The nutritional requirements for a performance horse working 5-6 days a week will be drastically different than a backyard horse ridden lightly 1-2 times per month. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. Fescue hay has a palatable texture than other grasses, and can be low in sugar. This hay bag is perfect design and comfortable for you to … The benefits of feeding a legume, like alfalfa, but keeping the balance in your horse’s nutrition and energy levels by also feeding them a grass hay. + Free Printable Barn Chores Checklist ». Feeding a legume/grass mix can be the best of both worlds. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. types of hay for horses – Legume Hay Alfalfa. If you really want to know what is in your hay, have it tested! *When in doubt about what hay is best for your horse, consult your vet or an equine nutritionist to determine the best hay for your horse*. You can even perform a hay analysis to check crude protein, fiber, energy, and mineral content. References Website Help, 10 Tips For Choosing The Best Hay For Your Horse. Additionally, the stalks can be thick so some horses won’t eat it because of texture. 10 Tips For Choosing The Best Hay For Your Horse. Introduction 2. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. Pick a hay your horse likes to eat. Easier to chew. One with a small-sized hole and one with extra-large sized holes. Feeding hay to laminitic horses or ponies. Hay should be green. The following is a list of types of grass hay for horses. It is relatively palatable to horses and has a fine texture. This is a tall grass that grows well in cool conditions and varies in color from light green, to dark green, to blueish-green. Oat hay is also quite high in sugar, so it is not a good option for insulin resistant horses. Different types of hay for horses can vary in nutritional value, taste or texture. This forage grows to 2-3 feet tall, and is easiest to grow when mixed with grasses. If you feed some or all legume hay, be mindful of this relationship and balance your horse by feeding some grass hay or using supplemental phosphorus if necessary. What is the Best Hay for Horses?Best horse hay Knowing the right kind of hay to feed your horses can be tricky. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Oftentimes, the hay that a horse enjoys the most is the one they are most accustomed to. Keep in mind that even though some of these hays may sound better in their description, ultimately the best hay for your horse is the one they will eat. Horse Hay FAQs: List of Types of Hay, What Hay is Best, etc. Clover. If horses don’t need additional grain, some people use a ration balancer to make sure a horse is getting all the nutrients they need from their diet. It usually has a higher amount of protein than other grass hays but has a better balance of nutrients such as calcium and fiber. It’s what’s inside that counts. It's what's inside that counts. There are many types of hay that you can feed to horses. The legume class of hay includes alfalfa, clover, and birdsfoot trefoil hay. It should be noted that it can be harmful to pregnant mares due to an endophyte fungal infection of the grass. Stay a while and then get out there and ride! Horses can do well on grass or alfalfa (or other legume) hay. Hay and Hay Quality 3. 3. Legume hay is higher in protein and calcium than grass hay is. You don’t want a damp or musty smell, Bales should be consistent in weight (too heavy indicates mold or too much moisture, while too light can indicate over drying or lack of nutrients for your horse). In this article, I’ll be discussing all of these different kinds of hay, their compositions, and the effect they will have on your horse’s diet. When purchasing hay, keep your individual horse’s needs in mind. This class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Orchard hay is another common type of grass hay – it usually has a thicker blade than timothy hay but can be softer in texture. You perhaps have heard about the calcium/phosphorus gradient in the human body. How Horses Sleep: A-Zzz Guide to Equine Rest; Horse Lifespan 101 (Life Stages, Teeth, Senior Horse Care) The type of hay you feed the horses in your barn depends on a number of factors, including geographic location, price and the horse’s nutritional needs. What We Liked: It’s rare to see a hay net that can be used to feed a group of horses in the field (360 degrees for the win! When in doubt, be sure to discuss feeding this hay with your vet. One reason horse owners often avoid clover is its propensity for mold. Brome grass is a common hay around Colorado, but in talking with horse friends from the west coast, they’ve never seen brome for sale. Ask that one or several bales are opened so you can evaluate the hay inside the bales. Alfalfa hay is one of the most common hays available in the US, making it a popular choice for forage for horses. The higher percent of calcium in legume hay can present a problem with the calcium/phosphorus balance. But bermuda grass provides a good source of forage for horses. Buy from Amazon. Alfalfa is a frequent “topper” or “add-on” hay for many horses’ diets. Many horse owners jump at the chance to purchase 2nd. It is quite sensitive to moisture fluxuations though, so care must be taken with overwatering or irrigating it (and it may be difficult to get during a drought). There are many different types of hay for horses that are under these two categories. The resulting oat hay is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse hay. In fact, a steady diet of legume hay can lead to excessive weight gain. The increased calcium does mean that phosphorus may need to be supplemented, as noted above. What Hay Growers Should Know 4. Freedom Feeder 4-Foot Round Bale Hay Net, $152.99. Clover hay can provide energy, protein and fiber, however, if clover molds, it can cause slobbers and bleeding... Birdsfoot Trefoil. It does spike in sugar production in the fall, so be cautious when grazing or feeding it to sugar sensitive horses. It makes an excellent stand of hay. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. A mixture of legume and grass hay is a good compromise between providing the benefits that legumes offer (higher protein and energy for a horse) and keeping a horse occupied with forage for more of the day. Benefits: Grass hay is lower in protein and energy than legume hay — but it’s also higher in fiber, which can make it a good choice for many horses. 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