Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
The Basic rule of thumb is forage, hay, and ~ 1 lb hay/100 lbs horse
It does vary, mostly bc people buy bad quality hay which the horse cannot keep weight with, or good quality but lightweight bales. Someone at your location needs to give you a primer on hay quality and weight. I know the weight and quality of MY hay bc I load it in my trucks, transport back home, and stack it in my barn's loft every year. Most of my bales are alfalfa mix (grass), 55-65 pounds/bale. When you hoist the last bales up with a "clean and jerk", you can gauge the weight pretty well. =b
When I get a new horse I start with 3 flakes of hay, 2x/day, or a total of 6 flakes of hay every day.
If my horse is still looking around for hay I add a flake at a time per feeding. If my horse doesn't eat it all, I cut back one flake a day. Even though horses have small stomachs and need to eat ~8 small meals/day, they can adjust to 2 feedings in a stall/day.
ALWAYS keep fresh water available at all times.