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Hi all,

My horses normally get fed their grain and hay at 8am

A flake thrown at 2pm

My horses have slow feeders for what it’s worth (nibble nets)

And dinner hay and grain 5:30- 6 pm. We are in NY

A new barn manager has come in and plans to feed at 8 am and leave BY 4 Pm.

I’m not too thrilled about having nothing for my horses for so many hours.

What Is your feeding scheduling like?
 

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Ach that is something I also have a bit of a problem with. Depending on the day some staff will leave REALLY EARLY and last feed/water top up was sometimes 3pm! I did end up pointing this out. It wasn't a problem for me as I made sure that I was always there in the evenings but I even went out of my way to top up waters in the middle of summer. Some staff prefer to stay and do the evening feed at 7/8pm which I LOVE.

However, they do the AM feed at 6.30am-7am. But 4pm-8am... yikes. That's not good enough for me :< Leaving her in her filth and without food... no no no. If it's water buckets and no auto-drinker then definitely a big NO. If I had no choice you bet she'd be left with huge or multiple haynets but what do you do if they are greedy piggies? Sorry you're going through this... if only we could all just have our own horse property eh?!
 

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Hi all,

My horses normally get fed their grain and hay at 8am

A flake thrown at 2pm

My horses have slow feeders for what it’s worth (nibble nets)

And dinner hay and grain 5:30- 6 pm. We are in NY

A new barn manager has come in and plans to feed at 8 am and leave BY 4 Pm.

I’m not too thrilled about having nothing for my horses for so many hours.

What Is your feeding scheduling like?
The barn I board and work part time at has morning chores 6-9:30am, noon check which takes about an hour, pm chores 4:30, and night check at 8. BO has two full timers that work 6-2 and then lots of part time.


We feed grain right away at 6am. If its not too wet we turn out the majority of the horses after that and they all have about half a small square bale in paddock. They stay out until about 4:30pm. The ones that stay in get two flakes after grain. After cleaning their stalls the ones staying in then get one more flake. The ones staying in then get another flake around noon.


They come back in about 4:30pm and everyone gets grain and a flake.


At 8pm they all get one last flake for the day.


During the week the full timer does noon check. Then two people come in for PM chores. One person comes in for night check.


Weekends we add in a noon check person because no one stays after chores are done about 9:30am.
 

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I am only stalling one horse at the moment but I give him his feed and hay at 6 am before I go to work. Depending on if I ride or not, he usually gets his feed and hay about 6-7 pm after cleaning his stall.
 

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Barn I worked at horse's in stall were fed at 7 am then turned out for day. Didn't matter the weather horse's went out. If cold snowy or raining. Horse's either had turnout blankets on or rain sheets, put on before being turned out.

They all had big round bales in turnout. Were brought in at 6pm fed grain given two big flakes of hay. Water buckets filled all horse's had two buckets.

Some owners wanted their horse's left in if weather was bad. Those horse got fed 4 big flakes of hay which lasted till pm feeding. Water was checked again at 2 pm for horse's left inside.

My own horse's get fed once a day grain and hay. They live outside 24/7 sometimes they run out of hay depending on how cold it is. On really bad weather days I'll bring them in. Once weather clears up they go back out.
 

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that really is not even an 8hr day. The nibble nets will help but I think it depends on how much hay is put into the nets. It is getting colder where I live (NW IL) and we just had our first accumulating snow, pastures will be shut off completely very soon. My horses are fed grain between 5 and 6 am (it varies based on when I get up) letout into the pasture brought in to a dry lot at noon (ish)( I work from home so depends on what is going on at work) and given a bit more grain (just enough to entice them to come in from the pasture) and given a couple flakes of hay each. Between 4:30 and 6 (again depends on work and when I need to be at my 2nd job) the horses are put into their stalls with runs and given hay in a slow feed net as well as their nightly grain. Ideally I like to make sure my horses have hay through most of the night but have it all gone by the time I get out there in the morning.

On days that I travel for work if it is winter they are not let out but have their slow feeders filled and water topped off and stalls cleaned. When I get back from wherever I am they are tossed out in the dry lot so stalls can be cleaned again as well as have their slow feeders filled up and grain put in.

