No hay in paddock? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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No hay in paddock?

Sorta new to this... but I went to the barn several times over the weekend to check on our horse (we've only had him a week) and noticed there was no hay in the paddocks. The BO was away, but there was someone looking after the horses (obviously). I went ahead and threw some hay in my horse's paddock. He only eats a tiny bit of pellets (mostly for the supplements) so hay is his main staple. Every time I went (3 times over the weekend) there was no hay in his paddock. The paddock is rather small and does not contain much edible grass. Is this normal? Am I just being an overprotective horse mom? I thought horses were meant to graze all day.

He is an easy keeper, by the way, on the smaller side, but at a good weight right now. Is it possible they were just feeding a flake in the morning and a flake in the evening and I just happened to go when they were all out? We were there around 10 am but I suppose they could have been fed very early...
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post #2 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 08:47 AM
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People who run barns have different ideas about feeding. Their knowledge of horses may vary. They must often balance what is best for the horse with what seems possible given the many other things they must attend to. Also, hired help may not always do as directed.

If possible, horses will balance grazing, moving, and sleeping throughout the day. When confined, horses are often limited in how often they get food. This can lead to gulping food when they can get it which can lead to digestive problems, especially if they get rich food without having roughage and water beforehand.

Talk to the barn manager about your concerns. You may find that the hired help is not doing what has been directed. On the other hand, the owner's response may lead you to seek another barn that provides an atmosphere more to your liking.

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post #3 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 08:55 AM
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I would ask the BO how many times a day your horse is getting hay and how much he is being fed. How much means POUNDS, not flakes as flake sizes really vary.

On average, a horse needs 2% of their body weight daily of hay and grass combined. If he isn't getting that much, he needs more.

The acid in a horse's digestive system does NOT stop producing just because it isn't eating. Horses do take breaks from eating but it should be their choice; they should not have an empty plate for long periods of time. That is how gastric ulcers can start.

You're in Canada, your winters are not pretty, lol. Were it my horse I would want hay in front of it most of the time during your cold months.

It is the high starch value in some hays that are worse for the horse than feeding too much during your winter months.

Hope that made sense and helps ----

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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TXhorseman View Post
People who run barns have different ideas about feeding. Their knowledge of horses may vary. They must often balance what is best for the horse with what seems possible given the many other things they must attend to. Also, hired help may not always do as directed.

If possible, horses will balance grazing, moving, and sleeping throughout the day. When confined, horses are often limited in how often they get food. This can lead to gulping food when they can get it which can lead to digestive problems, especially if they get rich food without having roughage and water beforehand.

Talk to the barn manager about your concerns. You may find that the hired help is not doing what has been directed. On the other hand, the owner's response may lead you to seek another barn that provides an atmosphere more to your liking.
I've emailed the BO (as I said, he was away) to find out more about what his feeding schedule is like. He hasn't responded yet. But usually, I see hay in all the paddocks when I go, so maybe the person looking after the horses while he was away was not clear on instructions or did not do the job... Not sure how he will receive my questions because he is probably thinking I'm just doting too much on our new horse. But the horses were clearly wanting hay when I threw some into my horse's paddock. I didn't give some to all the other horses because I didn't feel I had the right to do so, but they were all neighing at me hoping to get some. Which again, seemed a bit odd.
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post #5 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 09:20 AM
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Being as you saw hay in other paddocks could mean that the help was unclear on what to do with your horse. Also could mean that your horse eats faster. If there is no or not much grass to be had then maybe a slow feeder hay net would be appropriate for him. All horses will neigh and nicker when they see food coming whether they had theirs or not. Most horses are pretty into food.
Nothing wrong with asking how they do things. I want to know how everything is done with my horses so if a problem arises I can easily figure out why.
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Last edited by LoriF; 10-13-2015 at 09:25 AM.
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post #6 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
Being as you saw hay in other paddocks could mean that the help was unclear on what to do with your horse. Also could mean that your horse eats faster. If there is no or not much grass to be had then maybe a slow feeder hay net would be appropriate for him. All horses will neigh and nicker when they see food coming whether they had theirs or not. Most horses are pretty into food.
Nothing wrong with asking how they do things. I want to know how everything is done with my horses so if a problem arises I can easily figure out why.
Lori, there was NO hay in the other paddocks either. Sorry if my last post wasn't clear - I mean that NORMALLY there is hay in all the paddocks when I go, but that wasn't the case this past weekend (we just had a long weekend in Canada). Except one paddock where the lesson horses are kept and which had a round bale so they always have access to hay. Why would the lesson horses have hay but not the boarders?
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post #7 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 10:53 AM
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Ask the BO what times they feed.
If you came to my place at certain times you wouldn't see hay either but I feed every 6 hours around the clock when they aren't on pasture. So if you came at 10PM there wouldn't be hay but at 1AM there would be.

Horses on a round bale are not on an individual feeding program. It sounds like your horse is & that's a good thing. If your horse is maintaining weight I wouldn't be worried.

I don't care if a boarder wants to give their horse some hay while they groom or whatever but they better not complain to me when their horse gets too fat.
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post #8 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 11:18 AM
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BOs are always in the tentative position when they have to be absent that the hired person is doing the job as directed. A empty stomach can lead to ulcers. A small mesh hay net slows down consumption so less time is spent with nothing to eat. They can be a nuisance to stuff. Some hold about 3 flakes, others a full bale. If you google slow hay feeders there are all sorts of ideas.



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post #9 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post

I don't care if a boarder wants to give their horse some hay while they groom or whatever but they better not complain to me when their horse gets too fat.
lol, I hear you. I guess my question to all of you was whether or not your horses had hay available at all times (or all day at least). I assumed that if hay was pretty much the only food they have available, they need to be munching it on a regular basis to get enough calories. I also read somewhere that it's better to use a hay net or muzzle to reduce the amount of hay or grass a horse takes in than actually give them less hay as this can lead to boredom and long periods of not eating.

The BO told me feeding times are 8:30 and 3:30. Odd that there was no hay at 10 am, but maybe they just ate it all. BO is very patient in answering all my questions (even though I'm sure it's annoying!) so that's very reassuring. Horses there are in good health too.
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post #10 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
BOs are always in the tentative position when they have to be absent that the hired person is doing the job as directed. A empty stomach can lead to ulcers. A small mesh hay net slows down consumption so less time is spent with nothing to eat. They can be a nuisance to stuff. Some hold about 3 flakes, others a full bale. If you google slow hay feeders there are all sorts of ideas.
Exactly. Problem is, there are two horses in this paddock, not just mine, so whatever I put out there has to be for both. And the other horse is dominant and keeps biting my horse so I usually put out two piles of hay to keep them separate.
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