The harder the workload, the higher the percentage protein feed required?

A relatively common misconception is that the harder horses work, the higher the percentage protein should be of the feed. In fact, horses have no requirement for a “percentage protein”. They do however require a certain amount of protein on a daily basis (grams of protein per day). Since horses in full work are generally fed more than those in light work, the protein percentage of the feed usually does not need adjustment.

For example, a horse in light work may receive 3kg of a 12% protein feed, providing a total of 360g of protein per day (3kg of feed x 120g of protein/kg of feed = 360 g of protein). The same horse in hard work will receive perhaps 7kg of a 12% feed, providing a total of 840g or protein per day. The protein contribution of the feed has increased significantly, despite not increasing the protein percentage of the feed.

The percentage protein of the feed is therefore not as important as the grams of protein received per day.  With mature, non-reproducing horses, shifting from a light to a hard work regimen usually does not involve changing to a higher percentage protein feed.

Vuma Feeds manufactures a range of feeds to suit all classes of horse. For further information on the product most suitable for your horse, you can contact Vuma Feeds on telephone number 033 263 1081 or e-mail