Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: west palm beach, fl
In my experience, if you take a horse whose stalled, and turn them out on 24/7 hay, for the first day or two (or three for the big piglets like my mare) they will stand by that hay abd eat and eat and eat. During this time, I wouldn't give any grain. They are full enough. After that period of time, they realize that they hay isn't going anywhere, and they calm down about it and go about their horsey business.
Whether ornot your horse will need a supplemental feed is completely up to the horse. If the hay is good quality, abd she's eating enough of it to stay healthy, then I wouldn't worry about it.
Personally, while my horses were out on 24/7 hay, I noticed my older gelding not holding weight well, and all of my horses lost the shine in their coats. So I began giving the gelding a good quality grain and flax seed, abd the others got two handfuls of grain and their flax seed. The older gelding still had problems holding weight, but it's much better. And they all have their shine back.
So if you notice your horse losing weight on just the hay, add a hard feed (or beet pulp, or rice bran) for calories. If you notice hoof/coat problems, add a supplement for that.