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The initial way of life of the horse
To understand why the digestive system of the horse is the way it is, we have to go back a long way in time. The first horses roamed the tundra’s in big herds. The animals were on the move continuously and always looking for food. Now a days, wild herds still do the same thing. Wild horses spent 60% of their time collecting food.
The initial diet contained fibre-rich and energy-poor grass. It is clear that the horse, since its origins, is used to (and also built to) eat small portions, be on the move all the time and stay alive on grass that is high in fibres and low in energy.
The initial digestive system, developed during the evolution of the horse, is still present in todays horse. Click here for the article ‘From the feed to energy’ about the digestive system of the horse
Work causes the need for additional food
Because we ask our animals to work, grass does not provide sufficient energy. We help our horse by feeding it hard feed. But never forget that hard feed is a supplement to roughage and not the other way round.