Couple questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-21-2016, 07:01 PM
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Horses are horses, built to cope outside in all weather. Like everything, there are of course many exceptions to that 'rule' tho. But generally speaking, if they are out in a paddock together, access to shelter(can you give them access to the stalls without locking them in?), have grown a decent coat by the time really cold happens, then I wouldn't rug at all. If they do have to be locked in a stall at night, enforced standing around, then I might put on a light rug on the cold nights.

Yep, sounds like mouldy hay - don't feed it!

I am very conscious of feeding rich, high sugar hay, being in the hoofcare business, seeing sooo many obese, IR & laminitic horses. It depends on many factors as to how rich in sugar grass/hay will get, you need to test it to really know. But generally the less 'improved' grasses, such as native are lower in sugar. Rye, clover & cereal grass/hay is richest, and IME should generally be avoided. And while it's also dependant on the weather at the time of cutting even, as to how rich hay may be in sugars, the first cut of younger grass tends to be the richest, and mature, blooming grasses are lowest. So 2nd or 3rd cut preferred. 3rd or 4th cuts however may be less nutritious though.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-21-2016, 07:22 PM
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If your horses have thick coats and are in good health then they'll be OK without blankets - but watch for shivering because its a very inefficient way to keep warm - burns up a lot of calories. That means you have to check your horses as late at night as possible.
If you're feeding hay as the main food source - as in no grazing - then stabling at night does have its advantages because you know exactly how much each horse is eating and drinking.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-22-2016, 12:45 AM
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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.
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