Best Complete Horse Feeds

Complete horse feeds are a crucial aspect of equine nutrition, providing horses with the essential nutrients they need to thrive. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of complete horse feeds, delving into their benefits, different types, and how to choose the best option for your horse. We will also highlight some of the top recommended complete horse feeds available in the market. Whether you are a seasoned equestrian or a new horse owner, understanding the intricacies of complete horse feeds is essential for the health and well-being of your equine companions. So, let’s explore the world of complete horse feeds and ensure that your horses are getting the nutrition they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

What Are Complete Horse Feeds?

Complete horse feeds refer to nutritionally balanced formulations that provide horses with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to meet their dietary requirements and promote overall health.

These feeds are carefully designed to ensure the optimal balance of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber to support the horse’s energy needs, muscle development, and digestion. They often include supplements such as probiotics, prebiotics, and essential fatty acids to further enhance the horse’s well-being. Locally sourced ingredients and high feed quality play a crucial role in promoting the overall health and performance of the horse, as they reduce the risk of contamination and ensure nutrient bioavailability and digestibility. By providing a complete and balanced nutritional solution, horse feeds contribute to the overall vitality, immune function, and longevity of the animals.

What Are the Benefits of Using Complete Horse Feeds?

What Are the Benefits of Using Complete Horse Feeds? - Best Complete Horse Feeds

Credits: Horselife.Org – Frank Miller

Using complete horse feeds offers various benefits, including time-saving convenience, balanced nutrition, and cost-effective solutions for equine dietary needs.


Complete horse feeds save time by providing all the essential nutrients in a convenient form, eliminating the need for separate feed components and allowing for efficient feeding routines.

With carefully balanced ingredients, these feeds ensure that horses receive the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in every serving. This not only saves time for the owner but also promotes the overall well-being of the equine companions. By streamlining the feeding process, complete horse feeds contribute to a more organized stable management, enabling horse caretakers to allocate their time to other essential tasks such as grooming, training, and veterinary care.

Balanced Nutrition

Complete horse feeds ensure balanced nutrition, delivering a comprehensive blend of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support overall equine health and well-being.

These feeds are specifically formulated to meet the dietary requirements of horses, providing a convenient and reliable source of nutritional sustenance. Rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber, they contribute to muscle development, energy production, and digestive health. The inclusion of micronutrients and antioxidants promotes immunity, aids in the prevention of oxidative stress, and supports the maintenance of healthy skin, coat, and hooves.


Complete horse feeds offer unparalleled convenience, streamlining feeding processes and ensuring that horses receive all necessary nutrients in a single, easily manageable form.

These feeds eliminate the need to purchase multiple individual supplements, thereby reducing the complexity of feeding routines for horse owners. The ready-to-use nature of complete horse feeds means that they can be effortlessly stored and measured, saving time and effort. With their balanced nutritional content, complete horse feeds help to maintain the overall health and well-being of horses, making them an essential component of modern equine care.


Complete horse feeds present a cost-effective solution for meeting equine dietary needs, as they eliminate the requirement for additional supplements and individual feed components, leading to potential savings in the long run.

By providing a balanced nutritional profile in a single product, these complete feeds streamline the feeding process, resulting in reduced waste and overall feed consumption. The convenience of using complete horse feeds can lead to time savings for horse owners, making it not just a financially wise choice but a practical one for managing equine nutrition effectively. The long-term benefits of optimal nutrition provided by complete feeds can contribute to reduced veterinary costs and improved overall health and performance in horses.

What Are the Different Types of Complete Horse Feeds?

Complete horse feeds come in various types, including pelleted feeds, extruded feeds, textured feeds, senior feeds, performance feeds, growth feeds, and low-starch feeds, each designed to meet specific equine dietary requirements.

Pelleted feeds are formulated by pressing ingredients into compacted, bite-sized pellets, offering a balanced mix of essential nutrients for overall horse health. On the other hand, extruded feeds undergo a high-temperature, short-cooking process that results in a dense, uniform feed, ideal for horses with increased energy requirements. Textured feeds comprise a combination of grains, such as oats and corn, with added molasses, providing a palatable option for picky eaters.

Senior feeds cater to the needs of older horses, featuring easily digestible forms of protein, fiber, and fat, often with added joint support and prebiotics. Performance feeds are tailored to meet the demands of athletic horses, delivering high levels of carbohydrates and fats for sustained energy during intense physical activity.

