt needs. You can purchase raw, unprocessed salt at most supermarkets and find salt blocks at local farm stores.

FURTHER INFO: 

The above amounts are for an average 15-16h horse at approx 5-550kg bodyweight, 

ridden a few times per week.  

ADDITIONAL CALORIES FOR HORSES THAT NEED A LITTLE MORE:

To fully enjoy the health benefits of the recommended diet, it is important to adhere to all of the components and not to add any "extras"  or additions, which can wreck the synergistic benefits of this feed plan. However, if you have a horse in hard work or a poor doer poor older horse etc...who may require additional calories depending on their workload, size, age, or health status, incorporating any of the feeds listed below can provide extra protein and energy without causing an digestive upset or inflammation.

 

RAPESEED MEAL:  PLEASE NOTE: We only recommend feeding organic, non-genetically modified Rapeseed meals which we buy from the brand called Leg Up. We do not recommend feeding Rapeseed oil or any other type of Rapeseed products.

Rapeseed belongs to the brassica plant family and is a natural food source that horses would eat when exposed to it in the wild, as it provides a high protein level and a good range of amino acids. We like the meal because it is less inflammatory when all the oil has been squeezed out of it, and what is left after being cold pressed is the ground-up plants, which are air-dried to be used as a protein powder for our horses to boost protein levels and provide additional amino acids.  We highly recommend Rapeseed meal for horses because it is a natural whole food source that contains 37% protein, making it an affordable option to meet your horse's moderate protein needs. However, it is essential to feed this product sparingly as excessive protein intake can cause health problems. Based on your horse's energy needs, we strongly recommend feeding a maximum of 500g of Rapeseed meal per day per horse. You can easily mix Rapeseed meal into your horse's daily bucket feed as it is usually sold in powdered form.

 

RICEBRAN : If you're looking for a protein source with a low glycemic index for your horse to keep them feeling full for longer without any peaks or troughs in energy, Ricebran can be a good option. But keep in mind that consuming large amounts may cause heating, so it's best to feed only in moderation. Limiting intake to a maximum of 1kg per day is recommended to maintain a balanced and even temperament. For the best results, we suggest using the plain rice bran version from Coprice, which doesn't contain any fillers.

 

HEMP: An excellent and all-natural whole-food source of protein with low starch and sugars. Due to its high protein content, we recommend not feeding any more than 250g per day, as a little goes a long way. Unfortunately, due to confusion from our governing bodies in New Zealand, the powers that be, in their lack of wisdom, have currently banned feeding hemp to animals. I hope somebody talks some sense into them soon and brings it back ASAP, as this is a great food for our horses that has been used for millennia without issue.  

 

If you have a full-size horse, you can feed any of the three extra food sources alone or in combination to meet their individual needs. However, please avoid feeding all three to mini horses or ponies, as it would be excessive for their size.

WEATHER AND SHELTER/RUGS: 

The temperature and level of moisture can greatly affect a horse's body score and overall health. It's important to strike a balance between keeping the horse warm and dry while still allowing for natural behaviours like rolling and roaming. To achieve this, we provide our horses with 24/7 access to a tracked grazing system, adlib hay with straw, and several run-in field shelters. We also have trees that act as windbreaks and offer weather protection.

 

While our facilities eliminate the need for rugging our horses, we recommend owners provide shelter and slow-release food sources for their horses during poor weather conditions in the form of slow-feed haynets with meadow hay or a mix of hay and straw. If shelter is not available, a light waterproof rug may be necessary during harsher weather conditions, such as when it's wet and cold. However, it's important not to over-rug.

 

It's worth noting that new planning laws in 2020 allow for smaller run-in shelters to be built at lower costs without permits.

Contact your local council for more information.

Happy, healthy horses shown in their walk in shelters-all use this diet

Testimonials​ Below From Horse Owners Who Are Using Our Diet

 

03/01/2024 Donnie Writes:

I'm amazed by the results of this diet with my horse as it has completely transformed him into a calm and willing riding partner in a remarkably short period. Previously, he used to be fizzy and over-excitable. Since switching to this more natural and easy feeding method, my horse has gradually become more relaxed with each passing day. Furthermore, the Natural Horse Minerals supplement has made his hooves so much stronger, and he now no longer needs shoes. I am over the moon with this fact alone as his hooves used to be crumbly and overtly sensitive. I can highly recommend this feeding plan to anyone with a fizzy natured horse to help keep them calm and healthy. It's cheaper than my previous feeding plan and so easy to follow. This way to feed has made me realize that even small changes towards feeding more natural and unprocessed ingredients can lead to a remarkable transformation in both health and temprament.  Many Thanks to the Natural Horse Team Xxx

