Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
• Horses: 0
First, and most important, do not feed moldy or dusty hay, as horses , like you can develop allergies , which lead to CPOD Once sensitized, it takes very little dust or mold to bring on a reaction
Looking at hay, can tell you if it is dusty or moldy, and give an idea as to amount of fiber versus protein and energy, but only by having it analyzed, will you know if it meets minimum requirements fro the horses you are feeding.
I'm with Loosie, in feeding rather medium quality forage, far as NSC, esp, and more of it, then smaller feedings of an energy dense hay.
In fact, it is the digestion of forage, that produces that heat, esp needed in winter.
I also agree, if horses have a good winter coat, shelter, then turnout with lots of room to move is optimum. My horses are out full time in winter, with lots of forage to paw for, in the snow, plus are supplemented with hay, as needed. That exercise, never standing around, waiting for the next meal, keeps them very healthy and comfortable.
The only horses I blanket in winter, are old horses and my IR mare,to help her with winter laminitis, and I live in Alberta, where we can have temps as low as around minus 40 C
However, if horses are confined to small paddocks, then I would certainly blanket them, as needed, or, if shivering, as mentioned.