Is it Possible That Alfalfa Can Make a Horse Hyper?

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Is it Possible That Alfalfa Can Make a Horse Hyper?

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  • My horse gets hyper from alfalfa
  • Horse behavior effects of alfalfa

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    02-05-2009, 10:23 PM
Is it Possible That Alfalfa Can Make a Horse Hyper?

For the past month or so Mojo has been inexplicably full of himself--hopping around and bucking under saddle, snorting and shying while being led to and from the barn, etc. This is uncharacteristic and I've been straining my brain to figure it out--believe me, I've thought of everything... Tonight the barn owner called to tell me that a few weeks ago her husband thought some of the horses in Mojo's field were looking skinny, so instead of the usual round bale of grass hay he substituted a round bale of alfalfa. BO thinks this may be the cause of Mojo's recent behavior. I've never heard of hay making a horse hot, only grain. He eats the alfalfa 24/7--could this be the reason for the new hyper antics? Thanks in advance everybody.
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    02-06-2009, 12:40 AM
Oh, definitely! I'm no expect but alfalfa hay has much more energy compared to grassy hay.
    02-06-2009, 07:39 AM
Yes alfalfa hay does make Some horses hyper they are sensitive to it causing the hyper reaction... I had one that could not have even 1lb of alfalfa pellets without going nuts
    02-06-2009, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the eye-opener. Any more experiences? I'm also wondering if the oil in the Omega Horseshine is a contributing factor--although he has been getting that ever since I've known him.
    02-06-2009, 10:59 AM
The Omega Horsehine shouldn't cause a problem... I will have to find ingredient list on it again .. but if I remember correctly it is a flax and rice bran supplement
    02-06-2009, 11:54 AM
Our two full brothers in my avatar, were raised on an alfalfa/grass mix, about 30% -40% alfalfa with no side effects. That was pretty much all that was grown where they came from. We still feed about 6 or 7 pounds to them everyday.

That said, a friend of mine has a TB that like Peggy's horse can't even get a whiff of the stuff or he's a nut ball.

Our guy's are QH's so that could have something to do with it, whereas a hotter breed may become hotter.

The protein levels are usually a lot higher in alfalfa that regular hay. More protein = more energy. It's like you getting up in the morning and drinking a protein drink, gets you going.
    02-06-2009, 12:43 PM
Omega horseshine does not ever seem to affect our horses but more than one flake of alfalfa a day does make them wound up.
    02-06-2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks so much. I just couldn't figure this out. My horse is a TB, but ordinarily a fairly calm type. But for the past month the word "nutball" pretty much says it all!
    02-06-2009, 01:01 PM
I would say it depends on the horse but I feed half alfalfa half grass hay and my horses are fine. Also a trainer in my area feeds straight alfalfa (with a grain mix) and she says that alfalfa actually makes the horses more relaxed.
    02-06-2009, 01:03 PM
Green Broke
Alfalfa is very high in protein (say hot) for some horses.

I used to be a pretty rough trail rider and my vet in those days told me that I "couldn't work my horses hard enough to use up the protein in a flake of alfalfa the same size as a flake of grass hay".

All four of my horses are on Omega-3 horseshine and are laid back, but their diet staple is pelleted rice bran. However, that doesn't mean there aren't exceptions to the Rule out there

Also an interesting FYI: Imagine how suprised I was when I learned the "A.D.D." horse that I've owned for 12+ years was that way because he had a slight intolerance to the sugars & starches in oats & corn.

Would've never known that if I hadn't switched everyone's diets because of my metabolic horse

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