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The 9 Best Food For Horses

Like people, horses need to eat a wide range of nutrients to stay healthy. However, they have to do this with fewer food sources.

Most of a horse's diet will come from grass and hay that it finds on its own, but you will need to give it other food to make sure it gets all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and happy.

When horses are given an incomplete or wrong diet, they can get sick, lose weight, gain weight, act strangely, and more.

No one wants to feed their horse the wrong things, but it can be hard to know what to give your horse to keep it in the best health. There are so many products on the market that it can be hard to tell the difference between advertising and how well the product works.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) decided to try out some of the best food for horses. In the reviews that follow, you'll find out how they stack up against each other and which ones we recommend.


Tribute Equine Nutrition Kalm N’ EZ Pellet Low-NSC

Horses eat a ton of food every day. In addition to eating grass all day, they can also eat up to 10 pounds of grain per day. Because of this, it pays to find cheap horse food that you know will give your horse the nutrition it needs.

After testing it, we think that the Tribute Equine Nutrition Kalm N’ EZ Pellet Horse Feed is just such a product. In fact, we think it’s the best value for money when it comes to horse food.

The best thing about this feed is that it costs less than most of the other options. Plus, it comes in a big 50-pound bag, so you won’t have to buy it every other day.

Even though it’s cheap, it’s made with good ingredients and has a lot of protein and fiber. Corn, molasses, and oats are the things that are missing.

Adding dry yeast helps keep the gut healthy. The total amount of NSC is about 14%, so most horses can eat it without getting sick.

It has the right amount of minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in it. It has 8% crude fat, which makes it a bit higher in calories than some blends. But compared to competitors, it doesn’t have enough essential fatty acids.


  • Priced within reach
  • Doesn’t have corn, molasses, or oats in it.
  • Gut-healthy food made with dry yeast
  • High in fiber and protein


  • Not enough important fatty acids


Cavalor Fiberforce Horse Food

Cavalor’s Fiberforce Horse Feed blend is a high-quality product that is too expensive for most people to buy. It costs a lot more than other products on the market, but it does what it says it will do.

If you look at the food’s nutrition label, you’ll see that the list of ingredients is very short. In fact, this is the shortest list of ingredients we’ve ever seen on a horse feed label.

All of the ingredients, like flaxseed, ground alfalfa hay, and dried beet pulp, are high-quality. It has a good amount of protein and 30% crude fiber, which is a lot.

You’ll also notice that this mix has digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics, all of which are meant to help your horse’s digestive health. This blend has only 5% starch and 3% sugar, which is very low for NSC.

It’s also low in fat, which makes it less caloric. Still, it’s very good horse food. We just don’t like the price, which is way too high.


  • Very few carbs that aren’t needed for structure
  • Lots of fiber
  • It has enzymes for digestion, prebiotics, and probiotics.
  • Short list of what’s in it


  • Far more expensive than other options
  • Fat-free


Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Low-NSC Horse Food

With their Essential K Low-NSC horse feed, Tribute Equine Nutrition is on this list for the second time.

This blend is said to be low in NSC and great for horses with health problems like being overweight or having trouble with insulin.

But they don’t say anywhere how many NSCs there are in total, so it’s hard to know if this claim is true.

The biotin that is added to keep the hooves healthy is one thing that is listed in the nutrition facts. It also says how much protein it has, which is 28%, which is a lot. It also has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids but not many omega-3s.

Because these pellets are low in calories, you don’t get as much for your money. For your horse to get the same amount of nutrition from this blend as from others, it would have to eat more of it.

But it’s great for horses that are too fat because it helps them lose weight in a natural way. On the other hand, it costs more than other blends from the same brand, so we’d probably choose one of the cheaper ones instead.


  • Low in carbs that don’t make up the structure
  • Great for horses with insulin resistance or that are overweight
  • Biotin is added to help keep hooves healthy.
  • has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Has a lot of protein


  • Low-calorie pellets don’t provide as much nutrition
  • Much more expensive than other items from the same brand
  • Doesn’t tell you what the NSC levels are.


Tribute Equine Nutrition Kalm Ultra High Fat Horse Food

Tribute Equine Nutrition Kalm Ultra High Fat Horse Feed is a good choice for horses that are very underweight and need help getting to a healthy weight. The price is also reasonable.

