A horse’s favorite activity is to eat. If given a choice, horses will graze a majority of the day and night with only a few hours of rest.
With the domestication of horses, humans expected them to adopt a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” schedule. It makes sense for us to eat this way, but not our horses. Horses have a small stomach, and produce acid 24/7. In fact, horses produce between 10 and 15 GALLONS of hydrochloric acid every day.
Saliva helps to buffer and neutralize all that acid, but horses only produce saliva when they chew. Large grain meals following hours of fasting can overload a horse’s sensitive digestive system, and causes gastric ulcers, colic, and a myriad of other digestive issues.
A proper feed program for your horse should consist of many small portions spread through the day and night. By feeding this way, you can help prevent painful, expensive, and deadly maladies like ulcers and colic.
Feeding small portions frequently can also impact your horse’s behavior. Horses are great time keepers so a consistent feeding schedule is important to avoid stress. Horses get stressed if they are not fed at the same times every day. Signs of stress include cribbing, weaving, stall walking and pawing.
iFEED mimics grazing by dispensing small amounts of feed consistently throughout the day and night. By slow feeding small portions you ensure that your horse produces ample acid-neutralizing saliva, fully digests the nutrients it eats, and avoids stress that leads to common stall vices, particularly around feeding times.