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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We got our first round bale in yesterday (Coastal hay). I thought I put it in the middle of the stall out of reach but my horse ate a ton of hay off it. She had 2 flakes for supper and then maybe 2 or more off of the hay bale.

I'm freaking out because a horse I knew just died from impaction a few weeks ago.

Right now she is fine- even nickered for breakfast (I didn't give her any) and is drinking normally. Normal manure. I'm just really worried. I know she has never coliced before but I am always careful about her hay consumption as she has a tendency to overeat.

She did stop eating and was off of it when I got up this morning. I'm just hoping it isn't a big deal- she usually gets 4 flakes a day, just spread out through the day.
 

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Hay is roughage. Roughage is necessary for gut motility. There is no such thing as too much hay when it comes to horses. Impactions are usually caused by sand in the gut or overfeeding of grain products, with the added problems of the horse not drinking enough water and not being provided enough roughage during the day to keep the gut moving.
 

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I would only worry about it if it's a significantly different type of hay. Otherwise, the more hay, the better. I'd give my horse free choice hay if I could...
 
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She needs that hay 24/7 to prevent colic. Horses are trickle feeders, they need to eat little and often, and it is best provided if the horse has an absolutely free access to good quality hay - that way they manage their eating habits for themselves. Also, as mentioned, roughage (which hay is) is extremely important for gut health. So, give her some more hay, don't withhold it. ;) You should only worry about overeating a certain feedstuff as a risk or colic if the horse gets to chow down on large amounts of grains, sweet feed, unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, haylage, silage, rotten or moldy hay (if you spot something like that in your hay - get rid of it asap!), unsuitable feeds (cattle, goat, chicken...) etc.
 

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As long as you supply fresh, plentiful clean water for her to drink...she should be fine.
Withholding her food will make her more anxious as she is hungry, expecting and in a routine of what and when she eats...these things can lead to digestive upset {colic}.
As others have written, a horses gut is designed to continually add, as in graze, and digest "grass/hay"...
It is actually far better to let her eat all the hay she wants of this type than to feed her "grain"...
Many horses do well on Coastal... and only Coastal free choice, no grain.

4 flakes of hay total a day is not much hay for a horse unless she is also on pasture and grazing much of the day.
So,...Your horse will "gorge" herself as you see it when she first gets the hay roll...but once she realizes the hay isn't going anyplace and she can eat her fill as she needs and wants she will slow down... right now a hay roll and access to unlimited hay is a novelty to your mare.
Give her a few days of unlimited access, bet you see her attitude toward gorging herself change...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I forgot to mention she is also on pasture part of the day! I'm not so worried now. I think I was just over reacting as I was with the vet when the horse who impacted was put down. I certainly don't want to see a horse that bad again!

I just took her out for a walking ride and she seems fine.

I definitely can't give her unlimited access to hay. She would turn into a blimp! :wink: Right now she only gets a handful of grain a day with a vitamin/mineral.
 

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You should look into slowfeeders. Would slow her down but still give her the possibility to nibble constantly, which is , as was already stated, THE most important thing to prevent colic AND ulcers.And makes for a very happy horse.
 

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4horses...No matter where you live if north of the Equator, pasture is pretty much done growing and being the end of the growing season it is also less nutritious when it is eaten...it is almost near empty calories.:-(

Don't short your horses nutrition requirements.... a "blimp" can become a skinny animal quickly... keep vigilant and alert that your fit and healthy horse keeps this way for you..

Enjoy and happy trails. :)

:wink:
 
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