But we wouldn’t recommend it for most healthy horses. It says on the package that it has low NSC, which is good for horses with ulcers or behavioral problems. However, it has 23.5% NSC, so we wouldn’t call it low NSC.

This formula is good for horses that need to gain weight or workhorses that burn a lot of calories every day because it is high in both fat and fiber. It’s also made with dry yeast, which can help keep your gut healthy.

It’s a good choice for horses that need more calories to keep or gain weight, but healthy horses would be better off with a different blend, like the Kalm N’ EZ Pellet Horse Feed, which won our best value award.


  • Prices that are fair
  • Recipe with a lot of fat and fiber
  • Made with dry yeast to keep the gut healthy
  • Great for horses that are too thin or workhorses


  • The list of ingredients is very long.
  • Higher in the NSC than in other equations


Bluebonnet Feeds Boosts Omega Force High Protein, Low Starch Horse Feed

Bluebonnet Feeds’ Intensify Omega Force Horse Feed is a grain-free feed made to meet the dietary needs of horses in training. Experts in the field of horses are said to have made it so that it is good for horses of all ages.

This mix has many nutrients that are good for your health, like kelp seaweed, yucca, and biotin. It has a lot of omega fatty acids and not much NSC.

It has only 5% sugar and 10% starch. It’s also high in price and doesn’t have much fiber.

If we hadn’t had bad experiences with mold, we could look past the high price. The mold was in our first bag of Intensify Omega Force horse feed.

We were lucky that we caught it before giving it to our horses. Even though there was no mold in the second bag, there wasn’t much about this feed that made us want to try it again.


  • Made for horses at all stages of their lives
  • NSC is low


  • Blends that are low in fiber
  • One feed bag had mold in it.
  • Overpriced

Final Decision

For the best food for horsesTribute Equine Nutrition Kalm N’ EZ Pellet Feed is BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) pick. This mix has a lot of protein and fiber, but it doesn’t have any corn, molasses, or oats in it. It’s one of the least expensive horse feeds we’ve found, and the dry yeast in it helps keep the horse’s gut healthy.

How to Choose the Best Food for Horses?

Calories per gram

Caloric density is a measure of how many calories a certain amount of feed has. For example, let’s say that feed A contains 1,100 calories per pound and feed B contains 1,500 calories per pound. If you buy both in 50-pound bags, bag B will have 20,000 more calories than bag A, even though both bags contain 50 pounds of feed.

A higher caloric density means that you get more calories for your money. This may not always be a good thing, though. If your horse is already overweight, feeding them food with a high caloric density could make them gain more weight, while feeding them food with a low caloric density could help them lose weight. On the other hand, a horse that needs to gain weight or a workhorse that needs to refuel after a lot of work will benefit from the feed with more calories per pound.

NSC Content

Non-structural carbs are what NSC stands for. NSCs are mostly starches and sugars, which, if horses eat too much of them, can cause digestive and metabolic problems.

Also, horses with health problems like insulin resistance, ulcers, laminitis, or even hyperactivity can all benefit from eating feeds with a low NSC content.

Even if a food says on its label that it has low NSC, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Some of the foods we looked at had a lot more NSC than their ads would make you think.

Fat and Protein Content

Protein is needed for a lot of things in the body, like building and repairing muscle. Because of this, it’s important that your horse gets enough and different protein.

Fats, like omega fatty acids, are also an important part of your horse’s diet. These acids can help keep the coat and joints healthy. High-fat feeds tend to have more calories, so you can feed your horse less of it and still keep it healthy.


The digestive system of a horse is very big, so it needs to eat a lot to stay full. Fiber helps your horse feel full and also gives him or her a lot of calories.

If your horse doesn’t get enough fiber, it can get diarrhea, become dehydrated, and even get colic.

Volume and Price

Once you find a feed that fits your needs, you need to think about how much it costs. Before you can do this, you need to know how much feed you’re buying.

Don’t compare the price of one company’s 30-pound bag of feed to the price of another company’s 50-pound bag. Compare bags of the same size to make sure you’re comparing like with like.

This is the only way to compare prices of different brands in a fair way. Don’t forget that the more expensive product isn’t always the better one, even though marketing might make you think so.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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