How Much Rolled Oats to Feed a Horse? [Tested]

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 10/06/22 •  7 min read

Oatmeal – the morning bowl we crave every morning!

And guess what?

And you are not the only one – Horses love old-fashioned oats too!

Yes, this strength-giving cereal is a type of whole-grain food that is considered easy for horses to eat. Start the morning with the same breakfast; not a bad idea, right? But the question is – how much rolled oats should you feed your horse? 

If your horse is overweight or inactive, you may want to reduce the number of oats or try a lower-calorie feed.

Let’s start with the basics – what are rolled oats?

Rolled oats are basically steamed and rolled into a flakes version of whole oats.

Relatively low in calories, They’re a good source of fiber and protein. Plus, oats are easy to digest, which is why they’re a popular choice for horses. The BENEFITS of feeding OATS are actually massive.

So, which is better for horses, crimped oats or whole oats?

Definitely crimped or rolled oats. As I already mentioned, they are more processed and easy to digest.

Horses fed a diet that includes rolled oats are less likely to have colic, and they tend to have shinier coats and brighter eyes. In addition, horses that are fed rolled oats tend to be calmer and less hyperactive.

Wait… there’s more!

Not only are they packed with fiber, but they’re also high in carbohydrates, which provide the horse with energy.

High in minerals yet low in starch- what could be better than that!!!!!

See also: If you own a horse, you may want to beware of buttercups! These pretty flowers can actually be toxic to horses and other animals.

Are rolled oats good for horses?


Horses’ teeth weaken as they age, and their digestive systems do not function as well as they did when they were young. Therefore, rolled oats are a preferable choice for them since they are easy to chew and digest and also give horses a large amount of energy. especially effective for the ponies, which are……

So, how many rolled oats should I feed my horse?

It depends on the weight and exercise level of your horse. Rolled oats are high in fiber grains that are easy to chew and improve your horse’s digestibility. These oats can improve the utilization of horses, especially older ones. 

But this feed shouldn’t be fed in excess to horses because it can affect their primary utility. It can make the horses fat and sluggish. 

How Much Rolled Oats to Feed a Horse?

Related: Learn the answer to “do horse teeth keep growing?” in this article – the answer may surprise you!

How often should you feed rolled oats to a horse?

Horses need to eat a balanced diet just like we do. 

And oats are a big part of that diet. So, how often to feed rolled oats to a horse?

Ideally, you shouldn’t give your horse oatmeal more than once a day. But if your horse is active, you might want to increase it to twice daily. You can also mix the oats with other feed like hay or straw.

Your goal should be……

Ensure your horse gets enough nutrients to stay healthy and active. So feed them rolled oats and see the difference it makes!

Note: You should always consult your vet to ensure you’re providing your horse with the right amount of nutrients. And don’t forget that horses need hay and fresh water to maintain good health— so make sure their diet is well-rounded.


Related article: Are you trying to decide between beet pulp and alfalfa pellets for your horse’s diet?

Why DO some horses not do well on OATS?

Oats are generally safe for horses to eat. But you do need to be careful about how much you feed them because too much can actually have adverse side effects.

For example, too many oats for horses can cause weight gain in horses. 

It can also lead to digestive problems. So it’s important to ensure you’re not feeding your horse that is allergic to oats. Always monitor their diet to ensure they’re getting the proper nutrients.

Should oats be soaked before feeding horses? How do you feed rolled oats to horses?

For the older horse, it is better to soak the oats before feeding. Why? Again, make it easy to chew. With age, the teeth get older.

Related article: Find out more about why spinach is good for horses and how to feed it to them.

Can rolled oats’ nutritional value be enough for horses?

Let me say this straight……

The nutritional value of rolled oats is not enough to keep your horse’s optimal performance and well-being. 

Rolled oats are indeed a good and healthy ingredient for horses, but they are lacking in many essential nutrients needed for their good health. 

Here is why:

Though these oats are high in fiber and are beneficial to the digestive system, however, the limited protein rolled oats contain (around 13%) is not sufficient for horses.

You may ask why protein is so important.

The thing is, Proteins are the building components of essential amino acids, which are required for a horse’s development and bone and muscle repair. It would be best if you fed your horses a protein-rich diet.

Get it?

Other feeds that can be added to make it a more balanced diet like sugar beet (best if it’s un-molasses)

Related: A lot of people think that horse feed can be fed to cows but is that really true? Let’s debunk the myths and find out



Can you feed a horse too many oats?

Feeding horses too many oats can ruin their balanced diet. Overfeeding oats can make your horse overweight. 

Will oats put weight on a horse?

Depends; you should not feed them too many oats. It will destabilize their diet. A horse will not gain weight by eating 1/2 cup of oats. It also provides fiber for the horse.

Can horses eat uncooked oatmeal?

Yes! You can mix oatmeal with water and feed it to them that way. 

Can you feed oats to horses for weight gain?

Yes, oats are a good source of energy for horses and can be used to help them gain weight. Oats should be introduced gradually into the horse’s diet and should not exceed 1-2 kg per day.



Surely, Rolled oats are high in fiber grains that are simple to chew and increase a horse’s digestibility. And this grain can help enhance the use of horses, especially elderly ones.

However, you need to pay attention to your horse’s condition before feeding them rolled oats. Overfeeding oats can cause weight gain. 

Say this a thousand times, but can’t help reminding you again…….

You should always consult with your vet before incorporating anything into the horse’s diet. And Make sure you’re providing your horse with the right nutrients.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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