25 year old mare refuses to eat grain

I was recently given a 25 year old Quarter Horse Mare. Unlike my other 3 older horses, she will not eat any type of grain (pellets, sweet feed, etc). She will only eat hay. Her previous owner said she has never ...I was recently given a 25 year old Quarter Horse Mare. Unlike my other 3 older horses, she will not eat any type of grain (pellets, sweet feed, etc). She will only eat hay. Her previous owner said she has never ...

Story originally posted by: Dr. Michael Lowder, DVM, MSUniv. of GA School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lowder:

I was recently given a 25 year old Quarter Horse Mare. Unlike my other 3 older horses, she will not eat any type of grain (pellets, sweet feed, etc). She will only eat hay. Her previous owner said she has never been a grain eater. My concern is that as she continues to get older, she will not get the vitamins/minerals, etc. that she needs to stay healthy. She will not even eat the free choice mineral supplement I have for them. I am feeding her Timothy hay, all she will eat, but I am not sure is that is enough or if I should be combining various hays. Any advice would be appreciated. I live in NC and my pasture has no grass at all.

Thanks.

Christopher,

The first thing to do is to have her teeth examine by your veterinarian. I haven’t seen many horses that will not eat some type of grain. If you buy good quality hay (in North Carolina timothy or fescue is a good choice) and provide a palatable vitamin-mineral mix (change the one you have) your mare may not need any grain supplement.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder