The Following post first appeared on Kingdom of Horses. The editor of that site has given permission for the post to appear here on All the Creatures.
I am one of those rushed horse owners. I have a full time job outside the home and yet keep my horses at home. I don’t have the advantage of having my horses at a boarding stable where they are fed and their stalls cleaned each day. I have to do that work.
It is the early morning hours that are the most rushed for me as a horse owner.
My horses are in the barn at night and are let out each morning into pasture. Depending on the time of year there might be snow on the ground or the pasture grasses are dormant so the horses must be fed before being led out to pasture.
Ordinary hay often takes my horses about 1-2 hours to consume an average size flake. I simply don’t have the time in the morning to wait for them to finish eating hay before they are moved out to pasture. My solution is pelleted hays. You see for 8 years now I have gotten up at 5:30 am and fed the horses pelleted hays, went back to the house to shower, eat and get ready for work then go back down to the barn around 6:15 am to let them out. At 6:45 am I am on the road to work. Pelleted hays make that time frame easy for me.
The only maker of pelleted hays in our area is Stanlee feed. They have a wide range of hay pellets to choose from. They don’t make a “complete horse feed” like other horse feed manufacturers do, they simply make pellets from wholesome hays. I use their alfalfa pellets and their timothy hay pellets. They also make alfalfa cubes. You can see their complete line of products at their website – Stanlee Hay Company
I suppose I could feed one of those complete horse feeds to my herd but I don’t believe in over supplementation which some of those other feeds have in them. I had a mare once that the vet had me feed her some mare and foal feed because she was nursing a foal. After 1 day she broke out in hives, large welts all over her body. It got worse the second day. I quit feeding her the mare and foal feed because that was the only change that she had. The next day the welts had started to subside. It took a week for the hives to disappear. Because the mare and foal feed had so many different ingredients in it, I will never know which one triggered the hives.
So I stick with feeds that have as few ingredients as possible.
As a side note, Stanlee hay also makes some great horse treats. I recently bought some whinny nicker horse treats, which look like little hay cubes. Those treats have the added bonus of being able to keep them in the barn without the worry of spoilage. I feed them on top of feeds as a rule.
By the way that little foal in my first photo is 13 years old now and here is a recent photo of him in my barn.
author – Janice, editor of Kingdomofhorses.com