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Discussion Starter #1
Well since this is the first time I have ever had to board my horse I am figuring out I dont like it very much LOL..It's very hard for me to entrust in other people to make sure things are done properly! I have always been the one to do everything and I liked it because I know it was getting done!

Here is my dilemma! me and another boarder (whos horses share the same lot) don't like the fact that our horses are only being fed hay twice a day and maybe 2 flakes at the most each feeding! And they are not turned out to pasture. The horses are in the paddock from like 4pm until the next morning with nothing to eat or do they just stand around and look bored and hungry! I have been out eveyr night to let her hand graze for about a half hr which is nothing i know but atleast its something..so anyways me and the other boarder are trying to figure a way to go about this. We would actually like to buy some extra hay for the two of us so we can give them hay whenever we are out there which is atleast 4-6 times a week.

Is this something that most BO are ok with? I'm not asking for the board to be dropped or them to do anything we will do it but I dont want the BO to feel like they aren't taking care of the horses because i think they do a pretty good job and all the horses look healthy..its more of a preferance thing for me...Any advice?
 

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Not quite sure I understand so just trying to get a bit more info to be helpful :) Are you saying that they are in a paddock that has no grass and get 2 flakes of hay twice a day? Is there a pasture with grass that they could be in? At our barn the soil is super sandy and its really hard to keep any grass in the pastures unless there is a lot of rain, which thankfully we have this year. Even with a lot of rain they don't get much grass anyway, they eat it down too fast. Our barn feeds t&a twice day with the horses getting 1 1/2 to 2 flakes per feeding. They also get grain (how much depends on the horse) Yes most of our horses are not eating all day because of the lack of grass which I know is not ideal but they are all very well fed and happy. Many of the boarders come out and let their horses graze in the unfenced areas (which have grass since there is not constant grazing to eat it down)

I have boarded at this place for years and though it would be nice to have more grass the horses have always been well fed and cared for.

The hay we get is from up north and is pretty expensive and no way the horses would need more than 4 flakes a day of it. plus it would cost a fortune to give them more.

I don't know if there is anything you can do, except pay extra for more hay.

If you are saying they are turned out during the day with pasture grass, can they just be turned out on the grass 24/7? why are they in the paddock 4pm til morning? Is it because they alternate the horses? If so then I think that much time on grass and 4 flakes of hay a day are fine, but I understand its not what you are used to, but what you signed up for when you decided to board there.

Hope that helps, just not 100% of the situation from your description.
 

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Not quite sure I understand so just trying to get a bit more info to be helpful :) Are you saying that they are in a paddock that has no grass and get 2 flakes of hay twice a day? Is there a pasture with grass that they could be in? At our barn the soil is super sandy and its really hard to keep any grass in the pastures unless there is a lot of rain, which thankfully we have this year. Even with a lot of rain they don't get much grass anyway, they eat it down too fast. Our barn feeds t&a twice day with the horses getting 1 1/2 to 2 flakes per feeding. They also get grain (how much depends on the horse) Yes most of our horses are not eating all day because of the lack of grass which I know is not ideal but they are all very well fed and happy. Many of the boarders come out and let their horses graze in the unfenced areas (which have grass since there is not constant grazing to eat it down)

I have boarded at this place for years and though it would be nice to have more grass the horses have always been well fed and cared for.

The hay we get is from up north and is pretty expensive and no way the horses would need more than 4 flakes a day of it. plus it would cost a fortune to give them more.

I don't know if there is anything you can do, except pay extra for more hay.

If you are saying they are turned out during the day with pasture grass, can they just be turned out on the grass 24/7? why are they in the paddock 4pm til morning? Is it because they alternate the horses? If so then I think that much time on grass and 4 flakes of hay a day are fine, but I understand its not what you are used to, but what you signed up for when you decided to board there.

Hope that helps, just not 100% of the situation from your description.

Sorry that it was a bit confusing! hehe

No the horses do not get turned out in pasture. They have I think 4 or five grass fields that horses get turned out in but its not the boarders horses its their horses. They just started turning a few horses out on grass but only theirs. The rest of the horses are on dry lots with the regular feedings twice a day and hay.

My mare is used to having pasture/hay whenever she wanted and I just don't want any issues to come up from them not getting enough forage. I think she might be developing ulcers and i read that not getting enough forage can cause that.

Like I said all the horses are in good shape and don't look underweight except for a few older ones that are hard keepers. Classy is still a bit fat so I actually didn't want her turned out on grass but would like her to have more hay. They rotate the horses during the day there are 2 different horses in her lot while she is stall kept then after their evening feedings she gets put out until morning in a dry lot. I just don't want her to develop any behavioral issues from being so bored. I noticed her picking through poop the other evenign when i was there.

