5/5 - (3 votes)

Every Horse is different, just like you and me

Not all hay is created equal. When choosing your hay, it’s best to treat the individual horse as one horse’s needs are not the same as another.

We have found through the years that establishing an annual hay plan has made the most positive impact on our horses. With that success and years as an equestrian, we offer to help our clients create a hay plan that is best for your herd.

Book your Free Hay Plan Consult with our Equestrian 

Let’s Talk Hay Today

Local Hay Farms equestrians are not trained experts.  Our education is reliant on veterinarian opinion, online resources and years of experience. Our experience is with our herd of 6 equines consisting of: one draft cross (Sasha), two Arabians (Time Traveller and Corentin), one pony diagnosed with metabolic syndrome but never foundered (Molly), one chronic founder pony (Sweet Pea) and one happy healthy mini living the life of Riley (Eddie).

Feeding horses is a science. We at Blackwell Hay Farms are transparent about what we know so you can learn along the way, with us. What we think we know:

Hay Education

Metabolic Issues in Horses

  • Horses and ponies with metabolic issues may need different approaches to manage their insulin level properly. These approaches could be weight management, pasture management and the ability to move

Adjust protein levels based on more than just metabolic issues

  • Protein and sugar levels need to be adjusted in equines with metabolic issues, but also adjusted based on level of activity
  • Hard working horses need more protein. Growing horses need more protein. Protein is a building block
  • Equines need 10-16% protein.Grass hay usually has less than 10% protein, so hay may need to be supplemented with alfalfa. However, Alfalfa hay doesn’t necessarily have higher protein either
  • For higher protein pure alfalfa pellets or cubes can be purchased and soaked thoroughly

Selenium is an important contributor to muscle maintenance in horses

  • Selenium is deficient in our area of Alberta and as an antioxidant, selenium is vital to muscle growth
  • Organic selenium has a higher rate of absorption and can be fed to your horses at ideally 1mg per day for a 1,000 lb horse, or 2.5/3.5 mg per day for the harder working horse

Copper reduces inflammation in horses

  • Copper is adequate in the hay in our area of Alberta and pasture horses appear to be getting enough
  • However, to support a healthy horse a little extra copper will help reduce inflammation and support the formation of connective tissue. Provide your horse with 100 mg of copper per day for a 1000lb horse and 125mg per day for the harder working horse

Zinc is lost from the horse through sweat

  • Too much zinc will interfere with the copper absorption, however Zinc is still ideally 3-5 times higher than copper

Calcium to phosphorous ratio is very important

  • An imbalance of calcium to phosphorous ratio can lead to osteoporosis and is especially important in younger horses
  • The Ideal ratio is between 1:1 and 3:1
  • Grains and Rice Bran have a higher proportion of Phosphorous to Calcium