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Nourishing Your Equine Companion Through Rehab

By July 27, 2023August 16th, 2023No Comments

Iverson Equine: Road to Recovery Series

Proper nourishment plays a vital role in optimizing your horse’s well-being and aiding in their road to recovery. Read on to learn more about the crucial aspect of equine nutrition throughout the rehab journey. 

Note: It is important to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your horse’s diet, as individual circumstances and goals may vary.

What is Equine Rehab?

Before we delve into the specifics of equine nutrition during rehab, let’s review the concept of rehabilitation itself. According to the World Health Organization, rehabilitation is defined as “a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and reduce disability in individuals with health conditions in interaction with their environment.” At Iverson Equine, we firmly believe in the power of a comprehensive and tailored rehabilitation program that addresses the evolving needs of your horse throughout the entire recovery process.

Nutritional Requirements: Foundation for Success

A sound nutritional plan is the cornerstone of your horse’s rehabilitation journey. Let’s explore some key considerations to ensure your equine companion receives the nourishment they need during this critical phase.

Forage: The Bedrock of the Diet

Forage should form the foundation of your horse’s diet during rehab. Aim to feed 1-2% of your horse’s body weight in forage, such as good quality hay. When selecting hay, look for specific characteristics: low moisture content, vibrant green color, a sweet aroma, and a harvest before maturity. It’s important to ensure the hay is free from weeds, poisonous plants, trash, and foreign objects.

Concentrates (Grain): Adjusting to the New Normal

During rehab, your horse’s grain requirements may decrease or even become unnecessary if their activity level is reduced. However, it’s essential to evaluate their individual needs with the guidance of your veterinarian. In some cases, ration balancers may be a suitable option. These products offer lower energy concentrations while providing essential trace minerals and vitamins to maintain overall body condition, especially when paired with lower quality hay.

Supplements: Expert Advice is Key

Supplements can be valuable additions to your horse’s nutritional regimen during rehab. However, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate supplements for your horse’s specific needs. Caution should be exercised when considering non-FDA approved supplements, as their efficacy and safety may not be fully supported by scientific evidence.

Early Stall Rest: Managing Inflammation and Pain

In the initial stage of stall rest and reduced exercise, your horse’s nutrition plan should prioritize reducing inflammation and managing pain. Here are some important guidelines to follow during this phase:


  • Gradually reduce the amount of grain your horse consumes.
  • Spread out hay feedings into multiple smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Utilize hay nets or slow feeders to encourage slower consumption.
  • Seek advice from your veterinarian before introducing any supplements.
  • Provide mental stimulation and activities to prevent stress.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule to offer your horse a sense of stability.
  • Ensure stalls are clean, dry, and comfortable to promote a healthy environment.


  • Allow excessive weight gain, which could hinder the recovery process.
  • Rush through the rehabilitation journey; remember, it’s a gradual process.
  • Over-supplement without professional guidance.
  • Subject your horse to a high-stress environment.
  • Make too many changes to the nutrition plan at once; gradual adjustments are key.
  • As rehab progresses, continue to fine tune the diet, as needed.

At Iverson Equine, we believe in a comprehensive and tailored approach to equine nutrition and rehabilitation. By prioritizing the nutritional needs of your horse and following expert guidance, you can optimize their well-being and set them on the path to a successful recovery. Have questions about nutrition during rehab? Reach out today!