No hay in paddock? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 39 Old 10-14-2015, 09:15 PM
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I have found at most barns that are an actual business, horses are fed a set amount of hay and that is all they get for that day. It is rare to find barns that keep hay in front of a horse's face all day. I have that situation at my current barn, but I live close enough that most afternoons I go out and feed my mare a pound of alfalfa pellets so that she has food in her stomach for a longer period of time. Especially before I ride so that she doesn't have the acid "bouncing around" in her stomach while we work.
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post #22 of 39 Old 10-14-2015, 10:43 PM
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I have found at most barns that are an actual business, horses are fed a set amount of hay and that is all they get for that day. It is rare to find barns that keep hay in front of a horse's face all day. I have that situation at my current barn, but I live close enough that most afternoons I go out and feed my mare a pound of alfalfa pellets so that she has food in her stomach for a longer period of time. Especially before I ride so that she doesn't have the acid "bouncing around" in her stomach while we work.
Please be aware that alfalfa is a legume and not a grass. Alfalfa pellets are much richer than grass hay and not as easy on the horse's stomach.
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post #23 of 39 Old 10-14-2015, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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We were in the barn today trying to groom a very wet and muddy horse so to keep him busy, I threw in a flake of hay (we were grooming in the stall since all the cross-ties were taken). Then another. Then another. He's a small horse, but boy, can he eat! So my conclusion is that unless he is losing weight, I can assume he's eating enough. I might opt for a slow feeder once I get him onto my own property (once our barn is built!) just to keep him busy all day, but for now, I suppose I'll have to live with the situation as it is. Nonetheless, I will be keeping a close eye on things the next time the BO is away...
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post #24 of 39 Old 10-14-2015, 11:01 PM
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If a horse develops the habit of gulping food because he has become over hungry, the habit may be hard to break, and the horse may overeat. A slow feeder may prove a good solution.
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post #25 of 39 Old 10-15-2015, 12:57 AM
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Please be aware that alfalfa is a legume and not a grass. Alfalfa pellets are much richer than grass hay and not as easy on the horse's stomach.
Part of this is true, alfalfa is a legume. However, alfalfa actually has a high calcium content and this makes it easy on a horse's stomach...calcium is an antacid, just like TUMS. Any food that is digested as a roughage including beet pulp, alfalfa or hay pellets, and other feeds that are mainly digested in the hind gut are helpful for preventing ulcers and aiding digestion/preventing colic. One disadvantage with pellets is that the long fibre feeds such as hay and grass help move sand through the digestive system, and pellets don't do this.
Horses that are prone to enteroliths might also develop a stone from a straight alfalfa diet due to the high calcium content.
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post #26 of 39 Old 10-15-2015, 09:00 AM
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Please be aware that alfalfa is a legume and not a grass. Alfalfa pellets are much richer than grass hay and not as easy on the horse's stomach.
It is what my vet recommended when I asked about ways to prevent ulcers while my mare is boarded on a dry lot. Since she is on group pasture board I can't buy her more hay without giving the whole group more hay, so this is what we came up with. He said that it was easy for them to digest, and perfectly safe for me to give right before riding.

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post #27 of 39 Old 10-15-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Part of this is true, alfalfa is a legume. However, alfalfa actually has a high calcium content and this makes it easy on a horse's stomach...calcium is an antacid, just like TUMS. Any food that is digested as a roughage including beet pulp, alfalfa or hay pellets, and other feeds that are mainly digested in the hind gut are helpful for preventing ulcers and aiding digestion/preventing colic. One disadvantage with pellets is that the long fibre feeds such as hay and grass help move sand through the digestive system, and pellets don't do this.
Horses that are prone to enteroliths might also develop a stone from a straight alfalfa diet due to the high calcium content.
Thank you for this detailed information which extends my understanding of horse feed.
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post #28 of 39 Old 10-16-2015, 08:18 PM
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Two hay feedings a day gone in a couple hours is too little IMO, especially shared with a dominant horse. Don't feel guilty asking BO about services and schedules: you pay your board and have a right to know what's included. You can even ask if an extra feeding (at night?) is possible. I would monitor closely your horse's weight. In an ideal world, they would have hay most of the day and night, in a slow feeder for easy keepers. When fed free choice, they tend to limit their intake. When fed few meals, they will overeat to compensate for the "starving" periods.

If your horse is kept outside for the winter, they should have hay available most of the time. Eating hay is what keeps them warm.
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post #29 of 39 Old 10-16-2015, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Eole. I took an initial girth measurement when we got the horse so I have something to compare to. I will be re-measuring every week. So far, he seems ok, but it's only been a couple of weeks. He does get fed a very small amount of pellets twice a day in his stall. Also, once the winter weather comes, they come in at night, so if necessary, that would be a good time to give him a few extra flakes since he wouldn't have to share. It's not ideal - I'd prefer a slow-feeder of some sort so he's not bored - but we may not be there more than a couple more months.

That said, I'm also unhappy about the amount of nipping my horse is taking from the other horse (another boarder has told me she had her horse taken out of that paddock because of this). I get that horses will nip at each other, and maybe I'm just being an overprotective horse owner, but he has 5-6 big marks on his rump. None are very deep (one or two drops of blood on a couple), but I worry about whether the hair will grow back. My daughter would like to show this horse so all these scars are not good.
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post #30 of 39 Old 10-18-2015, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Thanks Eole. I took an initial girth measurement when we got the horse so I have something to compare to. I will be re-measuring every week. So far, he seems ok, but it's only been a couple of weeks. He does get fed a very small amount of pellets twice a day in his stall. Also, once the winter weather comes, they come in at night, so if necessary, that would be a good time to give him a few extra flakes since he wouldn't have to share. It's not ideal - I'd prefer a slow-feeder of some sort so he's not bored - but we may not be there more than a couple more months.

That said, I'm also unhappy about the amount of nipping my horse is taking from the other horse (another boarder has told me she had her horse taken out of that paddock because of this). I get that horses will nip at each other, and maybe I'm just being an overprotective horse owner, but he has 5-6 big marks on his rump. None are very deep (one or two drops of blood on a couple), but I worry about whether the hair will grow back. My daughter would like to show this horse so all these scars are not good.
While most bite marks like that don't leave a scar, I would watch to see if he is receiving new ones. It may have just been a rough getting acquainted period for them, but if it is still continuing I would see if another arrangement could be made.
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