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Breezy2011 04-10-2013 08:40 PM

Switching From round bale to...
Okay, so my horse Breeze has been able to eat hay whenever she wants, she is out with a round bale 24/7. Since I got a job working with horses, I got offered to move her for over to where I work for the summer (June-August), so I have more time to work with her, and get to see her everyday. I will not have to pay board, as after a couple weeks or something, she will be in with her horses. She even said that her and I can go with her trailer, and pick her up, if need be, bring one of her horses so Breeze has company on the way.

Now, if I do this (it is not a for sure yet, we still have to talk to the people where I have her now, if she can come back in the fall) she will be put on round bale, but will not get it whenever she likes, she will be fed breakfast, and dinner, with grazing in the pasture inbetween (the horses will not be out in pasture all day either though).

So my question is, how should I go about getting Breeze use to only being fed 2 times a day, and then back to all day free choice?

I might get her some grain also, and put a supplement in her grain to help keep her black. If I do move her, I know how to introduce her to her new surrounding, but also...

I would be working with her in an indoor arena (well, partial indoor, 3 walls and a roof) and putting her in a stall if need be, so she will have to get use to that.

I am hoping that this will happen, because I really like this place, it has a round pen, outdoor arena, indoor arena, 7 stalls (she has 6 horses, and 2 of them will be going for more training) and seperate pens, and a big pasture.

Breeze will most likely be the only mare in there, all her horses are gelding, except for 1 mare, but she is off getting trained, and I don't know when she will be back. Will this be a problem, if she is in with geldings all the time, and no mares?

Breeze will also be moved back to her old barn in late august, or september, maybe later in fall, and the earliest she will be moved is in June, maybe July, so I have time to get her adjusted to things she needs to be adjusted to before hand.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Breezy2011 04-10-2013 09:18 PM

Bumping... please help guys! I need advice! I have never moved a horse from free feed to rations.

greentree 04-10-2013 09:31 PM

You can safely take things away from horses, but you need to be careful adding. You should be fine.


dlpark2 04-10-2013 09:32 PM

I can't help you much, because I switch mine from having a round bale 24/7 to pasturing without a bale all summer every year, but they are also on pasure 24/7. We continue to feed them beet pulp and oats (beet pulp and senior feed to my oldster) throughout the summer, but I typically cut back once the grass comes in full Georgia flourish as I don't need them getting to vet already complains that my mare is overweight.

As fore her being the only mare amoung geldings, I haven't had a problem. My mare is in with two geldings, one who we got a month ago who took dominancy from her. They get along fine. They have their established pecking order that took them about a week to work out and now they are a normal herd.

Not sure if that will help you much...

back in the crosby again 04-11-2013 09:24 PM

A horse's digestive system is designed(if you will) to eat 80-90% of the day. A round bale is a great way to simulate this. Basically the gut needs to be moving all the time for optimum health. I would see if maybe she could have a slow feeder hay net when not on pasture. You can put 2/3 of a standard sized small bale in these and they will last most horse a little more than 24 hours. If she will be stalled then this will work out easy as you can even hang these lower then most nets b/c the hole size is small enough you don't have to worry about a hoof getting caught.

A lot of barns do the 2 flake rule which is ridiculous. This is not enough for most horses which then results in horses losing condition. In reaction people will then start feeding lots of grain, which actually costs more. Most horses are able to maintain their weight and condition with just hay provided free choice. There are horses out there that need more, hard keeper, who would probably be fine with just better hay (alfalfa etc) and horse who are honestly in hard work that may need grain.

Sorry if this seems like a rant, but it is a sore subject for me.

Breezy2011 04-12-2013 12:24 AM

Thank you, but Breeze is actually over weight, by at least 200 pounds, she is a 2 year old and weights at least 1000 lbs, when she should be around 800 lbs.

I find it better to feed 2-3 times a day, rather then let then eat hay 24/7. Where I will be bringing her, she will be fed at least 2 times a day, and that is not flakes, it is taken from a round bale, and we fill a big wheel barrow up, and place piles around the pen, 2 times a day, and they get some in there stalls during the night.

When I do take Breeze over there, it will not be until it warms up a little bit. She will be kept in a stall for the first bit, but when it warms up and the snow is totally gone, she will be left out during the night.

The thing is right now, I have no control on how much I feed Breeze, she is stuck in a pen with a round bale (about 1200 lbs bale) and between 3 horses, it is gone within 1 week, or sometimes even 4 days, this is too much for a horse to eat. Breeze is getting fat, and the only way to keep off the weight is to work her for a while EVERY day, which I cannot do, because of work, weather, and school. I can go out there 4-5 times a week, but right now, that is not enough.

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