Growth feeds are specifically formulated for young, developing horses to support skeletal and muscle growth, typically featuring higher protein and essential amino acids. Low-starch feeds are suitable for horses sensitive to high-starch diets, offering controlled starch and sugar levels to maintain stable energy and reduce the risk of metabolic issues.

Pelleted Feeds

Pelleted feeds offer a convenient and palatable form of complete nutrition for horses, often containing a blend of grains, hay, and essential supplements to support equine health and performance.

One of the main characteristics of pelleted feeds is their uniformity, as they are typically produced in a controlled manufacturing process. This ensures consistent nutritional content in every bite, making it easier for horse owners to accurately regulate their animal’s diet.

The natural ingredients in pelleted feeds are carefully selected to provide a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, catering to the specific nutritional needs of horses.

Extruded Feeds

Extruded feeds provide horses with a highly digestible and nutrient-rich diet, offering a convenient feeding solution that supports optimal health and performance.

These feeds are formulated by combining various ingredients, including grains, protein sources, vitamins, and minerals, which are then processed using high temperature and pressure. This process not only enhances the digestibility of the feed but also effectively destroys harmful bacteria and molds. The resulting pelleted form offers a balanced and easily digestible source of energy, aiding in maintaining muscle function, supporting gut health, and promoting an ideal body condition score.

Textured Feeds

Textured feeds provide horses with a blend of grains, hay, and essential nutrients in a textured form, offering a palatable and varied diet to meet equine nutritional needs and promote overall health.

This type of feed is designed to appeal to the natural feeding behaviors of horses, encouraging slow and steady consumption, which is beneficial for their digestive health. Not only are textured feeds palatable, but they also provide a diverse range of essential nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals, to support the overall well-being of horses.

As horses have different nutritional requirements based on their age, activity level, and health status, textured feeds offer a versatile option to tailor the diet according to individual needs.

Senior Feeds

Senior feeds are specifically formulated to cater to the dietary needs of aging horses, providing targeted nutrition and support for maintaining health, weight, and vitality in older equine companions.

These feeds are designed to address the changing metabolic and digestive needs of senior horses, often incorporating lower starch and sugar levels, increased fiber content, and essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The specialized composition aims to support joint health, muscle maintenance, and overall immune function in aging equines, helping to alleviate the risk of common age-related concerns such as arthritis, weight loss, and dental issues.

Performance Feeds

Performance feeds are designed to meet the enhanced nutritional demands of active and working horses, supporting energy, endurance, and recovery for equine athletes engaged in rigorous physical activities.

Many performance feeds contain high-quality protein sources like soybean meal and alfalfa to support muscle development and repair, along with essential amino acids to aid in recovery. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals to maintain overall health and well-being. The inclusion of digestible energy sources such as oats and corn provides the necessary fuel for sustained performance. These feeds are carefully formulated to provide a balanced nutrition profile that addresses the specific requirements of active horses, ensuring their optimal performance and vitality.

Growth Feeds

Growth feeds are tailored to meet the specific nutritional needs of young, growing horses, providing essential nutrients and support for skeletal development, muscle growth, and overall health during the formative stages of equine life.

These specialized feeds typically contain high-quality proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals essential for the development of strong bones and muscles. They are vital for ensuring the proper formation and support of the skeletal system, helping young horses achieve their genetic potential for size, strength, and athleticism.

Growth feeds play a crucial role in supporting optimal digestion, which is essential for overall health and vitality in young horses. They assist in maintaining a healthy weight and energy levels while promoting a robust immune system, thereby enhancing the overall well-being of the growing equine.

Low-Starch Feeds

Low-starch feeds are formulated to provide a reduced starch content, catering to the dietary needs of horses sensitive to high non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) levels, thus supporting metabolic health and overall well-being.

By minimizing the starch content, these feeds reduce the risk of metabolic imbalances and related issues in equines, such as insulin resistance and laminitis, which can be exacerbated by high NSC levels.

Incorporating low-starch feeds in a horse’s diet can positively impact protein utilization, digestive health, and energy metabolism, providing sustained energy without the rapid spikes in blood sugar commonly associated with high-starch diets.

How to Choose the Best Complete Horse Feed?

Selecting the best complete horse feed involves considering the age, activity level, and nutritional needs of the horse, as well as assessing ingredient quality, cost, and the suitability of the feed for promoting equine health and vitality.

For younger horses, nutrient-dense feed that supports growth and development is crucial, while senior horses may benefit from feed designed to support joint health and aid digestion.

Horses engaged in high-performance activities require feeds with optimal levels of proteins, fats, and vitamins to fuel their energy levels and muscle recovery.

