How To Choose The Proper Hay For Your Horse
by: Michael Colucci
To have a strong and healthy horse it is important for you to feed them properly. Feeding them quality hay will give them the important nutrients and minerals they need. The amount of proteins needed by a horse are dependent on their metabolism, age, and rate of work. An adult horse will eat about 2% of its body weight every day, and experts recommend that half of the food eaten daily should be hay.
If your horse ways a thousand pounds, they should be eating at least ten pounds of hay each day. All hay is basically divided into two categories which are grass and legumes. Legume hay is much more nutritious than grass hay, and has more calcium and protein. While hay will not give horses all the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy, it is essential for all horses whether they are used for competitions or not.
Once you have decided which type of hay is best for your horse it is important to study it. Find out if you like the smell or feel of the hay. Check inside the bales of hay to get a better look at it. Though some of the hay may be discolored, this is not a cause for concern. Choose hay which is green and soft. The stems on the hay should be fine. Don't buy hay which smells moldy and looks fermented.
Purchase hay which has been harvested while the plants were still in bloom. Study it to determine how mature it is. Don't purchase hay which has lots of dirt, weeds, or other materials which are not healthy for your horse. Make sure the hay doesn't have diseases or insects which could harm your horse. Ask the the person who grows the hay about any problems they've had with harvest in their area. Avoid purchasing hay from bales which are heavy or seem like they are wet. These are likely to have mold in them.
Once you have purchased the hay you want to place it in a dry place which is not in the sun, rain, or snow. If this is not possible, cover it with something than can protect it from these weather conditions. You may also want to have the hay checked by a specialist to make sure it is rich in content. The health of your horse is important, and you want to make sure you buy the best food you can afford.
About the Author
Michael Colucci is an experienced horse competitor and writes articles for HorseGathering.com - A free site that includes horse articles, horse and tack marketplace, event calendar and a horse discussion forum.