Can I feed my mare grass and hay only?

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Can I feed my mare grass and hay only?

This is a discussion on Can I feed my mare grass and hay only? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By verona1016

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    09-25-2012, 11:44 PM
Can I feed my mare grass and hay only?

I'm about to be brining my new horse home and I'm not sure what to feed her. I will be boarding her on a pasture and they feed her plenty of hay. There's no way I can go out every day to be feeding her grain, ect. Will she be ok on just hay and grass? She's been kept in a pasture and I'm pretty sure she is on hay right now but would she be ok on just hay and grass all year? I will be riding her hopefully 3-4 times a week but possibly less or more depending on my schedule that week. Would this be ok? Thanks!
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    09-25-2012, 11:49 PM
Depends very much on the horse and the amount of riding being done, how hard she's being worked. An easy keeper who gets fat on air would probably be fine, a harder keeper might require more calories than she get from grass and hay. Can you ask the previous owner what the horse has been on up at their place?
    09-26-2012, 12:07 AM
Totally depends on the horse. Mine would starve, others do just fine.
    09-26-2012, 08:14 AM
Green Broke
Also depends on the grass. Not all grass and soils are equal.
Assuming she holds weight you can buy bags of pasture supplements or even good quality foods and feed her on the days you do go.
    09-27-2012, 01:23 PM
There are two concerns for feeding- getting enough calories and getting enough nutrients.

If she is an easy to average keeper, she will probably be fine calorie-wise with plenty of grass and hay. However, it's pretty much guaranteed that some nutrients will be missing. For that, I'd recommend feeding a ration balancer. Even if you can only feed it every other day, it will be better than giving nothing at all.
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    09-27-2012, 01:26 PM
Green Broke
It will depend. Your best bet is to have your forages analyzed to identify any key nutrients that will be lacking so that you can select the best supplement to provide those needed items (ie a balancer). If your horse starts to lose condition, you may need to re-evaluate and change your feed program accordingly.

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