 

18/08/2023-Diane Writes:

I was highly sceptical of trying yet another diet, but I was desperate as my mare was not herself and had been suffering from skin issues and was anxious and stressed out to the max. So, I thought I'd give this one last diet a try. And wow, I am so glad I did. She is now a different horse, and it all happened so quickly too. She has settled down beautifully with her temperament and is now gleaming with health. Her coat has turned into a rich deep colour that shines, which I had not seen before and even her gums and eyes look better. The farrier said he can see a much better quality hoof growing down and everything hoof-wise is for the better after battling with poor quality hoof horn and thrush for years.

Thank you so much Natural Horse NZ as I am thrilled with these fantastic results. I highly recommend every horse to change to this feeding plan. 

3/5/2023-Paula Writes:

My horses have never looked better since swapping to this quick and easy diet. They are gleaming with health and their coats shine with vitality, plus my older horse is so much better with his previous joint issues. I cannot recommend this highly enough-thankyou so much :)

29/5/2023-Bernadette Writes:

I thought I had to retire my mare, who was lacklustre and showing her age at 19. I started feeding this diet to try to help her with arthritis and quickly realised it was her previous feed that was creating her stiffness, as it disappeared once we were using this new feed plan, enough to put her back hopping over logs again with a new lease on life. Her energy levels have increased but she has no fizz. I have been more than impressed and would highly recommend this way to feed your horse too. 

1/6/2022-Joyce Writes: 

This diet gave me my horse back. He was previously a mess with allergies, rain scald and digestive upsets and looked to be a very unhappy boy, which was heartbreaking to watch. Within a week of this more natural way of feeding, all the rainscald had disappeared (thankfully never to return) and he started to pick up with his temperament. We are now enjoying happy hacking and he is very content and willing. I never thought this would happen so I am thrilled with the positive changes to his mind and body. I will always feed this way in future as the benefits show quickly and the behaviour is 1000% better. Thank you Natural Horse. 

 

02/02/2022-Joanna Writes:

My horse Jack was not ill as such, but he wasn't thriving either and I could tell something was wrong but I couldn't put my finger on it. After trying everything on the market to help him improve without success, I finally found this feeding plan and the results were immediate. Jack put on a little much-needed top line and developed some healthy muscle and came back to life in front of me a little more for every day that I fed him like this. The best thing of all about this easy way to feed your horse is seeing his willingness to try everything I ask of him, whereas previously he was grumpy, resistant and generally unwilling. He now runs around like a spring colt and is engaged fully with me looking joyful with his life, and offering to do all I ask of him. All while looking great, moving well, and displaying the shiniest of coats, all reflecting his inner health. After receiving such excellent guidance and support from the Natural Horse Team, I now know that this diet fixed him from the inside out and helped to rebuild his digestive biome, which was the issue all along. We are now back competing again and he is so full of life. I'm thrilled with the results and cannot recommend this highly enough. I give it 10 out of 10 for sure!


 

27/7/2021 Susan Writes

I would like to let you know that my horses have never looked better or been more relaxed.....and this is the first year that they have been thrush free in winter. I have followed your diet recommendations exactly and cannot thank you enough. 


 

5/4/2021 Andrea Writes

Hooves -Tick 

Skin-Tick

Coat-Tick

Joints-Tick

Temperament-Tick

These are just some of the improvements we have seen from our horses whilst being on your diet. We can't thank you enough for putting this easy feeding plan together. Our herd is a very healthy and happy bunch for being on it and we can't recommend it highly enough......

 And it saved us heaps of money too :-) 


 

4/2021 Paul Writes: 

Totally amazing results with this diet. It was due to desperation that I tried this feed plan after my horse turned into a basket case. She was previously anxious, stressed and spent all her time fence-running. But since being on this diet has stopped all of that. She is now calm, connected and willing to work. I'm in awe of these guys who helped me for free and I can highly recommend their diet plan as it really worked. Plus it was way cheaper for us and easier to use too. Thank you for giving me my horse back. 


 

23/3/2021 Jo Writes:

Bloody Hell-It worked!!!! I literally could see my gelding chilling out a bit more each day after starting this feeding regime. He's now the sweet and cruisey super dude I always hoped he would be. Thanks so much for all the help and advice. 