Personally I would want to make sure that your horse is being fed enough forage in the time frame staff is there or that the bags are filled up enough to last well into the evening.
 

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I have my horses at home and my feeding schedule can fluctuate depending on my work. But I stick to the same schedule most of the time which is:

Morning feeding around 7-8am. Really depends on daylight as I will wait until I can actually see what I'm doing.

They get turned out during the day, so unless it is winter and really cold I do not feed lunch as they can graze.

Horses come in around 4:30 from grazing. They get their beet pulp and supplements in between 4:30/5:30. I try to feed their supper hay as late as I can before dark so they get the most of it during the night time. I spread many hay piles for them and also hang slow feeder nets during the evening. Right now they get fed dinner at 6:30, but once the time changes that will be bumped up. Most mornings they have most of the hay gone, but have left little bits spread around, so I know they aren't starving at least.

My horses are not stalled though.
 

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My BO feeds the horses around 6 am, probably a little later if it is colder out as he's an older gentleman. Then they get fed at dusk as well. I'm in Arizona, so the weather is slightly different here. They get two flakes of alfalfa morning and night.

I feed them their beet pulp and supplements when I am out there so honestly it is a different time every day and sometimes they have to skip a day.

I did just buy slow feeders to put grass hay in as well.
 

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If your horse is given enough hay in his slow feed net to last through the night, no worries. An extra hr & a half's worth isn't going to take much more room in the net. I wouldn't generally advise feeding horses grain, especially if you can only feed it in 2 meals daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all. I do own this property and barn. I have 3 horses who have decent sized paddocks and run in Which are more like open stalls with Dutch doors (never closed them in)

I lease the property to someone who has 50 years experience and yet, this seems ok with him.

I Solved the problem by committing to feed my horses myself At 6pm. I stuff my big guys hay bags but my Icelandic horses hay is weighed out (he will eat until he looks like a elephant) So I’m only leaving him with 6 pounds over night. (He gets 12-13 pounds of hay a day, no grain)

I also threw the other horses A flake as I left for the night so I felt better....

I’m very concerned about the water freezing. The person who feeds was out the door 4:07 pm yesterday. The only horses who have heated bowls are mine. (Electric in their stalls). The water will freeze here in Ny within a short amount of time. These horses belong to the person who lease my property. They are his sale horses. I have to assume he knows what he’s doing. He’s got decades of experience. 🙏🤷🏻
 

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There should at least be a night check with a last haynet refill. I do mine at 9 pm, as do most people I know.

I feed mine at 8 am, noon, 4 pm, and 9 pm. They have slow-feeder haynets (1" holes) but the hay is always gone by the next feeding. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving them any longer than that, and in fact, I find it's sometimes a little too long, especially in the overnight hours, but I have small horses and they will get fat if I give more hay.

Can someone be hired to do a night check and refill the hay around 8-9 pm?
 

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I grew up on Long Island so am very versed in the weather their.
I not only had my own horses in my exclusive care but worked in commercial barns and private facilities for the elite, aka very, very wealthy. My horses lived in everything from a old chicken coop structure to gorgeous, to die-for barns. (Go to Caumsett State Park and look at the old stone barn used for the film years ago called "Arthur"...that was one place they lived besides private facilities on the North Shore estates}

So, most barns are closed at night in winter. Is yours?
Is there a ceiling in stalls and center aisle or open, no loft to the roof?
If you have a ceiling, closing the doors, windows it is warmer in that barn than you realize with 5 or 6 animals body heat and hydrated air kept inside...
Only during the most frigid temperatures of below zero will water buckets truly freeze...
A skim of ice, but to solid freeze and no water at all is extremely rare.
I know my horses learned the weather pattern of winter and when it was so cold, they would drink and drink deeply, large amounts when I was watering them...sip water during the night and come morning I often would crack ice when it was -10 degrees and a wicked wind in a barn that was drafty and mostly open.
When I used heated buckets or insulated buckets I often dumped buckets in morning filled with poopy water. :frown_color:

As for hay....
Horses are adaptable animals.
They learn when it is time to eat and when it isn't...and their digestive juices mimic that.
Yes, they always produce, but they produce far more when you stand there tossing hay/feed to them too.
Slow feed nets if filled will last roughly 4-5 hours of continuous eating if you use 2" net openings...larger holes are consumed from faster. Today they make nets with even smaller openings if needed.
So if fed @ 5:00.... = roughly 10 PM.
Not every horse eats non-stop either, but pick and leave it to come back in a bit and pick again.
They also rest when the barn goes dark and quiet...
They eat when there is activity and light that they are animated from seeing things...
As long as the horses are offered a adequate amount of food to thrive they truly are fine.

