Horse Feed Bag

Rationing wasn't just for soldiers

During the First World War, horses were required for many different roles. They moved supplies, weapons, equipment and ammunition, as well as carrying out their usual cavalry duties. The care of these horses was carried out with the upmost importance.

One horse would need as much food as ten soldiers. It was impossible to supplement their diet with grass as there was not much of it on the Western Front, so the supply of horse fodder became one of the biggest and most important supplies to be shipped out. This put a great strain on transport and meant that, like their fellow soldiers, horses had to have their food rationed.

Horses were fed from a nose bag like this one, rather than from the ground. This helped to reduce any food waste as the horse was able to eat even the smallest grains. It also prevented them from picking up anything that might make them sick and made it easier to give a horse medication if it required it. Most importantly, it meant that each horse got their full ration and stopped hungry horses stealing food from each other! It also meant that horses could always be fed, as they would be able to eat on the move.

This horse feed bag is made from canvas and has an extendable strap to loop it over the horses’ head and fastens with a metal buckle. There are some small holes on the front to allow airflow and help the horse to breathe while they eat.