Best feed and hay - Page 3

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Best feed and hay

This is a discussion on Best feed and hay within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        11-12-2011, 08:49 AM
    Yea, that barbed wire is like walking in a thunderstorm with a raised golf club in your hand!

    Is the place they are at in the pics a horse boarding facility or just a private farm?

    Whoever owns the place, they should seriously consider getting rid of that fencing if they have horses....

    Hindsight ISN'T 20/20 in this case, it's more like 300. Dollars that is. Which is somewhere around what it's going to cost in vet bills when a horse gets hurt on that fence....IF it survives, that is.
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        11-12-2011, 02:08 PM
    Everyone is bothered by the wire. I have a bigger problem with the halters. They need to come off. Worst case, the horse gets hung up on the Tpost and snaps his neck in the struggle to get free or at the very least, the abraision leaves permanent marks like they are on the draft.

    It's interesting to me that the people that have the greatest adversion to feeding alfalfa are those who do not live in an area of the country where alfalfa is a predominate forage option. Ask any vet in AZ, CA, or most any area in the West or Rocky Mountain region and they're not going to have a problem with alfalfa. More horses colic, founder and develop metabolic issues from green grass, immature grass hay and grains, not alfalfa. If you look at hays, cool season grass hays (fescue,orchard, wheat, timothy and brome) have a propensity to higher NSC than alfalfa. The growing conditions, maturity at harvest and the harvesting itself is going to have a dramatic impact on NSC as well. NSC of grasses can typically range from 8-25%. Alfalfa is typically in the 10-14%. Alfalfa has the added benefit of higher minerals and vitamins that can dramatically reduce or eliminate the need for concentrates. With a higher caloric content, you can also feed less thus reducing your feed cost and you tend to have very little or no waste. There is nothing more aggrivating to me than horses who waste hay. Is alfalfa perfect? Of course not. You do need to manage it. Most horses are self limiting on grass hay but will eat and eat and eat alfalfa resulting in one fat horse. They tend to clean things up instead of leaving some to pick at later. It is lower in fiber so it does not generate the same amount of heat grass does in the digestion process. Just like all hays, alfalfa comes in a variety of quality. Only the best is used in the dairy industry. Lower qualities, RFV up to 140, tend to end up being fed to cattle, horses and other livestock. Alfalfa that is rolled, will be at the lower end. It will be more mature, an older field with more stem to leaf ratio, have lower calories, maybe rained on, discolored.... All the things that make it even better suited as horse hay.

    The bigger picture is this is an unusual year for hay due to the situation in TX and OK. Hay is limited and you have to be willing to think outside the box and make it work for you. If you live within a days drive of TX and OK, alot of your hay is leaving the state causing your prices to skyrocket and very shortly, there will be no hay available. My hay prices are already 250% of normal. They are never this high even in the spring when typically they get to be 175-200% of summer prices. Everyday you wait, prices will go up that much more.
        11-12-2011, 02:57 PM
    Yes, they are at a private residence. He didn't know any better when he put up the barbed wire. One of his TB had a very bad cut just above his hoof from the wire. He wants to replace it but can't afford to right now.

    Left Hand, do your horses stay without halters? We live in "horse country" and every horse, including new foals, are in the fields with halters.

    We're just getting back into horses after 30+ years so I'm asking advice on everything.
        11-12-2011, 04:30 PM
    Kntry, I'd never leave a halter on a pastured either for the same reasons left had stated. If I want to halter train, I leave it on while I am out with them, but diff remove it when I leave.

    Left, I'd take the alfalfa. I have no prob feeding it. I won't buy it from local growers here in my area of Texas cause of the blister beetles.
        11-12-2011, 05:39 PM
    I agree about the halters, I refuse to leave any on my horses when they are turned out either. There is just too much risk of them getting hung on something and doing some serious damage.
        11-12-2011, 06:32 PM
    Yes to the alfalfa if you don't have blister beetles. No to the halter and/or lead rope for safety reasons. A breakaway halter is iffy IMO but that would be preferable to a nylon halter, those just won't break. A well trained horse who know his people are good for treats and food should come up for attention everytime you step in the pasture, catching should not be an issue.
        11-12-2011, 07:12 PM
    Ok, once we get them home, I'll take the halters off.
        11-12-2011, 08:03 PM
    Originally Posted by kntry    

    Left Hand, do your horses stay without halters? We live in "horse country" and every horse, including new foals, are in the fields with halters.
    You're never going to see as group of horses with their halters left on in "horse country". To me, it's a sign of poor horsemanship. Most people leave them on because they're too lazy to teach their horses to be caught or they just don't want to bother having to grab a halter as they go out to get them. Nylon halters are the worst. The nylon fibers fray and get sharp like little razor blades with age, use and dirt. Look at your draft's head. He has a dent on the bridge of his nose from halters being left on him The white hairs along side his blaze are where he had open sores and the hair grew back white. The buckskin has the same marks on the bridge of his nose. On young horses you will get more pronounced marks because the skull is still growing. His halter is also too large for him. Take all of them up 2-3 holes. You should barely be able to slip your hand between the horse and the halter.
        11-12-2011, 09:18 PM
    Green Broke
    We do not leave halters on, nor does the barn at which we ride. Just yesterday I saw a halter get caught on a stall when the barn owner put her goober warmblood up for 2 secs. He caught the nose and went insane, lucklily my hubby was there to wrestle him down.
    Can't wait till you can get them home!
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        11-12-2011, 09:45 PM
    Thanks for the advice. I had no idea.

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