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Feeding times for my new horse

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    05-12-2013, 10:06 AM
Hello to the original poster. I wanted to say that I would have no problem about feeding in the dark - that's what electric lights were invented for :)

At my previous yard in the UK there was elec lighting, and the one before that there wasn't. Torches, or flashlights, can be so useful! Get a head torch too to keep your hands free.

As for times of feeds - if it were me I would do before and after work. I think this would be easier for me to stick to than a lunchtime feed.

Good luck with your horse.
Back2Horseback and lovexlaugh like this.
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    05-12-2013, 11:38 AM
Okay...You replied with more complete information.About the only thing that was clear from the original post was that 1. You were getting a new horse, and 2. You wanted to know if it was okay to let him stand for 18 hours without food. No clue if you knew one end of a horse from another. So you have my most sincere apology for sounding rude...really.
I still think that 18 hours is too long to go without food. Is the paddock he will be in large enough that it supports grass so he would have something to graze on? In my part of the world most winter grass does not have enough nutrients to support maintenance but it does give a horse something to chew on and keeps the innerds working. And keeping those Innerds happy is a major issue to my way of thinking.
Someone posted here not long ago that horses think if two things... 1. What am I going to eat?, and 2. How am I going to try and kill myself today? That may be a bit extreme but often they do seem like Murphy's Law on 4 feet. I try and reduce the odds of disaster if I can, but then I am a paranoid worrywart, so there you have it!
boots and Back2Horseback like this.
    05-12-2013, 12:30 PM
Lovexlaugh -- Your original post gave none of the additional information. I responded based on what you provided.

Given what you have added, I too, suggest feeding before and after work.
    05-12-2013, 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
Also, you might not want to stay on such a set routine. I watched a woman's horses once and by 7am they are screaming their heads off and by 7:15 they are breaking things.
Agreed. But IME this is more about overall diet & lifestyle. Firstly, if the horse doesn't have adequate hay/grazing, it will be going hungry until meals, which will make it uncomfortable/painful & therefore stressed. When people feed/eat sugary/starchy food, it gives a 'sugar hit', which the body then gradually 'comes down' from, then 'starves' for more, so another stressor. Combine this with an unnatural, unhealthy lifestyle/environment, being cooped up &/or bored, &/or solitary confinement & the horse is primed ready for 'behavioural' problems & colic.
    05-12-2013, 08:58 PM
Thanks for your replies everyone (and thanks for the apology Dustbunny - I appreciate it). The horse will be in a huge 5 acre paddock 24/7, there is grass up to his eyeballs and he only has to share with one other horse. Of course the grass won't be great quality cos of winter etc etc but it will keep him going. I realise the best thing would be to feed in the dark, will have to find myself a quality head torch haha.
    05-12-2013, 09:12 PM
Invest in a couple of small mesh hay nets. The holes will be an inch to two inches and will greatly slow down his hay comsumption. This in turn improves his digestion ie more bang for your buck. The faster a horse consumes any feed, the faster it goes thro. Hang the nets in opposite corners and he'll wander back and forth which also aids digestion. Even tho he's on grass there is a danger of founder during the cool nights warm days, rapid growth time, usually in the morning. That is a good time to keep him off the grass and offer him a net. If you want to give him grain or pellets, again find a container with a large bottom area to slow him down so he's nibbling instead of shoving down a mouthful. If you can scrounge an old wood kitchen table, put 1x4" sides on it and it's a perfect size to scatter the grain on. It's a good idea to shorten the legs so it's almost on the ground. This is a more natural position for him to eat.
    05-12-2013, 11:59 PM
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
Also, you might not want to stay on such a set routine. I watched a woman's horses once and by 7am they are screaming their heads off and by 7:15 they are breaking things. You feed when its convenient for you, within reason. If they eat at 6:30, fine. If you want to sleep til 9:30 that should be fine with them too.
I am sorry but I don't believe in this. Some horses may be able to cope without a routine, but in my experience the majority of horses cannot cope.

They need to be fed at a certain time (if not bang on, then around that time) and if they are not fed then they need access to add lib hay or they need to be grazing.

Not sticking to a routine (especially if the horse is used to a routine) can cause stress which can lead to vices (fence walking, weaving, etc) in horses with certain temperments.

My two are in a paddock 24/7 with a 5x4' roll of hay. They get hard fed at about 6-6.30pm every day. It is especially important for once of my horses as he is a windsucker and is prone to ulcers, the fact that he is a chestnut TB and a stress head doesn't help... but doing all I can to reduce his stress levels helps to keep his ulcers and windsucking under control. As soon as they hear feeds going out, they will start fence walking and if they are not close enough to hear the feeds going out, they normally start to fence walk about 5.45pm.
    05-13-2013, 12:56 AM
Originally Posted by lovexlaugh    
Well, to be honest I feel a bit confused about these responses. But I will try and explain. I am 22 years old, and yes, I have a job, which is a part of life. I have no idea how anyone would afford to keep a horse without a job.
Dustbunny: I do not work until 1 on these days. He will never be in a stall, he will be in a paddock. Getting to the farm at 7 will give me 6 hours to care for him, I am sure he will be fine. About my serious commitment to horse ownership: I have been involved in horses for 13 years, and have owned them for 6 years. I sold them to persue a university degree, I now have enough time to re-enter the horse world.
Boots: I had him vet checked. The vet told me he was underweight, the vet told me to feed him, the vet also told me what to feed him. I am not putting grain in his feed, and never wanted to.

To be honest, I thought this was a place to learn? For horse lovers to come together? Not to be judged and for issues to be assumed. I certainly do not feel welcome here.
Don't let it get you down. I sense your excitment about your new buddy. My horse gets her last slab of hay at 8 at night not one nibble until 7 or 8 in the morning, unless it is winter. Then I will feed her extra in the middle of the night. She has never been sic so...it works.
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    05-13-2013, 01:02 AM
Originally Posted by Ellie Bramel    
Don't let it get you down. I sense your excitment about your new buddy. My horse gets her last slab of hay at 8 at night not one nibble until 7 or 8 in the morning, unless it is winter. Then I will feed her extra in the middle of the night. She has never been sic so...it works.
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PS If she gets hungry she will not let me sleep! She is 20 ft from my window. She knows I can hear her.
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    05-13-2013, 05:23 AM
You could get a hay feeder and give him free choice hay and top it up in the morning enough to get him thru to next morning?
, if he will be on grass all night he should be alright...but if he needs weight gain, id do small meals morning, then ur lunch break then dinner until he gains

But if he has been living off grass you may have to introduce his meals slowly so he doesnt get colic?
I think routine is great, esp if ottb as they are fed same time and in routine majority of the time

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