Protein Sources For Horses


This table lists the variety of commercial protein sources available for horses. The ingredients often change so be sure to read the label for the most accurate ingredients. This list was updated December 2020 and I will not be updating it in the future (too much work).  I leave it up to you to investigate.

I still believe that feeding soybean meal alone is your best bet because:

  • it is a natural source of all the essential amino acids.
  • It is from the legume family like alfalfa, clover, birdsfoot trefoil, etc – all horses eat with few having bad reactions to.
  • It is used in ALL of the commercial feeds listed here as well as almost all other feeds
  • As an ingredient, it is the least expensive
  • As an ingredient, there are no added ingredients that inflame the gut

Other natural sources of protein are pea protein and hemp protein though they do not have the safety and efficacy track record of soybean meal in horses.

Protein Product Percent Protein Protein Sources Suspect Ingredients Unnecessary Ingredients
ProAdd Ultimate (no longer available)


Progressive Nutrition

55% whey concentrate, dried whey flaxseed, vegetable oil added AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, choline chloride
Top-Line Extreme


Progressive Nutrition

60% Whey protein concentrate, spray dried whey, spray dried egg wheat gluten, flaxseed, vegetable oil, rice bran oil yeast extract, AA’s flavorings
Top-Line Advance Support


Progressive Nutrition

65% man-made amino acids flaxseed, wheat gluten,   rice bran oil AA’s, betaine, flavorings
Pro Advantage Grass Formula (no longer available)


Progressive Nutrition

30% soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal wheat middlings, maize distillers dried grains w/ solubles, beet pulp, lignin sulfonate, soybean oil CaCO3, minerals, vitamins, choline chloride, probiotics, flavorings


Manna Pro

25% soybean meal, dried whey, dehydrated alfalfa meal corn, hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, vegetable oil, linseed meal CaCO3, vitamins, minerals, Fenugreek, Anise (licorice) flavoring


Manna Pro

25% soybean meal, dried whey, dehydration alfalfa meal hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, linseed meal, vegetable oil CaCO3, choline chloride, vitamins, minerals, fenugreek, anise flavoring


Platinum Performance

80% whey protein concentrate none none
Equine Platinum Performance


Platinum Performance

21% whey protein concentrate flaxseed, flax oil, rice bran, sunflower seeds, cane molasses vitamins, minerals, AA’s
Barn Bag


Life Data Labs

32% soy protein concentrate, dehydrated alfalfa meal none Lecithin, AA’s, vitamins, minerals
Whey Protein Isolate Powder



90% whey protein isolate none none
Tri Amino



100% lysine, methionine, threonine.                         (no other amino acids) lab-made amino acids AA’s



32% dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal  wheat middlings, soybean oil, rice bran oil CaCO3, AA’s, yeast, vitamins, minerals
30% Ration Balancer


Triple Crown

30% soybean meal wheat middlings, ground flaxseed, stabilized rice bran, kelp meal, lecithin, soybean oil, cane molasses AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antacids, flavorings, preservatives
Gro ’N Win Ration Balancer


Buckeye Nutrition

32% dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal wheat middlings, heat processed soybeans, maize distillers dried grains, flaxseed CaCO3, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, yeast
Enrich Plus Ration Balancing


Purina Mills

32% unlisted ingredients on the website (see the blog “Betrayal” where a feed tag from 2018 is displayed) unlisted ingredients vitamins, minerals, prebiotic fiber
Super Sport Amino Acid Supplement


Purina Mills

40% dehulled soybean meal, soy protein concentrate, dried whey protein concentrate, alfalfa meal wheat middlings, cane molasses CaCO3, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, flavorings
Essential K



28% dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dried whey ground extruded soybeans, wheat middlings, flaxseed, cane molasses, soybean oil CaCO3, lignan sulfonate, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, bentonite, flavorings
Empower® Topline Balance Ration Balancer



30% dehulled soybean meal Wheat Middlings, Corn Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles, Corn Gluten Feed, Corn Germ Meal, etc Vitamins, minerals, probiotics

Notes and legend:

  • AA = Amino Acids from synthesis (man-made).
  • Anise seed – licorice flavoring has shown to be the favorite flavoring in trials with horses.
  • Bentonite – a clay used as a binder and absorbent to increase shelf life. Also used as a laxative when prescribed.
  • Betaine – derived from sugar beets it is an amino acid derivative.
  • CaCO3 – calcium carbonate – the calcium used in antacids such as “Tums.”
  • Choline chloride – is a growth stimulant used mostly in poultry feed.
  • Lignan sulfonate – an antioxidant in flame retardants and animal feed, derived from wood pulp production, the main ingredient in plaster, concrete, and sheetrock and used for dust control on dirt roads.

Back to top


Remember, you can also start a discussion in the forums for a more in-depth experience!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.