How to stop your horse from bolting his feed


Horses that scarf their grain meals down in a few nanoseconds are called “bolters”. You also have a “bolter” if he can take you from one end of the arena to the next county in a few nanoseconds, but this is a story for another day.


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Horses that bolt their food are at risk of:



  • Colic


  • Decreased absorption of nutrients (less chewing going on!)


  • Choke and colic are definitely reasons to call the Vet ASAP, and you may not notice the decreased absorption of nutrients immediately, but over time your horse may not thrive.


Why do some horses bolt their feed?


  • Some horses are just plain gluttonous, and some are fearful that their food will be taken by their horse neighbor – even if they eat in a stall.


How to stop your horse from bolting



slow feeder for horse feeds and hay pellets

A slow feeder for grains and mashes is also a good idea!



slow feeder for horses and dogs

Part slow feeder, part carnival ring toss game.


  • Feed more meals with smaller amounts. This is also the best way to feed grain anyway.


  • Add water. I always add water to grain meals, this can help a senior horse with chewing, and it’s a great way to add some hydration. For pellets, this works well, as they expand into mush after about five minutes.



wet beet pulp in a bucket

Feed soup!


  • Create an obstacle course in his feed bucket. Some folks add smooth stones, dog toys or mineral blocks so that the horse needs to work around the obstacles to get the grain.


  • Put the grain meal into a toy that must be manipulated for food to dispense.


horse pushing a horse toy


  • Think croutons on a salad and scatter the grain over the top of his hay pile. This works best if your horse’s hay meal is contained in a large feeder.


  • If your horse is in a herd, consider separating him so he can eat without the threat of his food being stolen.


What has worked for you when feeding a horse that bolts his grain?


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Jolly Pets Horsemen's Pride Amazing Graze Toy

Keep your horse's brain happy!

02/21/2024 02:08 pm GMT

Great to use with buckets to discourage cribbing

02/22/2024 08:28 pm GMT
02/21/2024 06:37 pm GMT
02/22/2024 02:27 am GMT
Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.

Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings on muzzles!

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag XL – GG Equine

One side of this innovative slow feeder is solid - perfect for pastures! It will hold a small bale of hay.

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag – GG Equine - 2 sizes available

2 sizes of this slow-feeding hay toy - snack size holds a few flakes, and the half size holds 1/2 bale.

40 lb. Alfalfa Cubes
$35.51 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
02/22/2024 08:23 pm GMT
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Thank you!