Quality ingredients such as protein-rich alfalfa, flaxseed for omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals like copper and zinc should be prioritized for overall equine well-being.

Cost-effectiveness is also a factor, so choosing a feed that provides the required nutrition within a reasonable budget is essential for long-term care.

Age and Activity Level of Horse

Consider the age and activity level of the horse when choosing a complete feed, as different life stages and workloads require specific nutritional support and tailored feeding regimens for optimal health and performance.

For young, growing horses, a diet rich in essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals is crucial to support proper development. Conversely, senior horses may benefit from diets that address age-related challenges such as dental issues and decreased digestive efficiency.

The activity level of the horse, whether it is a companion animal or a performance athlete, significantly impacts dietary requirements. Working horses require higher energy intake and specific nutrients to sustain their demanding physical tasks, while idle horses may need less concentrated feeds to maintain a healthy body condition without excessive weight gain.

Nutritional Needs

Assess the specific nutritional needs of the horse, taking into account essential vitamins, minerals, and supplemental requirements to address any deficiencies and promote overall equine health and well-being.

Understanding the individual nutritional needs of horses is paramount in ensuring their optimal health and performance. Each horse has unique dietary requirements based on factors such as age, breed, workload, and health status.

Essential nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, play a crucial role in supporting various bodily functions, such as muscle development, energy metabolism, and immune system function.

Deficiencies in key nutrients can lead to a range of health issues, impacting the horse’s overall well-being and performance. Therefore, it is essential to tailor the feeding program to address any specific deficiencies or inadequacies through targeted supplementation.

Ingredient Quality

Evaluate the quality of ingredients used in complete horse feeds, emphasizing the importance of high-quality grains, hay, and locally sourced components to ensure nutritional integrity and overall feed safety.

High-quality grains play a crucial role in providing essential nutrients for the horse’s health and performance. It is important to consider the sourcing of ingredients to guarantee their freshness and nutritional value. Locally sourced components not only support the local economy but also reduce the environmental impact of transportation, contributing to sustainable equine nutrition.

Hay, being a significant part of the equine diet, should be free from molds, weeds, and contaminants. Premium-quality hay ensures the provision of adequate fiber and essential nutrients. Ensuring the integrity of feed components can help prevent digestive issues and promote overall equine well-being.


Consider the cost-effectiveness of complete horse feeds in relation to their nutritional value, ingredient quality, and suitability for promoting equine health, aiming to strike a balance between feed affordability and overall dietary benefits.

When evaluating the financial aspects of complete horse feeds, it’s essential to look at the long-term benefits they offer for the well-being of your equine companions. Opting for high-quality feed may initially seem more expensive, but considering the nutritional content and its impact on the horse’s health, it can lead to potential savings in the form of reduced veterinary expenses and improved performance. Weighing the upfront costs against the overall health and performance benefits can help to make an informed and economically sound decision when selecting complete horse feeds.

What Are the Top Recommended Complete Horse Feeds?

Several complete horse feeds stand out as top recommendations, including Purina Equine Senior, Triple Crown Complete, Nutrena SafeChoice Senior, Buckeye Nutrition Ultimate Finish 25, and Tribute Kalm Ultra, each offering unique nutritional profiles and benefits for equine health and performance.

Designed specifically for older horses, Purina Equine Senior is formulated with enhanced fiber to support senior digestive health and muscle maintenance.

On the other hand, Triple Crown Complete is a molasses-free feed suitable for all life stages, providing a well-balanced blend of high-quality fiber, protein, and fat, essential for overall equine well-being and performance.

With its controlled starch and sugar levels, Nutrena SafeChoice Senior supports overall digestive health while being adaptable for a wide range of horse breeds and ages, making it a versatile choice for equine caretakers.

For horses requiring additional calories and muscle support, Buckeye Nutrition Ultimate Finish 25 offers a unique blend of fats and soluble fiber, ideal for promoting healthy weight gain and improving coat condition.

Lastly, Tribute Kalm Ultra emphasizes low starch and sugar content, making it an excellent option for horses prone to metabolic or behavioral issues. Its enhanced vitamin and mineral content further contribute to sustained energy levels and overall physical wellness, making it a go-to choice for performance and pleasure horses alike.

Purina Equine Senior

Purina Equine Senior is a highly regarded complete horse feed, formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of older horses, supporting health, vitality, and longevity in aging equine companions.

One of the key attributes of Purina Equine Senior is its specialized blend of essential nutrients, including amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, carefully tailored to address the specific challenges faced by aging horses.

