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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to get a horse and I'm wondering what kind of hay to feed it. I've heard some people say Alfalfa, some say Burmuda, and others say Grass Hay. Also, is it NECESSARY for my horse to have grain? They don't have it in the wild. ;-) I really appreciate it!

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
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Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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It so much depends on the horse you're getting. Breed? Use? Sex? Size? Energy level?

Horses in the wild DO get grain. They selectively bite off grass seed heads every fall to gain weight for winter. They also get fruits and greens that our domestic horses don't get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am planning on basically ANY horse breed (Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, etc.). Trail Riding, Barrel Racing :-D. Mare (preferably). Average. I'm guessing medium/high.

I've heard some people to say that it is best to use Alfalfa hay if you are going to ride a lot, but at the beginning I won't be riding a lot, but later I will. Also, what kind of grain would you recommend?

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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We never fed our horses alfalfa even when I was competing (cross-country jumping); we just used a good quality grass hay. Alfalfa was just too expensive at the time, and they did fine without it. When I was competing though, we did go with a grain with more protein. The trail horse always just got a standard all-grain sweet feed. How much feed each horse needs depends on their weight and activity level. I think I remember seeing some feed calculators online - you might want to do a search to get a better idea of how much you'll need to feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, would you suggest an Alfalfa/Grass Hay mix? Or, is that sort of what Grass hay is? :) Thank you all for all your help! :-D

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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The grass hay we used was usually just a mixture of some grasses like timothy, orchard, or fescue, depending on who we got it from. It never had any alfalfa in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay. And that would be okay for a horse that I ride a lot? :) I'm sorry I keep asking the same questions, I just want to make sure I feed my horse right. :)

How much should I feed per day? 2 flakes? I've heard some people say 1 bale per week. :) Thank you so much!

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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Most horses can do well on a horse quality grass hay such as timothy. Mine all get alfalfa when they're not on pasture, but straight alfalfa usually is not necessary.

What I would do is ask the seller/previous owner what type of hay the horse is on and what the feeding schedule is like and just do the same and go from there.

Continue researching prior to getting the horse and find an experienced horse owner/mentor/instructor/trainer who can help you along. Getting into horses can be a rewarding, fun experience, but only when you're well prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you Kylee! I will mostly be rescuing horses, so I won't exactly know who the previous owner is sometimes. :) I will try though!

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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There is no specific 2 flakes or four flakes a day of hay. You need to feed at least 1.5% body weight to 2% body weight in hay a day 15-20lbs for 1000lb horse. Most horses do well on mixed grass hay while others may be harder keeps and do much better with an alfalfa mix or straight alfalfa mixed in.

As far as grain goes there is no way possible to estimate that. Every horses is different. It's just going to be one of those things where you have to wait and see.
 

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I've heard some people to say that it is best to use Alfalfa hay if you are going to ride a lot, but at the beginning I won't be riding a lot, but later I will. Also, what kind of grain would you recommend?

_________________________________________________

Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
I grew up on a ranch, and the only time our horses ever got alfalfa was in the summer time when they were ridden roughly 50 miles round trip every day checking water and moving cows from pasture to pasture to keep the cows in water. Alfalfa is a hot feed, it makes horses fractious, and the calcium content is hard on a horses kidneys. There is no way I would ever feed a mature horse alfalfa hay unless he/she was being ridden 50 miles every day. Our horses also got a 3 lb coffee can of rolled oats or wheat during the summer months if they were ridden that day. If not, they didn't get grain.
 

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I have done lots of out of pocket horse rescuing. Let me tell you that you totally do NOT start out horse ownership with rescue horses! So very often they have behavioral issues (stemming from fear or just bad manners) that don't present themselves until the horse is healthy enough to start acting out. Plus, its INSANELY EXPENSIVE to rehab a horse. They need EVERYTHING, shots, feet, teeth, dewormer, TONS of food, probably medicine, ect. They always need to be seen by a vet right off the bat, thats not really something one can skip when rescuing a horse.

Its physically, financially, and emotionally draining, and you don't even know what you might end up with. You could end up with a horse that is physically and/or mentally ruined, to the point of no return. Thats what I got stuck with, with my last rescues. You wont even be able to do any work with the horse until its fattened up, so you are looking at 2-unknown months of just spending money on the horse, without even knowing if you will be able to ride it ever anyway.

If you have lots of money, and space for some 1000lb pets, then disregard my warnings :) If not, then I suggest spending the money getting a nice riding horse that you can enjoy, it will actually be cheaper in the long run to spend a few thousand on a purchase price, than getting an unknown bag of bones for free, trust me!
 

