Enhancing the health, safety and lives of pets, horses and farm animals since 2004

Nutritional Requirements of Horses - Part 3

The Rusty Spur Tack, Feed & Pet

Reproduced with permission of Otter Co-op Feeds

In this multi-part series, we talk about the Nutritional Requirements of Horses including Energy, Proteins, Vitamins, Macro Minerals and Micro Minerals.

Part 3 – Proteins

Proteins are made up of amino acids that are the building blocks of hair, hoof, skin, muscles and blood cells.  If your horse suffers from hoof, skin or coat problems it may be caused by a lack of protein in the diet.  Quality of protein can contribution to a lack of protein.  So before you purchase a fancy supplement to fix the problem, balance the protein in your horse’s diet.  Horses that receive adequate protein in their diets are able to obtain all the essential and non-essential amino acids they require from feed and help them digest fibre and turn it into energy. 


Studies have shown that feeding modest excesses of protein isn’t really harmful to a horse’s health and will not cause a horse to have large swings in energy however it maybe a waste of money.  Excess protein is past in urine.  Large excesses may cause metabolic and digestive problems that can include large amounts of ammonia in the urine and when left untreated in confined spaces this can cause respiratory problems.   For guidance on the protein levels you should be feeding your horse, give The Rusty Spur Tack, Feed & Pet a call anytime.