No Hay is Okay?

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No Hay is Okay?

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    07-12-2012, 11:59 AM
Red face No Hay is Okay?

Hello all~

I have 3 horses (just got a rescue on Tuesday). I bought one of the geldings and a mare from a lady who has had them since they were both 6 months old. The gelding is now 16 and the mare just turned 6.

When I bought them, the gelding was underweight. The lady I bough them from had too many horses and not enough pasture, plus he was being chased away from his hay by the others.

So, since I've had him...he has been on pasture 24/7 and gets a small amount of senior feed every morning. It's more of a treat than a feeding, as he only gets one scoop (3 quarts) of Nutrena Life Design Senior. He is back to a healthy looking weight and acts like he feels better. He gets no hay.

I plan on having round bales available all winter, but all 3 horses are now healthy and happy on pasture alone for the summer. The pasture is in good shape, they have access to fresh water at all times and they have a mineral block that each one uses daily.

Someone told me I wasn't taking good care of them because they need hay. Uh...??? Thoughts?
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    07-12-2012, 12:02 PM

Mister when I had him tried out before purchase.
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    07-12-2012, 12:03 PM
As long as they're on good pasture, they don't need hay in the summer.

Hay is just dried grass, and if you have fresh grass available in good quantities, you don't need the dried stuff.
Wallaby, Corporal and The Robyn like this.
    07-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Mister in Early June 2012

He was in a pasture about 10 miles from where he is today.
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    07-12-2012, 12:07 PM
Mister Mid July 2012

I think he looks fine.
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    07-12-2012, 12:08 PM
Hay needs to be fed when/if there is no pasture suitable for nutrition and that depends on many factors like weather, size, etc. so no hay is not always necessary..that someone that told you that doesn't have all the facts...if your pasture is in good shape like you said than watch it & when it looks like its decreasing in its ability to provide nutrition..start haying ;)
    07-12-2012, 12:10 PM
Ditto what Speed said. My horse has only had hay twice since March - once while being trailered and once when he let himself into a little pen we were keeping a new guy in while he met everyone.
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    07-12-2012, 12:14 PM
Horses do not need hay if their grazing is acceptable and they are able to maintain they weight just on grass alone.

We usually do not feed hay between May and September because I have a pasture rotation schedule. My horses wont touch hay if they have grass to eat, so it gets wasted.

This year is a whole nother story. We are feeding hay already. No rain =s no pasture =s horses loosing weight.
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eclipseranch likes this.
    07-12-2012, 12:18 PM
Green Broke
You're fine as long as they're getting plenty of grazing. Our horses are fat and happy and get no hay or feed of any type. Just grass.
The Robyn likes this.
    07-12-2012, 02:15 PM
We don't feed hay to the herd in the summer because we rotate them in the two big fields to let the grass grow for good grazing. The stallions who get their own pastures do get hay in the summer, because their fields are smaller and they can't be rotated.

hay, pasture

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