I guess I'm really just a paranoid owner/boarder. Its not easy for me to depend or rely on others to do things the way i would LOL
 

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Wow. I have that exact same problem. The only difference is that my BO won't listen to anyone when we try to tell her that 4 flakes a day isn't enough. This winter, each horse is only going to get two flakes twice a day, which is insane. If a horse doesn't have pasture, he needs at least three quarters of a bale every day. So I'm gonna be going out there seven days a week this winter to feed my horses myself. A few of the other boarders are mad about the situation, too.

The BO should be okay with you getting your own hay. You're not asking to lower the board or anything, so she shouldn't have a problem with that. After all, you have every right to feed your horse as much as you think he needs. No one can tell you not to feed your horse. :)
 

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Wow. I have that exact same problem. The only difference is that my BO won't listen to anyone when we try to tell her that 4 flakes a day isn't enough. This winter, each horse is only going to get two flakes twice a day, which is insane. If a horse doesn't have pasture, he needs at least three quarters of a bale every day. So I'm gonna be going out there seven days a week this winter to feed my horses myself. A few of the other boarders are mad about the situation, too.

The BO should be okay with you getting your own hay. You're not asking to lower the board or anything, so she shouldn't have a problem with that. After all, you have every right to feed your horse as much as you think he needs. No one can tell you not to feed your horse. :)
Sorry you are in the same situation! I agree once winter comes around they will need even more. Im not sure if they give more hay int he winter at my barn or not? something i need to find out! anyways, me and the other boarder will probably be brining the subject up to the BO to see what she says..like i said i dont want her to take it as an insult or anything but its just a personal preference i have :)
 

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LOL I'm SO lost. We feed our horses very differently here. I wouldn't be very much help. But I DO know how it feels to go from a ranch you've worked at and managed to a ranch where someone else is in charge. I'm having second thoughts myself. But I trust the owner and I know her well so I guess I'll just have to get over it.
 

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Bah, that angers me so much - horses are grazers, they have to have food in their tummy's all the time. They have to beable to graze - if they don't get to, then colic can occur and other gut, stomache issues as well...not forgetting weight loss.

When my guy was at the Fox Hunting/ Eventing Facility - they were all on dry lots as well, no pasture.....but the BM ensured that round bales were out there constantly for the horses to have continuous access too.

I would definately stress your concern to the BO/BM and if they don't want to accomodate your wishes, then find somewhere else. Your horses health is important and this is unhealthy.

Forage is important for a horses health.
 

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I don't know but our horses do very well with little grass, 4 flakes of hay a day of really good hay and premium feed, no big issues at all. but they have lots of room to roam, but the soil is just too sand for good grass growth w/o a ton of watering/fertilizer

Ours do okay but they are used to it.... JMO
 

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Bah, that angers me so much - horses are grazers, they have to have food in their tummy's all the time. They have to beable to graze - if they don't get to, then colic can occur and other gut, stomache issues as well...not forgetting weight loss.

When my guy was at the Fox Hunting/ Eventing Facility - they were all on dry lots as well, no pasture.....but the BM ensured that round bales were out there constantly for the horses to have continuous access too.

I would definately stress your concern to the BO/BM and if they don't want to accomodate your wishes, then find somewhere else. Your horses health is important and this is unhealthy.

Forage is important for a horses health.
and I agree! i would much rather pay some extra money out of my pocket and buy our own hay to give to them when WE wanted to! I'm not saying the BO dont take care of the horses but its not somethign they are that worried about! yesterday when i talked to her she commented on the other boarder and how she wants her horse to have extra hay and how she thought it wasn't as healthy because it can cause more impaction???? i didnt say anything because i wasn't going to go around about it but i never heard of having too much hay and by to much she was refering to 3-4 flakes for the morning feeding. the hrose is big and young he is only 3 years old and probably 16.3hh so i dont see a problem at all feeding more hay especially with not getting any grass.

I don't know but our horses do very well with little grass, 4 flakes of hay a day of really good hay and premium feed, no big issues at all. but they have lots of room to roam, but the soil is just too sand for good grass growth w/o a ton of watering/fertilizer

Ours do okay but they are used to it.... JMO
we have sandy soil to but i dont think its as bad as yours??? they ahve a couple nice grass fields that they started turning horses out on but ours aern't the ones being turned out??
 

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Okay I just want to say we all have different view points and ways of doing things, etc. I do think that ideally horses should have grass/hay to eat the majority of the day. But things are not always ideal. In the wild horses certainly don't always have great grazing year round. They adapt to their environment. However when we put them inside a fence and "domesticate them" it becomes our responsibility to make sure they are properly cared for.

Our place's situation is not ideal. We have super sandy soil and unless we get a ton of rain we have sparse grass in the pastures. We do have a few open pastures that get decent grass and can be used for grazing. Could it be better? Yes there are probably things that could be done to provide better grazing such as fertilizer, watering rotating pastures, etc.

