However, they lack many important nutrients performance horses need to stay in top form. Maybe that is why successful horse trainers through the ages have often fed the best-quality oats they could find, but then added various supplements to try and meet all the nutritional needs of top-level performance horses. They just could not maintain top performance on oats and hay alone.
Horses like oats,and the tradition of using oats runs deep in many horse trainers. As a result, they are often reluctant to embrace commercial feeds as a better option for the horses under their care. In many cases, commercial feeds will appear to be very good, and trainers may understand that quality commercial feeds offer more consistent and balanced nutrition. Yet many trainers hold on to oats and blend or cut commercial feed with them. What is the end result of that practice?
Horse oats by the numbers
Let’s compare the nutrition from oats to Purina® Omolene #500® horse feed, which is an exceptional feed formulated specifically to provide optimal nutritional support for top-level performance horses. There are oats in Omolene #500®, but they are blended with other quality ingredients to provide a very palatable, nutritionally balanced, diverse fuel source. Omolene #500® horse feed contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals, so no additional vitamin or mineral supplements are necessary.
In the chart below, which compares the difference in nutrient levels between oats and Omolene #500® horse feed, you can see why supplements are necessary with oats. Oats are a good ingredient in horse feeds, but nutrient levels are variable, and oats are lacking in many important nutrients needed to sustain peak performance. When you cut a formulated feed with oats, you lose so much.
|Nutrient||Omolene #500® feed||Oats||50:50 Blend|
|Protein, %||12.0||around 12%||around 12%|
|Vitamin E, IU/lb.||150||-98%||-49%|