My biggest worry when getting a new horse! Help please! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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My biggest worry when getting a new horse! Help please!

I am going to get a horse sometie next spring/summer. I know you may thin its a little early to be worrying about this...but I like verything to be planned out ahead of time:)

I am still a little confused on the whole switching hay ordeal. Do you just ask the previous owner to give you a bale of the horses previous hay, then mix it with the kind of hay you bought? Or can you just switch it over? Will the horse colic? So confusing

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannahorse22 View Post
I Do you just ask the previous owner to give you a bale of the horses previous hay, then mix it with the kind of hay you bought? Or can you just switch it over? Will the horse colic? So confusing
It is best to get a couple bales and mix it with your hay to switch over a week or so. Unless you are going to drastically change the diet, get a horse prone to colic, or a hard keeper, you can typically switch a horse over with no problem at all. Your horse may snub your hay for awhile it it doesn't find it as tasty, but as long as it is good quality hay, a horse won't starve itself.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 06:25 PM
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I am less concerned with switching hay than I would be switching a pelleted feed or grain. Whatever they are eating now, just go ahead and switch them over to what you feed. It is a good idea to keep an eye on them for a few days just in case they have some kind of reaction to the feed change, but I haven't had a horse that reacted badly to suddenly switching hay. All the customer horses I get automatically get put on good alfalfa hay as soon as they arrive at my house and I have never noticed any ill side effects like colic.

BTW, it's never too early to think about these things. At least now, you will have answers to questions that you had thought of so that you won't be quite so overwhelmed with ones you hadn't thought of when you get him/her home.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
It is best to get a couple bales and mix it with your hay to switch over a week or so. Unless you are going to drastically change the diet, get a horse prone to colic, or a hard keeper, you can typically switch a horse over with no problem at all. Your horse may snub your hay for awhile it it doesn't find it as tasty, but as long as it is good quality hay, a horse won't starve itself.

What hay do you suggest is best?

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
I am less concerned with switching hay than I would be switching a pelleted feed or grain. Whatever they are eating now, just go ahead and switch them over to what you feed. It is a good idea to keep an eye on them for a few days just in case they have some kind of reaction to the feed change, but I haven't had a horse that reacted badly to suddenly switching hay. All the customer horses I get automatically get put on good alfalfa hay as soon as they arrive at my house and I have never noticed any ill side effects like colic.

BTW, it's never too early to think about these things. At least now, you will have answers to questions that you had thought of so that you won't be quite so overwhelmed with ones you hadn't thought of when you get him/her home.

I don't plan on using a pelleted feed. It seems like it would be more expensve to me. As of now, horse nutrition is pretty confusing. The whole hay or pellets, and if you should or shouldnt give grain.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 07:14 PM
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It doesn't have to be all that complicated. Most horses are way over-fed with specialized feeds for what they need. All of mine get nothing more than hay and have constant access to a trace mineral salt block (no pellets, no grains, no supplements, no nothing else) and all of them are fat, healthy, and happy.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 07:34 PM
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I think as far as feeding goes, it depends on where you live. I live in Australia and we are known for having "bad" soil, at least in most places. It means that the grass grown here, and probably Australian purchased hay, will not have sufficient vitamins and minerals. This can happen anywhere. For this reason I always feed a good pellet mix and usually some added minerals. I recommend you do this, as pellets are not that expensive. If your horse does not receive adequate nutrition he could be more susceptible to illness or infection and you'll end up paying so much more in vet bills. We always fed our horses a good diet and I've never had a sick horse.

Also, I don't think horses are that sensitive to food changes. Some will be, and hopefully the owner should tell you, but I've switched hay a fair few times (you never know what is going to be available at the feed store) and never had any problems. Be aware of their condition but I don't think you have to be as concerned with hay. If you are adding pellet feed and minerals do it slowly.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wannahorse22 View Post
What hay do you suggest is best?
There are many good hays and they are geographic depending on the climate. Your local agg extension agent or the agg department of a university can give you all the info you would ever want on good hays local to your area.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2010, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
It doesn't have to be all that complicated. Most horses are way over-fed with specialized feeds for what they need. All of mine get nothing more than hay and have constant access to a trace mineral salt block (no pellets, no grains, no supplements, no nothing else) and all of them are fat, healthy, and happy.
I agree and we very much believe in keeping it simple, too. Our mares get free choice hay (fescue/orchard in this area), a mineral salt block, and one cup of SafeChoice a day which is really just their treat for a good day's work.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-20-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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^^^^^
That's what I was planning on doing. To me, there was no advantage in grain unless they were in foal, old, or in hard work.

Horses aren't just a pleasure, they are an escape from all evils of mankind.






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