Horse Feed Grains and Concentrate

Various types of horse feeds and supplements.

Spiritartist / Getty Images

A concentrate is any mixture of grains, cereals, and minerals used to supplement a horse or pony diet. Concentrates can contain only one or several combinations of ingredients designed to enhance the condition of horses, whether for weight gain, growth, energy for work, or general overall health. Here's a look at common supplements fed to horses. 

  • 01 of 07

    Beet Pulp

    Beet pulp pellets
    K. Blocksdorf

    Beet pulp is a popular addition to many horse diets. Its a good source of carbohydrates and can be fed wet or dry. Many owners like to feed it wet, especially in the winter time, to get a bit of extra moisture in their horses. It's a good feed for horses that are underweight or working very hard. Molasses is usually added to pelleted beet pulp as a binder and palatability. Shredded beet pulp is also available.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Cracked Corn

    Cracked corn
    K. Blocksdorf

    Corn is a good source of carbs for your horse. It is reputed to be 'hot food,' but this is not so. It is often found in pelleted feeds. Corn kernels are hard. So for a horse with dental problems cracked corn such as this may be easier to chew. Corn is often mixed with other grains such as oats or barley.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Large Pelleted Concentrate

    Large pelleted concentrate
    K. Blocksdorf

    This pelleted concentrate is intended for mature horses. Most pellets are a mixture of grains such as oats or barley, corn, vitamin and mineral supplements with molasses often used as a binder and to make it taste good.

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Sweet Feed Mix

    A custom sweet feed mix
    K. Blocksdorf

    This is a custom sweet feed mix. The owner, who has a large number of horses specifies what they want to be included. The feed is delivered either by the bag or with a bulk truck that fills a large bin. This particular feed has oats, corn, molasses, and a mineral supplement. Many feed companies make their own sweet feeds for owners who may only need small quantities. One precaution with sweet feed in hot humid weather: if the molasses content is high, and the feed sits for a long time, it can begin to ferment or mold.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Whole Oats

    Whole oats
    K. Blocksdorf

    Whole oats have been standard horse feed for decades. Oats can also be bought crimped, crushed, rolled, steamed or triple cleaned. Cleaning removes all dust and weed seeds. Some people feel if the oats are bruised by crimping or rolling it will be more digestible. Often owners will see what looks like whole oats in the manure and assume that the horse can't digest the outer shell and the oats have gone straight through. But if you inspect the manure a little closer, you'll see that nothing is left of the inside of the oat, and only the hulls are passing through the whole. Also, there is a chance that crimping or rolling allows the grain to deteriorate faster and lose nutritional value.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Hay Cubes

    Hay cubes
    K. Blocksdorf

    These cubes are highly compressed timothy hay. The hay is dried, chopped and compressed, then sold by the bag. Some people replace a portion of their horse's hay with hay cubes, and they are useful if your horse can't tolerate even a small amount of hay dust. These cubes are very hard, and while a horse's jaw is very strong, there is a chance of choking. Soaking and breaking up the cubes is one way to avoid this problem.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Pelleted Feed

    Feed pellets
    K. Blocksdorf

    This feed has been formed into nice little pellets especially for foals, although the size of the pellets would be fine for mature horses too. Pellets are usually a mixture of grains, corn, supplements. The grains are often steamed, so they are more digestible. Molasses is often added as a binder and to make the feed taste good.