Your diet has made such a huge difference to us. 


 

21/3/2021 Billie Writes:

I can't believe I was within days of euthanising my mare as she was so stressed and no matter what I tried, or so I had thought, I couldn't reach her. She was a nightmare to ride, and crab-walked, spooked, bucked, bolted and felt like a coiled spring to even lead. She was head shaking all the time and a stumbling mess. The vet, my bodyworker, various farriers and 4 different trainers all thought she was a lost cause. Then I met Tracy from Natural Horse at the dentist of all places. We were in the waiting room and got talking horses and the rest is history. My girl was nothing more than grass affected and this diet (and Tracy) taught me all I needed to know to stop and prevent all of that. It is affordable and easy to follow and best of all it is all-natural ingredients too. I'm now enjoying hacking my horse out to the beach in a rope halter would you believe, whereas before I needed so much tack on her head to even stop her!!! She is no longer stressed and is calm and responsive. Love my horse and can't thank Natural Horse NZ enough for all your support and this fabulous feeding plan. Xxx

 

20/11/2020-Charlie writes:

I wanted to say how pleased we are with using your feeding plan. It is so easy that we keep thinking we have forgotten something-lol. Our previously fussy horses now devour every last bit of their bucket feed and they look absolutely fantastic on it. We have seen dapples come out for the first time and no more washed-out or fading coats. Our older boy is running around like a spring lamb and his joint health has improved tenfold, with the whole herd being so full of health. 

Thanks so much for developing such a simple but effective way to feed horses.


 

2/11/2020 Debbie writes

I had to write to tell you how impressed we are with this new way of feeding our horse. Burt has gone from being a grumpy sourface to now seeking us out for fuss and cuddles since changing to this diet. I'm stunned at the difference in his behaviour as he now comes to meet us at the gate and no more pinned-back ears. His poos are so much better too and he is definitely moving more freely on it. The farrier has already mentioned how much better his hooves are and we can see that they are now growing more connected down from the coronary band so we are just thrilled with the benefits. Thank you very much for all your help and advice. This whole new approach to diet has made owning horses so much more rewarding. 

 

20/4/2020-Jodie writes:

I love it , I love it and I love it some more. I started off with this diet due to one of my horses being severely grass affected and I can't believe how much better he is. Not only that but I saw instant results in his body as well as his mind.  I was so impressed that now all four of my horses are now on it and are literally gleaming with health. Plus they are calm in their temperaments and it's all natural and affordable too. I can't recommend this highly enough.


 

16/04/2019-Lisa writes:

My horse has been on this diet for just 4 weeks and already we have seen such amazing improvements to both his physique as well as his temperament. He is now meeting me at the gate and wants to be ridden. I am paying half what I was previously paying but now for much better ingredients and its so easy. Thanks so much to the team at Natural Horse

 


 

2/3/2019-Natalie writes:

I never knew feeding could be so easy, and wow-the results are outstanding. I love this diet for my horse so much. Plus my gelding is looking the best he has ever done. I cannot recommend using this feeding guide for your horse highly enough. Thank you Natural Horse NZ.


 

29/1/2019 Dave writes:

5 days in and everything changed for the better with our whole herd using this diet. We are very grateful and it is so easy to use. 

Highly Recommended.

 

15/12/2018-Angie writes

Yay, I have my cruisy horse back for Xmas. We've had an awful time with him being so badly grass affected and all that has gone in just 5 days. I took him to the beach this morning for the first time and he behaved like a pro. That would not of been possible until using this way of feeding-thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for this amazing way to feed my horse-you lovely people at NATURAL HORSE NZ. Xxx

 

11/11/2018 Amanda writes:

2 Days on this diet and the head flicking just stopped!

5 days in and he calmed right down just like you said he would.

2 weeks on and I'm back in the saddle :)

My boy is calm and connected to me and I can't believe how easy it is-Thankyou so much xxx-YOU HAVE LITERALLY 

SAVED MY HORSES LIFE!


 

2/5/2018-Alex writes:

OMG-our wee mini went nuts and turned into a nasty wee boy. These lovely folks helped to put him back together again with this diet. I had no idea that grass and grains could do all that to a horse so this has been an education indeed. But even a non-horse person like me can put it together once it's been spelled out and now the family and I follow this plan for our daughter's pony to very pleasing results. We can't thank the nice people at Natural Horse NZ enough as we are very happy with the turnaround and the bonus is it costs less than the expensive crap in a shiny package we were feeding him before and we get way better results. 


