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That's a Mouthful! Grain-free Equine Nutrition


2.00 lb / 32 oz Cool Stance

0.75 lbs / 12 oz Progressive ProAdd Ultimate

0.25 lb / 4 oz Beet Pulp or 0.50 lb / 8 oz Alfalfa Pellets

The above recipe is split between two feedings with added water.


This is a daily amount fed to a roughly sixteen-hand Thoroughbred horse progressing from a body score of three to seven over the period of a few months in the wintertime (very little pasture forage). The two horses fed this diet were Snoutus Quo “Scout” (four year old mare transitioning from racing) and Stage Success “Gordon” (eleven year old gelding returning to work). Both horses had ulcers at intake, were treated with one month Gastroguard as recommended by our veterinarian, and have no signs or symptoms of ulcers since.

As Scout and Gordon have reached their maintenance weights and the green pasture grass has come in, we have decreased the daily amount of feed by half and will continue to decrease until we find their maintenance level. Although you have to soak and source multiple ingredients, we are spending less money to achieve a healthier horse.


Recommended: 0.25 to 0.75 pounds of whey, soy, or a whey / soy combo protein with vitamins and minerals daily

Benefits of the ProAdd include: an array of vitamins and minerals; the Omega 3 and 6’s are balanced, as are the Calcium and Phosphorus ratios; and a combination of whey and soy proteins. If you cannot purchase Progressive Nutrition products in your area or prefer to just add protein to the diet, you can try whey protein or soy protein.


Cool Stance is copra meal–made from the white part of the coconut–which is dried, baked and ground. Copra is rich in coconut oil (slowly digested), low in sugar and starch, highly digestible, high in fiber and has a low glycemic index (GI).


Beet pulp promotes healthy gut flora and is high in fiber. Alfalfa Pellets provide forage-based calories and proteins. If you would like to easily feed both, try Fibre-Beet.


We feed free choice pasture, free choice grass hay (timothy and/or orchard) plus two flakes of alfalfa. Gordon loves the alfalfa, Scout does not. We don’t feel there was a significant difference in the condition of the two horses based on the presence or absence of the legume hay.

If you would like to read more about grain-free equine diets and the biology and theory behind them, check out:


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