I have an elderly pony who does best if he gets just a little alfalfa hay every day. I feed him approximately 3 lbs of grass and 1 lb. Of alfalfa twice a day with 1lb senior 1lb omelene 300 once daily. He maintains very nicely on this diet.
BUT every now and then(about every 6 months or so) he decides he doesn't want to eat the alfalfa any more. He picks out all of the grass and leaves the alfalfa. I will nearly double his grass portions but he will still start dropping weight when he doesn't eat that little bit of alfalfa. I used to have to put him on free-choice grass and double the pelleted feed he was on and he would still get almost skeletally thin in a matter of weeks, but then I started him on the omelene which has helped tremendously in maintaining his weight.
3 weeks ago he went off his alfalfa again, I am just now beginning to see that he is dropping a few pounds. I am completely baffled. He has done this for all of the 12 years I've had him, so I'm not too worried, now that he isn't losing as much weight as he used to(thanks to the omelene) and I'm pretty certain he will suddenly decide he loves to eat alfalfa again in another week or two.
My questions are: Why does that little bit of alfalfa make so much difference in his weight? I've never known another horse to need alfalfa like that. And Why does he quit eating it every now and then? I haven't been able to figure out a rhyme or reason to his quitting.