This feed contains high-quality proteins to support muscle maintenance and encourage healthy weight management, while also delivering easily digestible fiber to promote gastrointestinal health.

Moreover, Purina Equine Senior incorporates targeted levels of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to bolster immune function and joint health, helping aging horses to maintain their overall well-being.

Triple Crown Complete

Triple Crown Complete stands as a top-notch complete horse feed, known for its balanced nutrition, superior ingredient quality, and comprehensive support for equine health and performance.

Its formulation integrates a carefully balanced blend of protein, vitamins, and minerals, catering to the specific dietary needs of horses at all stages of life. The inclusion of triple-cleansed grains ensures optimal digestibility and nutrient absorption, promoting digestive health and efficiency.

This premium feed also contains essential Omega fatty acids, promoting coat quality, immune function, and overall well-being. The presence of biotin and other key nutrients supports hoof strength and integrity, contributing to the overall soundness of the equine athlete.

Nutrena SafeChoice Senior

Nutrena SafeChoice Senior is a highly recommended complete feed for aging horses, providing a balanced blend of essential nutrients and specialized support for maintaining health, weight, and vitality in senior equine companions.

The SafeChoice Senior formulation caters to the changing needs of older horses, delivering a targeted combination of fiber, fat, and controlled starch, which helps in supporting digestive health and ensuring optimal body condition. This specialized feed is fortified with essential amino acids, prebiotics, and probiotics to aid in muscle maintenance, overall immune function, and efficient nutrient utilization.

Buckeye Nutrition Ultimate Finish 25

Buckeye Nutrition Ultimate Finish 25 is a top-tier complete horse feed, known for its comprehensive nutritional support, palatability, and benefits for equine health, particularly in meeting the dietary needs of performance and senior horses.

Containing 25% fat, this feed is a rich source of energy, promoting stamina and aiding in weight maintenance for hardworking horses. The balanced blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals supports muscle development, endurance, and overall well-being. Its palatable nature makes it appealing to finicky eaters, ensuring they receive essential nutrients. For senior horses, the digestible fibers and added vitamins assist in maintaining optimal body condition and promoting digestive health.

Tribute Kalm Ultra

Tribute Kalm Ultra is a premium complete horse feed, known for its specialized nutritional formulation that supports equine health, performance, and overall vitality, making it an ideal choice for horses with specific dietary requirements.

This feed contains a balanced blend of fibers, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring the horses receive the essential nutrients they need for optimal health and performance. The formula includes amino acids and prebiotics to support digestive health, enabling better absorption of nutrients and promoting gut health. The low-starch and low-sugar content make it an excellent option for horses prone to metabolic issues, offering a solution for managing their dietary needs. Not to forget, the controlled energy release promotes a calm and focused demeanor, ideal for horses in various disciplines such as dressage, eventing, or trail riding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best complete horse feeds on the market?

The best complete horse feeds on the market are those that provide a balanced and complete diet for your horse, meeting all their nutritional needs. Some popular options include Purina Equine Senior, Triple Crown Complete, and Buckeye Nutrition EQ8 Senior.

How do I know if a complete horse feed is right for my horse?

A complete horse feed may be a good choice for your horse if they are not receiving enough nutrients from their current diet, have a high activity level, are underweight, or have specific health needs such as senior horses or those with nutrient deficiencies.

Do complete horse feeds come in different forms?

Yes, complete horse feeds can come in the form of pellets, textured feeds, or extruded feeds. Pellets are compact and easy to store, while textured feeds offer a more natural texture for horses to chew. Extruded feeds are a combination of pellets and textured feeds, providing a balance of both.

Can complete horse feeds be customized for my horse’s specific needs?

Yes, some brands offer customized complete horse feeds that can be tailored to your horse’s individual needs. This may include adjusting the protein, fat, and fiber levels, as well as adding in specific supplements for joint health, digestion, or coat appearance.

What should I look for when choosing a complete horse feed?

When choosing a complete horse feed, it’s important to look for one that is specifically formulated for your horse’s age, activity level, and health needs. Check the ingredients list to ensure that it contains high-quality sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and avoid feed with excessive amounts of fillers or additives.

How much complete horse feed should I give my horse?

The amount of complete horse feed to give your horse will depend on their individual needs and the specific brand and type of feed you are using. Generally, the recommended amount is 1-2% of your horse’s body weight, divided into several meals throughout the day. Always follow the feeding instructions on the feed bag and consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations.

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