Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
• Horses: 0
Lots of good advise.
Bottom line, horses do best when able to be on full time turnout, but you have to take some things into consideration.
Our domestic horses don't , or can't travel miles and miles very day, eating almost constantly, but lower quality ( nutritionally speaking) and sparser amount of forage
Instead, they are kept in pastures, often with enriched type grasses, meant for cattle, and with no need to cover miles to get that forage
Setting free choice hay in front of a horse, is also not the same, as a horse needing to move, grab a mouthful here or there.
Thus, since we have confined our domestic horses to some extent of another, making fleeing from predators and seeking food not necessary, we then have to modify as to how we provide that free choice hay, that either encourages movement, limits the intake, or both.
'Pasture paradise,' slow feeder hay nets, a grazing muzzles are some modifications we use.
For horses that are IR like one of mine, you have to dry lott them, thus control everything that goes into their mouth, making turn out only possible when all that grass is truly dead, and even so, this year I had to keep up a portable electric fence, to limit grazing area, as our winter was very mild, hardly having any snow to make Smilie work for that forage
Far as supplements,ditto what Jaydee said, far as hay and vit e and a loss, plus there also should be a source of omega 3
All horses should have assess to free choice minerals and salt.
Beyond that, if forage alone is not supplying the amount of protein and energy (calories ), required for weight maintenance or work load, you can feed cool calories (preferred over hot )