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What Does Barley Do for Horses?

Barley is a cereal grain that is widely used in horse diets as a source of energy and nutrition. It is a widely accepted feed grain because it is cost-effective, easily digestible, and has a multitude of health benefits for horses. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which barley can improve the health of horses and why it is an essential component of their diets.

Nutritional Value of Barley

Barley is considered to be a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in fiber, and the grains are easily digestible for horses. The high fiber content helps to keep the digestive system functioning properly and prevents colic and impaction. Barley is also high in beta-glucans, which are beneficial for the immune system. These glucans help to boost the immune system and protect against infection.

Energy Source

Barley is a great source of energy for horses. It helps to provide them with the energy they need for physical activities, such as racing and jumping. The grains are easily broken down in the stomach, providing horses with an immediate source of energy. It is also a good source of long-term energy, helping horses to maintain their weight and stay healthy.

Skin and Hair Health

Barley is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, which help to promote healthy skin and hair. It is rich in zinc, which helps to stimulate hair growth and improve the quality of the coat. It is also high in Vitamin E, which helps to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun.

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Weight Control

Barley is a great source of fiber, which helps to promote healthy weight management. The high fiber content helps to keep horses feeling full for longer, which prevents them from overeating and maintains healthy weight. It is also high in protein, which aids in muscle growth and development.

Digestive Health

Barley is an excellent source of fiber for horses, which helps to keep their digestive system functioning properly. The high fiber content helps to prevent colic and impaction, and it can also help to reduce the amount of toxins in the gut. The grains are also easily digestible, making them a good choice for horses with sensitive stomachs.


Barley is an important component of horse diets, as it provides essential nutrients, energy, and fiber. It is a cost-effective, easily digestible grain that helps to keep horses healthy and active. From providing energy to promoting skin and hair health, barley is an essential part of a balanced diet for horses.