Limited Grass Hay Only? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By Corporal
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Limited Grass Hay Only?

Just curious. I have read a lot of the posts about nutrition and most talk about different feeds, supplements, etc. in addition to hay and pasture as common for horses overall nutrition.

I am leasing a horse at a boarding facility, and he just gets a few flakes of grass hay 2x per day and scoop of oats in the a.m. only. No pasture, no grazing. Does this sound typical and/or healthy?

He seems healthy enough, but I do notice a lot of the other owners use supplements.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 10:17 PM
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Does he go outside at all or does he sit in his stall all day? I guess it solely depends on how many flakes, what kind of hay, and what weight he grass sucks, though!
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 10:22 PM
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My horse only gets hay no grass his hay is in a slow feeder so lasts him all night. Hay in morning lasts all day. My horse cant have grass due to laminitis and hes IR.

Depends on how much he gets weight wise and what kind.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen some people using the slow feeders and wondered about it. I feel sorry for him sometimes. He is fed early in the morning and again early afternoon, probably around 3pm. Large part of day and night there is no food in his pen. He is in an outdoor pen, fairly good size, with a shelter and neighbors on either side of him. He tries to reach their food through the fences sometimes and whenever he is turned out he spends his time reaching for grass through the fences as well.

I guess it seems like he's hungry all of the time, but I suppose that's typical for horses, to continually want to be grazing?
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 11:20 PM
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He needs to have hay 24/7 horses are grazing animals so should never be without hay or grass to eat.

Spending to long with an empty stomach can cause ulcers.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-18-2013, 11:30 PM
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The diet itself is okay as long as he's getting a ration balancer to cover any missing vitamins/minerals... but I agree that he would probably benefit greatly from a slow feeder so he's not scarfing down his hay in an hour and spending the rest of the day bored/hungry.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-21-2013, 01:16 PM
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Typical, yes. Healthy, not so much.

Horses are designed to be constantly eating small amounts of low-quality forage. Their stomachs secrete acid constantly, unlike humans (our stomachs only secrete acid when we eat). Going a long time between having access to hay or grass allows the stomach acid to build up; this is part of the reason why ulcers are so very common in horses.

Ideally horses should have hay in front of them 24/7. Most boarding facilities don't accommodate this. At my barn, they feed hay 3x daily, but my horse practically vacuums it up when it's loose. He could easily go 22+ hours a day without hay if I didn't put it into a slow feeder net.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-21-2013, 01:25 PM
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Agreed with above. When on pasture only horses eat 8 small meals a day. It isn't the 2 feedings/day that are bad when stalled. It is the aid to digestion that moving around gives your horse.
Many wealthy horse owners like Clinton Anderson feed processed hay so that their horses get the same quality of hay feed every feeding.
You need to learn about the quality of the hay that is being fed. Horses don't need a rich diet and it can be hard on their systems if you feed that way. MANY horses get a healthy diet of just good quality GRASS hay.
I stall my horses when the weather and/or footing demands it. Tonight I'm probably gonna stall my 3 bc it's going down to 30 degrees F, first time since April, and it's wet at the entrance to my shelter. My herd leader won't let Buster in the shelter tonight, so he'll stand in mud if I don't.
My horses--in the back yard--get turned out every day possible during the year. It's good for their minds and their digestion.
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