When to start feeding hay as opposed to just grass? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 48 Old 10-03-2010, 01:26 AM
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LOL, it isn't much better here in Texas. What little bit of green we do have is just weeds that horses won't eat and even that is starting to turn brown now.

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 #22 of 48 Old 10-03-2010, 03:16 AM
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I don't know much, but I think that you can look at grass and see its quantity and quality, when it starts looking a bit bleak start giving some hay.

So this sounded blunter than I meant it to, I seem to be unable to reword it better at the moment. Sorry.
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post #23 of 48 Old 10-03-2010, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
When I put hay out they will stand up at the barn and eat all the hay before wandering back out to graze.
Heck, I can even put the hay in the small hole hay nets and they will eat it all up.
Yup, mine too are suckers for hay. I gathered it may be because they rarely get it, but thinking back, other horses I've owned have all preferred to stand at a round bale & munch hay even when there's (same sort) fresh pasture available. Last time someone slashed around the outside of our paddock, my horses made sure to eat all the slashed stuff before bothering with the pasture! Guess it's just down to individual taste. Like I've been told my kids & I 'shouldn't' like brussel sprouts!
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post #24 of 48 Old 10-03-2010, 07:03 PM
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The only thing I would watch is if the grass is very tall and plentyful watch out she doesnt over do it and end up with a sore tummy, but if she comes in to get riden groomed etc that should be a suficient enough daily break from grass.
'Sore tummy' from too much grass is not at all the only potential worry, sorry. If the horse is already fat & has a lot of pasture, insulin resistance & all the associated 'symptoms' of it, including lami, are very real possibilities. I disagree that a short break each day would be sufficient to eliminate problems too. I don't understand where that concept has come from.
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post #25 of 48 Old 10-06-2010, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
'Sore tummy' from too much grass is not at all the only potential worry, sorry. If the horse is already fat & has a lot of pasture, insulin resistance & all the associated 'symptoms' of it, including lami, are very real possibilities. I disagree that a short break each day would be sufficient to eliminate problems too. I don't understand where that concept has come from.
If the horse is out eating grass all days a gorging itself there is a chance it will get a 'sore tummy' ie colic, however coming in a having a break from eating the long grass for a few hours each day means that they are less likely to over do it. And the same applies for laminitic horses or those who are prone who are often brought in for several hours a day to prevent them over eating and are normally muzzled for the same reason. The same with EGS (equine grass sickness ) coming in for a few hours each day has been proven to prevent EGS in young horses out a pasture. So that is where that concept has come from and also experience with horses being in similar situations and coming in preventing colic occuring while in horses that where not there were a few cases.

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post #26 of 48 Old 10-07-2010, 05:53 PM
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however coming in a having a break from eating the long grass for a few hours each day
Oh, I get you now. Thinking of grooming, etc, I thought you meant short breaks, not a few hours at least. Re IR probs, yes, it's excess calories that are one big part of the problem, so restricting those calories for a substantial portion of the day(pref day & allow grazing at night when less sugars in grass) is helpful.

BTW, for those doing that, probably stating the obvious, but it's important to ensure the horse has some hay or such in that time, not go hungry.
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post #27 of 48 Old 10-08-2010, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post

BTW, for those doing that, probably stating the obvious, but it's important to ensure the horse has some hay or such in that time, not go hungry.
Horses do not need food 24/7. Sure if they are a hard keeper do keep forage in front of them free choice as much as they want to eat.

If you actually watched horses out on pasture they are not eating every second of every day. There are long stretches of napping in the sun, etc where they are not eating.
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post #28 of 48 Old 10-08-2010, 09:40 AM
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nobody said they would be eating that whole time but they need forage in their "gut" at all times so restricting hay/grass/forage intake is not the smartest thing to do. Maybe do some research AlwaysBehind horses need at least 1% ideally 2% of thier body weight per day in forage to keep their system working properly

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #29 of 48 Old 10-08-2010, 09:57 AM
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The only thing I would watch is if the grass is very tall and plentyful watch out she doesnt over do it and end up with a sore tummy, but if she comes in to get riden groomed etc that should be a suficient enough daily break from grass.
Are you saying sore as in from rubbing on the grass? Or sore as in colic?

When the pastures become over grown, the grass is 'tough'. Not as much for nutrients and not as 'easy' to chew.
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post #30 of 48 Old 10-08-2010, 10:13 AM
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I'm from Oregon!
I live in Grants Pass..sooo I'm from southern.Annnywho,grass hay here is $5 a bale for local.For klamath hay that is about 120 ish lbs is 10-13 a bale and usually no more than that..thats for the mix hay. For alfalfa it runs around 10-11 a bale which is about 120 lbs. So in all honesty $16 is waaay over priced.Are you near klamath?
I would let her eat most of the grass untill it starts turning brown and gross looking.On cold nights I'd throw her out some alfalfa or mix( I prefer mix) since she is older.

Oh and it does get brown..august from like december like wallaby mentioned..starts to really green up in feb. To march.
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