It is only in the last years that the concept of horses must eat continuously has arrived on scene.
Before that, horses were fed "meals" and then left to rest and be horses on their own for large periods of time and they survived and thrived, were working animals and did not wither away nor have adverse health effects when you really think about it.
Here, where I now live we have real cowboys who ride and work cattle 8 hours or more a day astride...
Do you truly think those cowboys stop every few minutes to feed their horse...of course not.
The horses are fed morning, have hay offered at lunchtime and again are fed when they are done for the day and go back to their barn.
Not one of those horses is thin, sickly or having belly issues...promise you my face has been plastered to many a trailer side looking, talking to the owner and asking & inspecting their animals...
These guys use their horses to make a living. They are not going to do anything to harm their paycheck maker!!
So, not all of these cowboys put their horses out on pasture nightly either when day starts at 3:00AM to get fed, saddled, loaded and to their work location...they are fed and fed well since they worked hard all day long.

Personally, if the horse goes for a few hours with no food in their face I don't see a issue.
Not everything the veteran horse owners/trainers did for generations is wrong or detrimental to health.
What it is is different than what many today insist is the right way...there is more than 1 way to house and take care of horses...
The question you must ask yourself is what way is comfortable for you to live with in your mind...
Then it is you who must make arrangements to have what you decide you want to live with occur...
I think your old-time trainer/owner made his decision and lives with his decision just fine.

Right now, my horses are in my yard...waiting for breakfast as I type this.
They know I'm coming but don't fret for food either.
I no longer feed on such a rigid, tight time cause my horses did fret when I was 15 minutes late arriving.
I now feed between 8 - 10AM...
Go back between 12 -1 and give alfalfa cubes
Out between 5 - 7 PM for night food and then they are done.
They have access to enough hay not in hay nets they eat, gorge themselves for hours after I leave the barn..
They do lay down and rest at night in the dark I am positive...rest as their body needs, not be animated eating and moving around.
I know they also leave their hay and go lay down for long periods of time to rest at night cause I have binoculars with night-vision capabilities from when we had a boat on LI, so can see them clearly and easily by natural light.
So, to me...I would not be fretting so about the limited hours they are not stuffing their face...truly it would not concern me.


I also get the value of land on Long Island and few, very few have pastures where horses are out on grass non-stop near 24/7...rare that is today their.
So, adapt we have all done to what is normal living environment for us and our animals.
Most also do not get that homes are often on plots of land 100'x150' on the island and pay double digit property taxes easily...horse barns are a dying commodity and board is as much or equal to mortgage payments in excess of $1200 a month now...or more!!

:runninghorse2:...
 

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I've never had a rigid schedule as work never allowed for that. They have also skipped a meal here and there. I do have them on my own property and have had time to watch them over the course of the day. They don't eat 24/7. They consume much more when there are bales out in shorter periods than they do with the same time grazing. To eat what they eat in a few hours on a bale they need to be out for quite a bit of time.
 

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I board at a private barn. AM feeding is around 7AM & PM feeding is around 5/6PM. Unlimited forage, out 24/7 with hay, grass too but obviously the grass is a bit dead now! :lol:
 

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My horse's are at home there is no feeding schedule. They get fed when I get out there anywhere between 7 and midnight. When I start feeding in the morning next month any time between 7 am and 12 pm. Sometimes they don't get any grain am or pm.

Once round bales go out in feeders they pretty much have no interest in the grain.

Barn I worked at horse's got all worked up if it got past 7 am. Think its better not to have a strict schedule for feed times. If you're late horse's aren't stressing about getting fed.

Life happens and I don't want to be tied to a feed schedule.
 
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