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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just put a deposit down on my first horse(s) and am all of a sudden a pile of nerves. What am I freaking out about? What do I feed them? How do I make sure they don't overeat? And, most importantly, what if they eat a weed or something in my pasture that causes them to colic? Am I a little neurotic? Probably. Any tips?
 

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First congrats,
Next
Have you leased or been a part of a barn before?
what is your pasture/stabling situation?
Where I am we do not have pastures my horses get high quality bermuda in slow feed nets and alfalfa in the evening. Each horse has different dietary/supplemental needs.
As far as weeds, it depends on what they are some are toxic some are not. As for colic you’ll want to call a vet, it can be caused by more than just a weed and may in most cases need a vet especially if you are not sure what you’re observing. It can be life or death(not to scare you just the truth)
That being said a horse on good pasture will be a different story likewise every horse will have different dietary needs some can not be on pasture full time, some can. It’s very hard to give a right and wrong answer

my main advice avoid sweet feed as that seems to be pushed to newer owners but has no nutritional value :)
 

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CONGRATS!! I can see being nervous and excited. If you are unsure if there are toxic weeds in your pasture, get a bag, and take a stroll and pull out some weeds, oh and a shovel . If your pasture is green and growing the horse should be fine. If the pasture grass is lacking in vit minerals etc, you may need to supplement with some hay . If you do nt have storage room, get some hay pellets . Relax and enjoy. Just Breathe .
 

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Horses should always have access to high fiber forage fed in a slow feeder (try to get low quality hay, as in not super rich like alfalfa. Grass hay and timothy is good. I feed grass hay). Besides forage and water, they sometimes need a ration balancer to balance out the nutrients they lack in the hay (usually there are enough nutrients, but sometimes certain things are lacking). I would assess the forage and then pick a ration balancer based on what it is missing. California Trace Plus and Mad Barn have good products.

Word of caution: More is not better. It is tempting to feed your horse different supplements, maybe one is for joints, another is for digestion, etc, but the way these supplements interact with each other can be detrimental. A horse barraged with too many nutrients often becomes deficient because the ratios between nutrients are all off. A horse really just needs forage and a ration balancer. Maybe you could also add in some flax oil or dried beet pulp, but don't go over the top.
 

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I've just put a deposit down on my first horse(s) and am all of a sudden a pile of nerves. What am I freaking out about? What do I feed them? How do I make sure they don't overeat? And, most importantly, what if they eat a weed or something in my pasture that causes them to colic? Am I a little neurotic? Probably. Any tips?
What are they eating now? Where will they be kept? Pasture? Stall? Dry lot? Mix? What area of the country are you in? Have you walked the pasture to see what is out there? Are there other horses on it?
 

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Its okay to freak out since it is your first horse. Horses have evolved to eat roughage, high fiber shrubs, herbs and grasses. To have a healthy lifestyle a horse needs not less than 1.5% of it's bodyweight in roughage (grass, hay, haylage, sometimes grass replacement pellets) per day and to be able to move freely. On this basis a 1000lb horse will need 15lb of hay or grass per day as a minimum, usually 2% is best, so 20lb. This is based on the horse being it's ideal healthy weight.
As domestic horses have very restricted ranges (wild bands of horses will roam many miles every day) they will often require a mineral supplement to make up for the deficiencies in the local forage. The best way to do this is to analyse your forage and supplement according to the horses’ needs. If your horse has medical needs, is nursing a foal or in heavy work your horse may need additional protein and fat. Rice bran, micronised linseed and sugar beet are popular ways to add extra nutrients to the diet for horses that need that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, your replies are so helpful and detailed.. dumb question.. is there a specific type of person that can tell me what weeds might be harmful? Would a vet be able to help? I guess maybe Dr. Google can help, lol. 🙄🙄
We live in East Tennessee and things tend to stay pretty lush and green here, for the most part, even during much of the winter. We'll have roughly 4 or 5 acres of pasture once all is said and done, separated into a front and back pasture, with a coral in the middle, near where the barn is going to be. (We're building the barn in 3 sections, so right now all we have is a run-in, but the end result will be a two story 24x48 barn with a hay loft.)
When we bring the horses in, we will also be bringing in two goats, to help keep the weeds, etc. down.
The current owner sent me this text: "Okay: late fall/Winter/early spring I give hay (as much as they'll eat) with a big feed scoop of feed and alfalfa cubes or pellets either 1x a day or 3x a week (if the week is really busy). I like to get orchard grass hay and I also get bales of alfalfa to give them in the winter as well (it keeps them nice and warm).

I use Nutrena Pro Force Fuel for their feed 💕. In the summer I let them graze 24/7 and give them feed with alfalfa cubes/pellets 3x a week. 💕

Also, I do soak their feed and alfalfa. Also, I do give them a supplement for minerals along with their salt lick. I will send you the mineral supplement I add to their feed each time! 💕. I also give their feed in a trough together! 😍"
She puts a scoop of a supplement in their food that has vitamin e, selenium, calcium and zinc.

For now we will just have the two horses and two goats (although the goats will have access to much of our 15 acres). In the next year we may be getting one more horse.
And, for those of you who asked, we have never stabled or owned a horse in any way, shape or form. We worked on a horse farm and definitely learned a lot, but also learned a lot of what not to do, so I really appreciate everyone taking time out of their lives to reply and help me. 😁😁
 
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