 

22/11/2017 Marjory writes:

Dray was a misery guts prior to starting this dietary plan, which we now know was from digestive upsets due to feeding him an unsuitable diet despite the glossy pamphlet telling us it was good for him from the grain store. So, we took a chance and tried him on this diet and wow! We were blown away by how much of a difference it made to his personality. I had no idea food could play such a role in temperament. Now he is a much happier horse and has turned into a cheeky fun-loving monkey. He's so much more willing to come in and be caught too and works so well with all his schooling. We are thrilled with the results and have converted the rest of our horses and the grazer's ponies to this too, all to happy results. Many thanks. 


 

13/7/2O17 Mike writes:

I bought my daughter a pony and it all turned to custard. He went from calm and easy to stressed and dangerous. So I rang these people and they helped to turn him back around. He's now on these foods and is calm and relaxed again for the kids. It's very worrying to see your teens having to handle dangerous horses so I was very happy for the help given by Natural Horses. Thank you as it has made a big difference. 


 

19/7/2016 Darma Writes: 

All I can say after seeing the amazing changes to my horse from feeding this plan, is to be highly sceptical of all the glossy packets and slick marketing of feed and supplement companies as they do not have your horse's best interests at heart. We fell for it and were feeding what we thought were similar products to the Natural Horse range but the results were just not happening. Our horse looked like an ageing geriatric at rising 16 on his previous feeding plan and supplements. His back was swaying and his top line was none existent, with joint issues, crumbling hooves, and 2 colic episodes so far to name just a few of his health issues. Even the vet recommended retiring him. Then I attended a free clinic and nutritional seminar put on by Natural Horse. They talked a lot of sense so I decided to follow their feeding plan and use their supplements. Now our horse looks like a healthy ten year old. His back is much straighter and he's developed a nice rounded top line. He has not had any more joint issues and the colic has not ever happened again after 3 years of using it so far. We have also taken advice and gone bitless and barefoot with him too and are very happy with how that has panned out. His hooves have improved tenfold and he no longer needs shoes, which has been great and has saved us a fortune. We now have a healthy horse and are delighted with the improvements to both his health and behaviour. Our vet didn't recognise him and his blood work since has always come back as ideal. We highly recommend following this dietary plan. 

Many thanks to the NATURAL HORSE TEAM. 

 

12/1/2016-Angela Writes:

Yay-all the allergies have gone. Chester was plagued with itchy skin & rubbed himself raw on everything he could scratch himself on. His skin was always inflamed & it was an ongoing battle. We don't have any of that anymore & he's so much happier for it too. The diet worked immediately & within a few days he just stopped rubbing himself & hasn't done it for over a year now. The thing I love the most is the gloss to his coat & every time we attend a show people comment on his health. I'm asked over & over again which shampoo I'm using-lol. When I tell them it is his diet nobody gets it-lol. But we do. THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR NATURAL FEEDING PLAN xxx


 

18/3/2015-Maria Writes:

Wow, what a difference!!! I now realise I was previously feeding my horse a cocktail of total crap which has hindered his health rather than helping it. Now he is on your great anti-inflammation diet he is a changed boy and is so happy and obliging, plus he looks

fantastic on it too. He also has an incredibly shiny coat. 


 

15/3/2015 Lyla Writes: 

I have paid professional nutritionists, the world over and have not seen the excellent results that I've seen from the fabulous anti-inflammation diet which you recommended for my allergy-ridden horse. I'm so impressed with the results that I'm now using it on all of my 12 horses, to equally as impressive results-thanks Tracy-you are a total star in your field, and we all appreciate it :)


 

12/3/2015 Elaine Writes:

This has saved me a complete fortune from all the gimmicky feeds, supplements, lotions and add-ons that I was previously feeding my horse before and all only to only mediocre results too :(. The NATURAL HORSE RECOMMENDED DIET is working a treat and I'm seeing tangible health benefits to all my horses who are on it and all without the high price tag that I've paid in the past. 

We're very thankful-thanks guys.

 

10/3/2015 Brian Writes

We cannot shout about this feeding guide enough as it has saved our horse's life. We've had a horse plagued by ill health and allergies etc and tried everything available before we finally found this miracle guide, which has changed everything for the better for us. Our boy is now relaxed and happy, and no more head flicking or rubbing himself raw. We are so pleased-thanks NATURAL HORSE NZ.

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