But it is what it is and the care is very good and the horses are happy and healthy. We feed high quality hay (timothy alfalfa) that costs about $12/bale. We feed quality grain and supplements as needed per horse. They are fed twice a day and get 2 flakes am/pm typically. Every horse at our barn is at their proper weight if not a little overweight (some ponies that get almost nothing) Some have some grass, some don't, some really don't need any because of health issues. None of them seemed distressed, bored or unhappy. We have colic very rarely but with the number of horses we have I think at some point over the years colic will occur. We give horses pysillium monthly and usually have no issues.

I am against round bales unless you can get them from a very reliable source, too many issues with them.

Most boarders let their horses hand graze in common areas or use the open pastures if they want their horses to get extra grass.

So you have to take into account what each horse is accustomed to, what works best for you and the horse. To OP: this barn may not be for you. Yes if they are okay with you supplementing with extra hay then maybe it will work, if not you may want to look around for another barn. I think that is the best solution. Unfortunately you cannot come into an established barn and change the way they do things or necessarily get the "premium" pasture. So might need to look for another barn.

Good luck!

P.S. Sorry I repeated so much, I hadn't been on this thread for a while so sorry!!
 

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Okay I just want to say we all have different view points and ways of doing things, etc. I do think that ideally horses should have grass/hay to eat the majority of the day. But things are not always ideal. In the wild horses certainly don't always have great grazing year round. They adapt to their environment. However when we put them inside a fence and "domesticate them" it becomes our responsibility to make sure they are properly cared for.

Our place's situation is not ideal. We have super sandy soil and unless we get a ton of rain we have sparse grass in the pastures. We do have a few open pastures that get decent grass and can be used for grazing. Could it be better? Yes there are probably things that could be done to provide better grazing such as fertilizer, watering rotating pastures, etc.

But it is what it is and the care is very good and the horses are happy and healthy. We feed high quality hay (timothy alfalfa) that costs about $12/bale. We feed quality grain and supplements as needed per horse. They are fed twice a day and get 2 flakes am/pm typically. Every horse at our barn is at their proper weight if not a little overweight (some ponies that get almost nothing) Some have some grass, some don't, some really don't need any because of health issues. None of them seemed distressed, bored or unhappy. We have colic very rarely but with the number of horses we have I think at some point over the years colic will occur. We give horses pysillium monthly and usually have no issues.

I am against round bales unless you can get them from a very reliable source, too many issues with them.

Most boarders let their horses hand graze in common areas or use the open pastures if they want their horses to get extra grass.

So you have to take into account what each horse is accustomed to, what works best for you and the horse. To OP: this barn may not be for you. Yes if they are okay with you supplementing with extra hay then maybe it will work, if not you may want to look around for another barn. I think that is the best solution. Unfortunately you cannot come into an established barn and change the way they do things or necessarily get the "premium" pasture. So might need to look for another barn.

Good luck!

P.S. Sorry I repeated so much, I hadn't been on this thread for a while so sorry!!

Of course we would all love the ideal situation but like you said sometimes it is just not possible but if we can do other things to make up for it then that makes it better for us and our horses :) I don't think we will have much of a problem with us buying extra hay for them I know there are a few other boarders who buy their own hay so I really dont see that being a problem now that i know that! It's not like i'm asking for my board to be lowered or anything like that so I dont think they will necessarily have a problem with it! I also know that my mare would probably be better off not on grass as much since she can get huge on it. I think as long as i can give her hay in the evenings after our workouts she will be ok or on the weekends just some extra! I like the barn and they do take care of the horses like i said none of them are underweight or unhealthy looking but this is jsut something iwould feel better doing for my horse :)
 

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Perhaps, if your horse is truly getting an adequate amount of hay per day, an option would be to feed smaller amounts 3-4 X's per day.
Extending the grazing/eating hours per day and reducing the boredom associated with dry-lot turn-out can be challenging. I have never been a big fan of simply throwing out a few flakes. Equine dietary needs change when the desired natural environment is simply impossible. I feed each of my boarders horses a diet based on their individual needs and take into consideration factors such as age, weight, body condition, discipline and routine exercise. There have been times when I have consulted with a dietary specialist referred through my vet office. This has helped me and the owners quite a bit to ensure their horse is receiving the correct diet and can be kept in the best condition possible. All of the horses here are on seasonal pasture turn-out, however, I do have to stall feed when the grass is no longer providing adequate nutritional requirements. Then I have found that 4-5 meals a day is best.
Be careful of feeding practices when ground feeding on sandy soils. Sand ingestion can be problematic and in conditions such as this I have used a hay bag and constructed a sand free area underneath to minimize sand consumption.
My suggestion would be to discuss your horse's dietary needs with a specialist and then get together with your BO. When seeking a consult, I have been asked to bring a sample of the hay and the nutritional value listings on the grain sack and supplements.
It is very important that my clients are happy with the services provided and beginning with the health basic is an important aspect of providing quality equine care.
I hope you are able to find a solution that makes you feel a bit more comfortable about entrusting the care and well being of your horse to another person.
 
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