Horse refuses to eat hay

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Horse refuses to eat hay

This is a discussion on Horse refuses to eat hay within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Why horse don't eat hay
  • Getting a horse to eat her hay

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    03-05-2013, 09:19 PM
Horse refuses to eat hay

Hello I got a horse last summer, she is a great horse and I really love her and is a good companion for my older horse. When winter started I was afraid they would loose a little weight so I started feeding 3 lbs of soaked senior grain 2x a day. Well the horse I got last summer started getting aggressive when I give her grain. Kicking at me, biting. I started doing more ground work with her, and she is great with that listens perfectly, just not around her food.

Recently she decided she isnt going to eat any more hay, just her grain. And then she got even more aggressive with the grain. I stand up to her but its hard to take on a 1200 pound horse. I tried better quality hay, no results. She is getting quite ribby. My boyfriend thinks I should stop feeding her grain, and start giving her only hay because she is getting spoiled and thinks she is just supposed to get grain.

I am wondering what other people think. Thank you!
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    03-05-2013, 09:25 PM
You need a vet.

There may be a dental issue that is making it difficult to eat her hay but not the grain. Ulcers would be another big concern, but she needs to be checked out- horses don't get skinny and refuse to eat hay/grass without a reason, 'picky' or not.
    03-05-2013, 09:27 PM
Her teeth were done in october. I had the vet check her out and he said he couldnt find anything wrong with her. She does eat grass but tere isnt that much this time of year.
    03-05-2013, 09:28 PM
Then it seemed like your horse is going to starve to death! Call the vet again!
    03-05-2013, 09:30 PM
Ok I will. When I started giving her grain this started to happen. Unsure why.
    03-05-2013, 09:30 PM
Please get a second opinion, not the same vet ! It is very serious when a horse refuses to eat.
    03-05-2013, 09:32 PM
Well she eats everything but the hay. Sometimes she has a few bites when I give it to her and then quits eating it. She has access to a small pasture and a run in stall.
    03-05-2013, 09:38 PM
Green Broke
Try a different type of hay. Some won't eat certain hays.
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    03-05-2013, 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by cakemom    
Try a different type of hay. Some won't eat certain hays.
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Ya that was the first thing I tried. One morning I didnt give her grain and she ate a lot more hay.
    03-05-2013, 09:54 PM
I don't care how skinny a horse is but if they threaten me over grain, they aren't going to get any and be rewarded for the behavior. I'd sit outside the pen with a lungewhip. When she puts her ears back and snaps at me, I'd smack her and let her know who's calling the shots. I might reward one ear forward depending upon the circumstances but I might also walk away with the feed if I feel I'm not getting anywhere. It's a dominance thing with her.

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