Shae S Jumping | 1 Question | 12 Answers

How important is it for horses to constantly have hay? (The horse I love hasn't had hay the last 3 times I went to visit)

How important is it for horses to constantly have hay? (The horse I love hasn't had hay the last 3 times I went to visit)
9
Fourage is a very important part of a horses diet I recommend getting hay
It depends. My horses don't like to eat hay when they graze all day but they should always have it in the winter when there's no grass.
Depends on what hay you feed.. if you feed a very rich hay they dont need as much but an if you feed average hay, horses should have constant access to hay or forage
Lots !
One caution with a hay net: either get a 1 to 2 inch hole hay net or hang it high enough that a horse can't get a foot caught if he decides to paw at it.
@racheld sadly, I don't think he's being turned out so no grass (even if he was, they pack like 8 horses in a small pasture and there's limited grass and he's pretty low on the totem pole)
@ryanarobson thank you so much for the informative answer! Sadly I can't control anything to do with him right now because I moved barns ( very long story), but I'm planning on buying him within the next year and it's good to know what I should be on the lookout for beforehand.
Depending if on grass all the time then you don't need hay daily but whenever they don't get grass, give them hay.
In my opinion, unless the horse has some sort of dietary restriction, they should have as much hay as they want when they're stalled, preferably in a hay net or some sort of slow feeder. Horses are designed to eat small amounts constantly and feeding 2-3 "meals" of hay and grain a day and then making the horse wait hours for the next feeding of hay can cause all kinds of issues, from simple digestive imbalances to ulcers to colic, and more. The science: horses are always producing bile (which is used in digestion and fermentation) and delivering it to the small intestine, regardless of whether there's food there or not. Stomach acid is also constantly produced- again, regardless of whether or not there's food in the stomach. As well as that, most of a horse's energy comes from fermenting forage in the hindgut. So yes, always having hay available is a must, and if you can use a hay net, that's even better. (I like hay nets because they promote slow, steady eating, proper salivation, and even wear on the incisiors, and reduce boredom and hay waste)
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