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Discussion Starter #1
I have been feeding him alfalfa cubes this winter to keep his weight up and I went to ride him yesterday and he was very hot and spooky, he is on a very good feed Seminole Wellness dynasport and gets free choice hay but the hay is not the best quality, what could I give him instead of alfalfa cubes that won't make him hot
 

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When was the last time that you rode him?
 

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I would be more inclined to put the hot and spookyness on lack of being ridden often more than I would on the alfalfa. I know that a lot of people believe that alfalfa makes a horse hot but I don't belong to the club that thinks protein does that. Alfalfa usually if not always has less sugars in it than grass does. There are 11 horses on the properry where I keep my three and they are all on alfalfa and grass except for the ponies and no one is hot and spooky.

Energy needs to flow somewhere so more riding will direct it to where you want it to be rather than the horse directing to where he thinks it needs to be.

Actually the 30 year old pony eats alfalfa too
 

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I would be more inclined to put the hot and spookyness on lack of being ridden often more than I would on the alfalfa. I know that a lot of people believe that alfalfa makes a horse hot but I don't belong to the club that thinks protein does that. Alfalfa usually if not always has less sugars in it than grass does. There are 11 horses on the properry where I keep my three and they are all on alfalfa and grass except for the ponies and no one is hot and spooky.

Energy needs to flow somewhere so more riding will direct it to where you want it to be rather than the horse directing to where he thinks it needs to be.

Actually the 30 year old pony eats alfalfa too
I didn't put him on alfalfa last winter and I didn't ride much because of the weather and he wasn't hot when i rode him after a month of not being ridden so it has to be the alfalfa
 

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I agree that I highly doubt it's the alfalfa making him hot. I don't think alfalfa makes horses particularly hot, in fact I usually find horses are more mellow on it because it helps with their stomach acid and keeps their weight on.

You've barely ridden him and he probably hasn't been outside of his barn/paddock much in that time so of course he's going to be up and excited. I would absolutely have lunged for 15-20 minutes first to get any excitement or bucks out and then not expected much for the first ride in a month. Get him back into work slowly and let him adjust back to his working schedule, some horses come off the winter offended that their "retirement" is over.
 

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I have been feeding him alfalfa cubes this winter to keep his weight up and I went to ride him yesterday and he was very hot and spooky, he is on a very good feed Seminole Wellness dynasport and gets free choice hay but the hay is not the best quality, what could I give him instead of alfalfa cubes that won't make him hot
I strongly recommend that everyone who owns a horse take a course in Equine Nutrition and in Equine Digestion. I preach this to so many people, but unfortunately I realize that it's not something everyone can easily do since they might not have access to these educational opportunities.

Horses do not need "high energy" hay or foods that are high in NSC. They really aren't very good for them and can lead to health issues that could shorten their lifespan. (Secretariat was put down at 19 due to laminitis which was almost certainly the result of his feed being grain and top quality hay). So don't feel bad about the hay not being high quality. I feed low quality hay and pray that my supplier's son will continue supplying it when his 80 year old father stops, because he's the only source in over 100 miles.

The "modern" style of equine has been around for about 10 million years (if we go back to when it was a dog sized animal it's about 50 million, but we're not over concerned with the first 40 million years). In that time nature designed them to live on low quality forage. It's what their digestive system is designed to work with. A lot of long fiber (grass....or hay) and low NSC (grains and grain products are high in NSC). Too much starch creates problems in the hind gut, but I'm not going to get into trying to give a Reader's Digest version of tiny portion of a course in Equine Nutrition or Digestion. I've posted enough stuff on this site to give me writers cramp and poor eyesight from pouring over old class material *laugh* and even then I miss things.

Avoiding "hot" foods is smart. It's best for your horse, because hot foods are high in NSC. Horses do need small levels of NSC (just as humans need small levels of fat) for proper health, but they get enough from low quality hay and from grass (they can get too much from some hay and from grass that is too lush....reason some horses founder in late Spring/early Summer)

The best "cold" feeds I know of are copra (solid remains of the meat of a coconut after 95% of the oil has been extracted) and beet pulp (solid remains of the beet after the sugar has be extracted). Both are highly digestible (beet pulp being fiber, more nutritious than the best hay and handled in the hind gut, copra is so digestible it's taken from the foregut straight to the liver), both are extremely low in NSC and both provide plenty of useable energy (beet pulp is a favorite with many endurance racers).
Word of caution. Beet pulp is high in Ca, but has almost no P. Copra is high in P with low levels of Ca (which is the opposite of what the proper ratio is suppose to be for a horse). I solve this by feeding both copra and beet pulp mixed together so that my Ca to P ration is around 2 to 1, but you can also use supplements to create the balance needed.
I wouldn't worry about the low quality hay. I feed "cow" hay (Bahia grass hay). We've fed that to our working horses since my grandfather's time (and he was born in the 1800's). Timothy, CB, and the host of high quality "horse" hay will almost certainly have more NSC than you want.

A quick explanation for why people feed grain and rich hay. It's a long standing tradition started a very long time ago in Europe. They did not understand equine digestion. They kept the horses confined (so that they couldn't graze to keep the sort of diet nature designed them for). Grain was on hand, easy to store so it made an easy feed. Hay was later looked at the same way as we developed "high energy" hay. Knowledge about NSC and it's effect, how equine digestion worked, and what their nutritional needs actually were didn't come along until much, much later. Although it is interesting that the great horse societies of the world (Scythians, Mongols, etc. etc.) did not feed their horses grain or on high quality grass or hay. They ranged their horses over large areas which allowed them to have a natural diet without some of the problems faced by horses in Europe (and later in places colonized by Europeans).
 