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Our horses have always gotten oat or grass hay in the morning and alfalfa in the evening, sometimes alfalfa grass mix in the evenings. I would never feed a horse straight alfalfa as it is too rich. A friend of mine had stones removed from her horses stomach twice, the vet said it was because she was on only alfalfa..


Newbie to Nubian dairy goats! 2 nubian does, 1 Nubian buck, 1 Pygmy doe, 1 Pygmy/ Nigerian wether, and 1 alpine/ guernsey wether! Plus the rest of the farm pets which would take the whole page to list :)

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I have done lots of out of pocket horse rescuing. Let me tell you that you totally do NOT start out horse ownership with rescue horses! So very often they have behavioral issues (stemming from fear or just bad manners) that don't present themselves until the horse is healthy enough to start acting out. Plus, its INSANELY EXPENSIVE to rehab a horse. They need EVERYTHING, shots, feet, teeth, dewormer, TONS of food, probably medicine, ect. They always need to be seen by a vet right off the bat, thats not really something one can skip when rescuing a horse.

Its physically, financially, and emotionally draining, and you don't even know what you might end up with. You could end up with a horse that is physically and/or mentally ruined, to the point of no return. Thats what I got stuck with, with my last rescues. You wont even be able to do any work with the horse until its fattened up, so you are looking at 2-unknown months of just spending money on the horse, without even knowing if you will be able to ride it ever anyway.

If you have lots of money, and space for some 1000lb pets, then disregard my warnings :) If not, then I suggest spending the money getting a nice riding horse that you can enjoy, it will actually be cheaper in the long run to spend a few thousand on a purchase price, than getting an unknown bag of bones for free, trust me!
Agreed. Horses are expensive to care for. And it takes an experienced person to properly assess the needs and problems of a rescue horse, otherwise the horse may need rescuing from the rescuer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have done lots of out of pocket horse rescuing. Let me tell you that you totally do NOT start out horse ownership with rescue horses! So very often they have behavioral issues (stemming from fear or just bad manners) that don't present themselves until the horse is healthy enough to start acting out. Plus, its INSANELY EXPENSIVE to rehab a horse. They need EVERYTHING, shots, feet, teeth, dewormer, TONS of food, probably medicine, ect. They always need to be seen by a vet right off the bat, thats not really something one can skip when rescuing a horse.

Its physically, financially, and emotionally draining, and you don't even know what you might end up with. You could end up with a horse that is physically and/or mentally ruined, to the point of no return. Thats what I got stuck with, with my last rescues. You wont even be able to do any work with the horse until its fattened up, so you are looking at 2-unknown months of just spending money on the horse, without even knowing if you will be able to ride it ever anyway.

If you have lots of money, and space for some 1000lb pets, then disregard my warnings :) If not, then I suggest spending the money getting a nice riding horse that you can enjoy, it will actually be cheaper in the long run to spend a few thousand on a purchase price, than getting an unknown bag of bones for free, trust me!
I've studied a lot about rescuing horses. I've talked to rescues, gone to rescues. I've thought it over. I'm prepared (I think). :)

So, I should probably feed Grass Hay. :)

Would oats count as grain?

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Desert Flower Ranch Nigerian Dwarf Goats
http://www.desertflowerranchaz.com

Home to a small herd of 4 does, 2 wethers and 4 bucks.

~Charisa~
 

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Oats count as grain, and they would work nicely! The are about 8% protein, so they are not a "hot" feed, and they contain a lot of fiber.
 

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Oats are very high in NSC and need to be fed cautiously to rehab or rescues because it can cause excess sugars resulting in too much energy. Whole oats is by far one of my favorite grains. You just need to carefully balance the amount you feed and the energy the horses uses up and they need to be supplement with a source of calcium because oats are very high in phosphorus and very poor in calcium. They are by no means a complete grain.


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I have to agree about the rescue horses. I am a very good rider and have been around horses my whole life and as much as I loved my mare I will never get another.
With her I couldn't move my hands fast or she would flip out and 9 out of 10 times tried to pull my shoulder out of it's socket. Ridding there was always something behind every bush that was out to get her. And when she would dump me on the ground there was no sticking around. She ran as far and fast as she could thinking I was going to beat the hell out of her. I NEVER laid a hand on that horse in all the 6 years I had her and she was still like that till the day she died.
But as for feed I'm with msscamps. My horses get pasture till it's gone then they get oat hay simply because it's usually what they have. In the summer they do get alfalfa but because we ride them hard durning the summer. On most days we wake up early feed them hay and as soon as they are done we are crashing threw brush and chasing cows till sun down. Then they get another flake after we turn them out. Grain we only give as basically a treat. They get grain when we catch them and saddle them and more when we un saddle


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