Hello everyone. Help please. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Shelbyville, Illinois
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Question Hello everyone. Help please.

I'm new to the site and horses so I'm sure I'll have alot of questions. I don't currently own a horse but have been looking and have a few good candidates. One question I have deals with feeding. I've heard hay is good, specifically alfalfa. But is that the only thing I should feed a horse? It seems like their diet should include more.
semperfi95 is offline  
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 03:48 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Big Sky country
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Grass hay is really the best choice for horses. It's what they're designed to eat. I wouldn't be looking at any sort of grain for a horse due to the possibility of laminitis or founder ... unless my veterinarian (holy carp I spelled that right on the first try!) specifically told me to. Horses that eat a lot of grain seem to require a lot more exercise and work to keep their health up.

Alfalfa hay is directly correlated to the incidence of enteroliths in horses, which can cause colic or worse, if they aren't smooth. An enterolith that's been broken by contact with another enterolith in the horse's gut can slice into the horse's intestinal wall. I'm not saying I wouldn't use alfalfa, but I'd treat it like I would grain or a nutritional supplement very little and only as needed. Again, check with your veterinarian.

When I have to buy supplemental feed, I'll drag myself kicking and screaming down to the co-op and get something from the ADM Alliance line of equine feeds.

Pasture grass is my first choice, grass hay my second choice. Everything else fills in around the edges.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Shelbyville, Illinois
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Thanks. Again, I'm new to all of this so any help is greatly appreciated. Also wondering about horse breeds before commiting to a sale. Not into competition or showing. Really just looking for trail riding and just relaxing rides. Also a horse that fits my size (6'1"/180lbs.). Was looking at Appaloosa or Arabian. Any suggestions?
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 05:52 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Each horse will have their own personality. Each breed has general characteristics. Some horses in a breed will be different than those characteristics. You should look for an older, 10 to 15 year old, that is a been there done that horse. Do not get a green horse unless you are already experienced with horses.

Generally, Arabians, Tennessee Walkers and Thoroughbreds are considered hot blooded horses. They usually are very energetic and want to go. Quarter horses are considered warm bloods. They tend to be less forward of a horse. That doesn't mean they won't get up and go. They definitely can. Draft breeds are thought of as cold blooded. Not that they are but they are more of a work type horse for pulling. They can be rode but not necessarily comfortably. I'm not exactly sure where Appys fit in. I think they are similar to QH's, maybe just a bit more spring to their step.

As for the size of the horse, I think you would do fine with one 15 to 16 hands. Just remember that the taller they are, the farther you have to fall.

Definitely check out several horses before you jump in. Have someone that is experienced with horses go with you when you are getting ready to purchase one. They can help you identify problems or tell you if the horse is a good choice. Check out some mares and some geldings. See which one you feel better around.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 08:27 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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are you new to horse ownership or horses entirely (ie riding)? do you have someone who can mentor youu as you start out with this? are you planning to board or homekeep a horse you might purchase?
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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^^ This. Forums are very helpful in many aspects (I look for advices too all the time), but I'd suggest to talk to local folks with knowledge (barn owners, or simply people who keep horses at home): what kind of hay is in your area (personally I do NOT feed alfalfa as it's too rich, everyone I know goes with grass hay (timothy, orchard, brome, or mix around here)), recommended suppliers, etc.

I also keep salt block in a field, and both my mares get pound of low-sugar pellets mixed with vit/min and flax twice/day.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Katy TX
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I would grab one of those "For Dummies" books for horses. The book breaks down things like breeds, riding, nutrition, etc. If you are completely new to horses, take lessons, spend time with an experienced person who has a few different types of horse. If you are brand new, don't forget to take into consideration everything else that comes with ownership, not just food and riding. Farrier visits, supplements, dental visit, annual vaccines, and to be ready for those emergency moments when you need a vet to come out. Are you going to board your horse? If so talk to the barn owners about what hay and feed they will have available. If you are able to, I would suggest leasing a horse first before you commit to buying if you're brand new to horses.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Southern California
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I have equine nutrition for dummies and I enjoyed it. Really had to focus though but it teaches a lot
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Shelbyville, Illinois
Posts: 4
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I'm new to ownership and fairly new to riding. Have rode in the past but it's been awhile. I would like to keep a horse or 2 on my property but where I live is kinda on the city/country line so I have to get that straightened out. It's just the ownership part I'm not sure about like.....everything really! Shelter, food, tack, etc. Pretty much everything they need. As far as a mentor, I don't think so. This is a kind of learn as I go thing, but I don't want to be so inexperienced that I hurt or endanger the horse in any way (which is why I'm here). I'm sure I could ask salesmen at the tack shops around but I don't want to be buying all the expensive things just so they can get a bigger bonus on their paychecks. As far as feed, I talked to a hay farmer that grows, bales, tests, and sells their own so I think I have that part taken care of. Anymore help or advice is appreciated! Thanks to all.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-11-2012, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Katy TX
Posts: 156
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Talking to them doesn't mean you have to buy from them :/ I still say read up, research on building shelters, which fencing will work for you (barbed and straight wire is a no no), how to install it, nutrition, first aid, and which vet you will use. I highly recommend taking lessons before you buy so you know what style of riding is going to suit you. Take your lessons on different horses as well to get a feel for personality. That will assist you in deciding what horse you would like to buy.
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