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I would be more inclined to put the hot and spookyness on lack of being ridden often more than I would on the alfalfa. I know that a lot of people believe that alfalfa makes a horse hot but I don't belong to the club that thinks protein does that. Alfalfa usually if not always has less sugars in it than grass does. There are 11 horses on the properry where I keep my three and they are all on alfalfa and grass except for the ponies and no one is hot and spooky.

Energy needs to flow somewhere so more riding will direct it to where you want it to be rather than the horse directing to where he thinks it needs to be.

Actually the 30 year old pony eats alfalfa too
I agree that lack of riding is most likely the real problem, and not some alfalfa cubes
However, while it is completely true that excess protein causes neither mood highs, risk of laminitis, colic, in proportion to amount fed, as once thought in the early 80s, and that the culprit is instead, excess NSC, it is also true that some horses can't handle a lot of alfalfa.
This fact is in spite that alfalfa is often found to be lower in sugars then some grass hays, but not always. It depends a great deal on where that alfalfa is grown.
I know for a fact, that horses who are laminitic where I live, absolutely can't have alfalfa. There is another mechanism involved, beyond NSC, that, far as I know, is not completely understood
 

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How much of the Seminole are you feeding? It is recommended to feed anywhere from 2.5lbs-10lbs daily to a 1000 lb horse on maintenance. If he isn't already at the upper limit, I would look at increasing that for his weight.
 

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I personally like to feed my horses a varied diet that consists of a little of this and a little of that. Including some weeds lol. They seem to be doing great, seem healthy, are shiny, plenty of energy, and don't really over reach to much of anything anymore. Even the baby is super mellow. So those are my experiences.
 
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How much of the Seminole are you feeding? It is recommended to feed anywhere from 2.5lbs-10lbs daily to a 1000 lb horse on maintenance. If he isn't already at the upper limit, I would look at increasing that for his weight.
I have been giving him 6 lbs a day, if I give him a lot of grain he gets hyper
 

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Seminole Feeds means you're located in the south....

So, your feeding a lesser quality hay and that is why you are feeding alfalfa cubes?
Why not feed the horse some better hay but not the quality of alfalfa...somewhere in the middle?
You feed junk you get not the best results...
You feed better quality hay then your result {appearance} will also be better and not need as much supplementation of things such as alfalfa cubes but as for a "treat" if then...

I do have to agree though that a month off from riding and then expecting the horse to not have any energy needing expelled is not fair to the horse...
To me a "hot" horse is one you did not stay on through their antics but got off and found another way to get some of their antics out of the system by lunging to settle the brain some...

Weather is getting warm and that usually takes some antics out of the tank of many horses...just to hot to play weather....

Make sure the horse was out and moving not standing under a tree in the shade for hours before the next ride or tack up and put the horse in a roundpen or lunge him to see if he is paying attention and attentive to you before getting astride...

Who wants to work when they have had time off to play all those days is not the fault of the horse...
I would have a attitude and be "hot" too...:wink:

:runninghorse2:.....
 
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Seminole Feeds means you're located in the south....

So, your feeding a lesser quality hay and that is why you are feeding alfalfa cubes?
Why not feed the horse some better hay but not the quality of alfalfa...somewhere in the middle?
You feed junk you get not the best results...
You feed better quality hay then your result {appearance} will also be better and not need as much supplementation of things such as alfalfa cubes but as for a "treat" if then...

I do have to agree though that a month off from riding and then expecting the horse to not have any energy needing expelled is not fair to the horse...
To me a "hot" horse is one you did not stay on through their antics but got off and found another way to get some of their antics out of the system by lunging to settle the brain some...

Weather is getting warm and that usually takes some antics out of the tank of many horses...just to hot to play weather....

Make sure the horse was out and moving not standing under a tree in the shade for hours before the next ride or tack up and put the horse in a roundpen or lunge him to see if he is paying attention and attentive to you before getting astride...

Who wants to work when they have had time off to play all those days is not the fault of the horse...
I would have a attitude and be "hot" too...:wink:

:runninghorse2:.....
The hay is the best I could find in my area, we had a drought last year so the hay was not very good and not a lot of it, I lunged him for 20 minutes before riding and he was still spooky and hot, he usually is a lazy horse who would rather not do much. I really believe it's the alfalfa I'm going to take it away and see if it helps and give him a little extra grain
 

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In theory, the Seminole that you are feeding shouldn't make him hot because it is supposed to be a low starch formula; but every horse reacts differently to different feedstuffs.

I have fed plain beet pulp (without molasses) with success.

I definitely wouldn't try any grain feeds (corn, oats, etc.) with this one if he gets hot.
 

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what grain are you feeding him ? that could contribute to him being hot.
if you have poor quality hay then he would need the alfalfa over the grain .
I do not know anything about the seminole hay .
Do not change the feeds fast, you need to reduce one feed and replace it with another.
 

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I have had the same issues with feeding straight alfalfa cubes. There are grass cubes or grass/alfalfa mix available as well. My reining stallion loses weight really bad in breeding season, the best thing I found helped & didn't make him hot is Calf Manna pellets.I can feed lots without any bad effects.
 

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I love Seminole feeds, but my horse doesn't, I tried the Seminole Wellness and Beaux lost condition and was not his normal laid back self. Depending upon how long you have been feeding Seminole, it could be worth a look at your feed program.

I tried a couple of other feeds (Nutrena also makes Beaux hot, and the Healthy Edge by Purina left Beaux with dry/flaky skin) and now I'm trying out Manna Pro's horse feed and it's too early on to say there is a big difference, although the flaky dry skin is clearing up.

Alfalfa is doubtful on making your horse hot, it can happen, so it is up to you if you want to change out the alfalfa cubes, add some beet pulp and some added fat to help with weight. The Spring Crazies are always a fun part of shaking off the winter :)
 
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