Originally Posted by crom5
Hay is the main weight gainer can cause "hay belly".'especcialy on minis.l
I don't totally agree with hay being the main weight gainer (if that horse is also getting grain). We have an elder mare that couldn't gain weight and all we added as 1# of rice bran per day and she gained beautifully. No change in hay. I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "main weight gainer", as clearly hay can be used to help a horse gain weight. But if that horse is also on grain...
I'd also like to address the hay belly comment. If a horse has a "hay belly" and no other indication of being overweight, that hay belly is often from bad hay (in which case the horse won't gain weight but instead will lose weight). If the horse is overweight all over, then clearly the horse is getting fed too much and/or not getting enough exercise. Some hay bellies on otherwise healthy weight horses are sometimes just caused from gas, which is actually a good thing because it means fermentation is happening.
Many people believe too much hay causes hay belly and try to replace some hay with grain to avoid the hay belly. Not a great idea; they only increase the risk of colic. Forage should be the foundation of any horse’s diet.
If an overweight horse is getting fed both hay and grain, then the grain should definitely be cut. If they are still overweight, then changes should be made to both the amount of hay and how it is fed.