Hi everyone! I am leasing a 7 year old OTTB. He is a little underweight due to colicing twice in a short amount of time over the spring. His owner has him on beet pulp, alfalfa, and a weight gain supplement from smartpak and he is gaining his weight back. A lady the boards where he is kept made the comment, "I would never give alfalfa to a thoroughbred". Of course, she doesnt HAVE a thoroughbred so I want to attribute this to OTTB's bad reputation. But have any of you guys ever experienced any negative effects when their thoroughbred gets alfalfa on a regular basis?
Most TB's I know get Alfalfa regularly as they are hard keepers and it helps them keep weight on. Only one of them is a psychotic basket case and it's not the alfalfa, it's the constant coddling and excuses for nasty behavior by her owner, that causes that!
My Morgan is on free choice Alfalfa, he's literally eating almost a small bale a day. He's way calmer now than when he was on grass hay and couldn't eat enough to maintain his weight.
I can understand why she'd have that opinion- thoroughbreds have a reputation for having "hot" personalities, and alfalfa has a reputation for supplying a "hot" energy. Feeding alfalfa to a TB seems like it would be a bad combination.
However, those are just stereotypes and don't necessarily to every TB or every horse that eats alfalfa.
My horse is a TB mix and he gets alfalfa pellets with his grain twice daily and he's incredibly mellow.
It's really up to the individual horse. If you're feeding alfalfa and you notice that your horse is acting high strung, then you might want to try replacing it with something else and seeing if that makes a difference. But, if it's helping him gain weight and you're not having problems with his behavior then stick with it!
I have a 13 yr old Throughbred Mare Jenny when I got her 8 months ago she was very underweight everyone told me not to feed her alfalfa that it would make her hot. Well I did research and found that is a myth. Jenny looks awesome now and is just as mellow as my QH.