Whole oats have gotten a bad reputation for a couple reasons, one being that they are said to make horses “hot” and the other is that horses don’t digest oats very well, they go right through them. On the subject of making a horse “hot”, it is all about moderation. Most horses do not need a gallon of oats, a quart or two will suffice. As for horses not digesting oats, that is a farce as well. The ratio of oats going into the horse compared to out of the horse is far less. Besides, those few oats that come out whole in the manure did a great service for that horse. They just tossed and turned throughout that entire digestive tract cleaning up and breaking away debris along the way so better absorption of other nutrients can take place.
What other benefits do oats have? Oats help break down the sharp points on the teeth, they massage the esophagus, oxygenate the blood, strengthen tendons and ligaments, and they are high in silica and fiber.
So if you are not already giving your horse oats, consider it, because it is a wholesome grain that comes with many benefits for your horse.