I want to do the very best for my horses and make sure they are healthy. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! How to Assess the Best Type of Hay to Feed Your Horse. The best hay for horses depends entirely on the horse. Choose a great vitamin-mineral supplement, like Horse Guard, that will provide them with crucial antioxidants to optimize immunity without adding a lot of NSC to the overall diet. Teff hay for special-needs horses. Soaking hay for 15 to 60 minutes is a good way to manage these horses, but only soak hay if your preferred hay isn’t available. One of the best ways to evaluate your horse's diet is to know what is in your hay. So finding the best hay bags for your stalls, pastures, or horse trailer mean less mess — and less waste — and more of the good stuff getting to your horse! For a horse that has a hard time maintaining weight, feed a warm-season grass/alfalfa hay mix. Dr. Sherwood goes on to say, "Actual sugar levels depend on the growing conditions, soil fertility and other factors, however. For horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay mix is the best choice. Food and Lifestyle: While low carbohydrate feeds and ration balancers have become popular, I have found that simplicity, combined with real whole food, is be the best course for most metabolic horses. Another option would be to send off a hay analysis yourself to a lab. most commonly in ponies, Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking, Paso Fino, Morgan, Mustang, and Quarter horses. Convincing horse owners their horses are easy keepers and prone to becoming overweight can be challenging. That also means that you save money in the long run. Q: How many bales of hay does a horse eat a day? She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a variety of causes, including a diet too rich in NSCs. Soaking lucerne hay in the same way can reduce its soluble sugar content by 25%, Good quality lucerne hay is lower in sugars and NSC’s to start with, and it too is much safer when soaked as compared with good quality grass hay. Of course the basics for maintaining a healthy horse with metabolic issues, or one that could become metabolic begins with food and lifestyle. Equine metabolic syndrome or EMS is most common in horses between the ages of 8 and 18 years. A host of different medications have come and gone. HYGAIN ® offers some ideal feed choices for horses and ponies at risk of contracting metabolic disorders such as laminitis, cushings, chronic obesity, insulin resistance and tying up. I cannot limit her access to pasture. I almost always try to smell the hay to see if it is fresh, stale, or moldy. A mature horse will eat 2 to 2.5 percent of its body weight a day, and for optimum health, nutritionists recommend that at least half of this should be roughage such as hay. this fat essentially changes the horse’s metabolism. Each horse is like each person. Where hay is concerned. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Your local county extension service may offer analysis services, or consider Equi-Analytical Laboratories for … EMS can also refer to a state of hormonal and metabolic derangement which the body gets when storing excessive body fat ie. Jiaogulan or Gynostemma pentaphyllum has gained some attention in recent years and offers benefits, however, this is just one piece of the puzzle and rarely offers true results alone. A horse’s protein and energy requirements depend on age, stage of development, metabolism and workload. The term EMS is used to describe horses and ponies with an insulin-resistant phenotype linked with laminitis susceptibility. It’s important to choose the right hay for your horse. On your hunt for hay, you’re likely to run across different cuttings. Equine Metabolic Syndrome . Hays already have plenty of iron. We are all individuals and we may have different needs. Timothy grass hay is very popular, but there are many other options available. Dietary management is an extremely important part of treatment and management. If you are looking for low-sugar hay for a metabolic horse, it’s all about how the hay is grown and managed. Or at least that is my goal in life. If made in the early stages of grain formation, oat hay alone is an excellent total ration for maintaining older horses while avoiding the imbalances and excesses that can come with alfalfa. In general, the minimum amount of hay offered should be 1.2 percent of body weight, split into multiple meals. Is grass/timothy hay the best choice of hay for metabolic horses? Per month? Some hay sellers offer forage tests with their hay so you can make informed buying decisions. Dairy cows require the highest quality legume hay to keep up with milk production. If the horse is truly insulin resistant/glucose intolerant there is no one "type" of hay guaranteed not to trigger a bout of laminitis. If the hay was baled wet, it might have a distinct smell that results from caramelization of proteins,” remarked Crandell. All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Almost all hay has some dust, but if a large cloud erupts, it’s probably best to pass but imperatively so if you have a horse with a respiratory ailment aggravated by dust. Written by the AAEP High-quality hay can be an important source of essential nutrients in your horse’s diet. This class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Grain and sweet feeds should not be fed, and the feeding of other ‘‘treats,’’ such as carrots and apples, should be discouraged. On the other hand, horses usually don’t require such rich forage. Because these chaffs are a forage, not a complete feed, you will need to add a vitamin and mineral supplement or feed balancer to them to provide a balanced ration. For these horses NSC, P and mold content are key. SmartPak.com 34 35. Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. If you have a "condition" or metabolism that does not tolerate high intakes of simple carbohydrates or fatty foods, it's not difficult to predict that the best diet will be a low-carb, low-fat diet. Some supplements contain ingredients which are inappropriate for horses with equine metabolic syndrome or Cushing’s Disease [PPID] On the ingredients front, some things to generally avoid include: Added iron. Humans have struggled with control of metabolic syndrome and weight gain far longer than equines have. My top 3 chaffs that fit all the criteria for laminitic horses and ponies and those with EMS are: Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. Buying hay for your horse can be a challenge whether you buy it a few bales at a time or purchase a year’s supply when it becomes available in the summer. • Mares in late pregnancy and lactation can use the extra nutrients provided by top-quality legume hay. Choose hay that best suits your horse's needs. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! I reduce her hay and grain consumption greatly when on pasture. In fact, a steady diet of legume hay can lead to excessive weight gain. See also: Best Equine Probiotic: Top 15 for 2020 (Reviews & Guide) The 15 Best Treatment for Rain Rot 2020 (Reviews & Guide) The 15 Best Horse … infrequently in Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. The best treatment for Cushings in horses involves an approach that includes managing the symptoms and hormonal imbalances associated with it. Horses at maintenance require approximately 2.0% of their body weight as forage or forage plus supplement to meet daily nutrient requirements. EMS develops: first in horses 5–16 years old, with no recognized sex predilection. TopSpec TopChop Lite. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. Additionally, the twice-a-day feeding routine you follow is quite unnatural and requires internal adjustments that stress the digestive and metabolic systems. Soaking hay before feeding can reduce the carb content by about 3%, which may be helpful for some horses. Fat horses are susceptible to Metabolic Syndromes, so if your horse is fat, you need to develop a slow but steady weight management strategy. Feeding the Metabolic Horse Nutrition for Horses with Cushing’s Disease, Insulin Resistance or Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Any abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism in horses has been termed insulin dysregulation. Supply, price, and quality have always been important parameters to consider when buying hay for horses, but now, more than ever before, horse owners are becoming aware of the importance of the nutritional components of the hay they feed. Baileys Light Chaff. Return to our list of hay types for more details. The one thing every horse owner has in common is the desire to make our horses as happy as we possibly can. Cushings is very common in middle-aged to older horses (18-23 years), and it causes great discomfort for them. Horses challenged by metabolic syndrome should be offered hays that are low in non-structural carbohydrates or NSC. Because grass hay is a lower-calorie hay, you can feed horses larger rations of it than you can alfalfa hay, especially with easy keepers. So can thin horses that are being brought back to normal weight and aged horses that have trouble maintaining weight. Laminitis is often related to metabolic diseases such as Cushings Disease (PPID), Insulin Resistance (IR) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. For ponies suffering from these conditions, HYGAIN ZERO ® is ideal as it is a scientifically-formulated high fibre, low-starch, low-GI fortified pellet with less than 1.5% starch and no cereal grains. These horses are often obese, and diet is an important part of managing their problems. To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. Questions15. Is obesity caused by Equine Metabolic Syndrome or does it develop as a result of obesity?16. These horses often have iron overload. Your primary goal in selecting hay for your horse should be meeting his specific energy needs. choose mid-bloom or mature grass hay, which tends to be lower in calories and sugars. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. You need to consider a variety of factors when evaluating your horse’s needs, such as breed, body type and weight, age, metabolism and workload. You might choose to mix in a legume hay for extra protein, or you might pick a less nutrient-rich grass hay for a super easy-keeper. Despite most best efforts, metabolic related issues from foot soreness to insulin dysfunction tend to wax and wane, with most horses being chronically affected. Legume hay is also ideal for goats and lambs. A heavier horse will do better on a warm-season grass hay. A good hay bag or hay net also means that you can often control how much hay your equine eats at once, preventing him or her from gorging too quickly. Predisposing Factors . Keeping horses at an ideal weight for their breed, age and level of work isn’t all that different—except that it is so tempting to throw horses an extra flake of hay or another (small) scoop of feed. If you purchase at least two or more months' worth of hay at a time, it is worth having it analyzed. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome … Metabolic horses not on pasture need to meet their roughage requirement through hay. It is often confused with Cushing’s disease since insulin resistance is a symptom in both illnesses. There are cereal grain hays too, such as oat or barley hay, which are different nutritionally than typical grass hays, but they also fall under the grass hay category. 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