Horse Feeding Advice

The Simple System Rules of Feeding

The traditional Rules of Feeding were devised in order to minimise the impact of feeding the horse on starchy grains and pulses that are actually alien to them. If more natural forages are fed, many of the rules do not apply, so here is our updated list:

  • The horse is a grazing animal, so forage should be available at all times.
  • Feed a forage feed, ideally based on lucerne, directly before work.
  • Always use good quality feeds.
  • Analyse your hay in order to make good use of this under-valued feed.
  • Ensure all feed bowls and utensils are clean.
  • Adjust feed according to the horse’s condition – condition score or weigh tape weekly.
  • Adjust feed according to work load.
  • Forage feeds have no limit to meal size.
  • Always at least dampen the feeds and ideally, soak them.

Introducing the feeds

Like any change of feed we recommend the feed is introduced gradually, by decreasing the old feed and increasing the new. However, this recommendation may vary in extreme cases. If the horse is on a high sugar diet it may take a bit longer to adjust. Some horses have a ‘sweeter tooth' than others. If they appear not to like the taste, you can add our Justamint or add unsweetened apple juice to the feed. Remember that it is more natural for a horse to 'graze' on feed rather than gobble it up all at once.


The table below contains our feeding guide.

  Total Per Day Rest/light work Medium work Hard work Intense work during competition
  SS+hay/grazing SS:hay/grazing SS:hay/grazing SS:hay/grazing all SS
e.g. Shetland
5kg 0.5kg:4.5kg 2kg:3kg 3kg:2kg 5kg
e.g. New Forest
7.5kg 0.75kg:6.75kg 3kg:4.5kg 4.5kg:3kg 7.5kg
e.g. Arab
10kg 1kg:9kg 4kg:6kg 6kg:4kg 10kg
e.g. Thoroughbred
12.5kg 1.25kg:11.25kg 5kg:7.5kg 7.5kg:5kg 12.5kg
e.g. Warmblood
15kg 1.5kg:13.5kg 6kg:9kg 9kg:6kg 15kg
e.g. Heavyweight
17.5kg 1.75kg:15.75kg 7kg:10.5kg 10.5:7kg 17.5kg
SS=Simple System Ltd feeds.
Grazing has to be an estimate.
All quantities are dry weight, before soaking, and per day.

When changing the diet we suggest feeding the same dry weight as before, but this can vary from case to case. We prefer to have contact with our customers so we can make suggestions and recommendations when it comes to working out which ratios are best. This enables us to apply things to the individual horse and its situation. If you would like feeding recommendations for your horse/s please contact us on 01728 604008 or email If emailing please include the following details: approximate weight of horse; height; breed; age; amount and type of current feed (dry weight if known or at least amount of scoops and the type of scoop); current condition; workload; amount and type of turnout; any problems (physical or psychological).


You can find soaking times for each individual product under the feeding instructions on the bag or on the product pages. All soaking times are a guide and products should be soaked until no hard bits remain. Warmer weather can decrease the maximum soaking time by up to 12hrs.

It is fine to vary the amount of water according to your horse's preference; some like it really wet, some like it really dry! We recommend increasing the amount of water during competition, to aid water intake and help to maintain hydration.

Heavy Buckets!

Soaking the feed increases the volume of the feed substantially but also increases the weight of the feed bucket. Below are some handy hints for avoiding back problems!

  • Where possible take the hose to the bucket for soaking rather than vice versa.
  • Use a wheelbarrow when moving the soaked feed.
  • Use the correct lifting procedures – bend the knees and not the back!
  • Soak the feeds near to where the horse/s eat it.

Saving Time, Keeping things simple!

To make things simple, it is possible to soak feeds altogether in the same bucket. If you have a number of horses we suggest making up each horse's feed in its own bucket so you know how much your horse is getting in dry weight and you can tailor the consistency to its own specific taste.

If you are concerned about the complexity of soaking the feeds when someone has to look after your horse/s for you or when taking your horses away for a holiday/competition, then why not use the SimplyComplete for a while. This is a complete feed all in one and can be fed straight, just add the water as required.

Life span of the feeds

All of the forage products, garlic, seaweed and yeast have a life span of about 2 years as they are pure dried feed products. Most of our feeds containing linseed have a shelf life of 9 months. Total Eclipse in 15 kg packs and Instant Linseed in 20 kg packs have a shelf life of 6 months. Do not order more than you will easily use well within these times.

All of the above are general feeding tips for using our feed products. If you have a specific problem with your horse or the feed and have further questions do not hesitate to get in contact by email or phone. We are happy to advise on individual situations. Please contact us on 01728 604008 or email .


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