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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Hay or no hay before exercise?

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equi

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2806

equi says:

Hay or no hay before exercise?

I recently read in a book that horses shouldnt be deprived of hay before exercise. I always leave my boys for an hour before riding or lunging, ive read in most books thats the proper way. Which is it?

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Cocosmom

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2544

Cocosmom says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Your not supposed to ride straight after they have had hard food, but to be honest my fella lives out 24/7 and i bring him straight in, groom, tack up and ride straight from the field which i guess as he's been grazing is pretty much the same thing as hay. To be honest tho in the winter, i give them their hay after i've ridden! I wouldn't want to work them hard after they had filled their bellies with hay but i would have thought a hack should be fine. I guess the other thing is, out in the field they munch for a bit, then have a snooze, then munch for a bit so they dont fill their tum's, he horses are stabled, when they are given hay they probably eat lots straight away which wouldn't be so good to ride on? Only a thought tho!

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equi

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2806

equi says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Yeah i would hack after the field or with some hay but if i plan a good lunge or field run then i leave them. Just wondering what everyone else does or what way they learn.

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fimacg

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 313

fimacg says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

all mine get ad lib hay when in so it I will ride/school/jump straight after hay but would wait an hour after hard feed, but they tend to get that at 8pm anyway so they always get fed after work anyway.

Fi xxxx

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brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5163

brook says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Yes, you can ride straight away after feeding hay. In the wild horses are grazing for around 16 hours per day and still have no trouble fleeing from any danger.  As they make alot of  gastric juices the hay helps to soak up the excess acid so it's best to allow them regular access to hay or grass. 

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equi

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2806

equi says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Ill rethink my ways then! Good to know. Now we just need to convince the books ahah.

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bexc3

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 1247

bexc3 says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Ive never taken hay away from any of my horses, like other people have said if they're in the field and you get them in to ride they would of most likely been grazing. its definatley never hurt any of my horses or ponies. But definatley wouldn't feed then ride or ride the feed ( as in hard feed). x

bexc

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kirstyndshaky

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 2596

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

ive never taken it away!!ever!!oopsy!i was told once that he shouldnt get hay for half an hour but only before a lesson (where he's working hardest) and i always argued the point,coz riding school horses have access to a haynet (or they did where i was) and then went straight into lessons,and not one of them was ever ill from it!

 

i'd never give hard feed,i always leave that up to 2 hours to be safe (he only gets a little bit anyway) but hay??i'd just leave it,shaky would go mad if i took his hay away!(and he'd only eat next doors!)

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kirstyndshaky

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 2596

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

ive never taken it away!!ever!!oopsy!i was told once that he shouldnt get hay for half an hour but only before a lesson (where he's working hardest) and i always argued the point,coz riding school horses have access to a haynet (or they did where i was) and then went straight into lessons,and not one of them was ever ill from it!

 

i'd never give hard feed,i always leave that up to 2 hours to be safe (he only gets a little bit anyway) but hay??i'd just leave it,shaky would go mad if i took his hay away!(and he'd only eat next doors!)

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helen and mia

Joined:

Jun 08

Posts: 206

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

I read  it was good to feed hay before riding as it acts as a buffer in the stomach to stop the acids splashing around and coming into to much contact with the top half, squamous, of the stomach where the wall is unprotected from the hydrochloric acid which fills the bottom half, glandular,  of the stomach.  And chewing fibre produces plenty of saliva which is needed to dilute the acid.  Restricted acces to fibre and/or increases in concentrate feeds interupts this natural process and can lead to problems including gastric ulcers. It ok to feed hay before riding. Obv this doesnt apply to hard feed just hay.  Ive always allowed my horse access to hay at all times but now she lives out and like cocosmom I simply bring her in and ride with no problems whatsoever. x

"I shall never be sold, And so I have nothing to fear, And here my story ends..." Black Beauty:Anna Sewell

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MaesSeren

Joined:

Oct 06

Posts: 1912

MaesSeren says:

Re: Hay or no hay before exercise?

Its fine to feed hay before work, i wouldnt feed loads but if a horse has adlib then they will always have bits in their GI tract. If you were about to compete in an ODE or something equally as strenuous then i wouldnt.

I also wouldnt ride after hard feed, but that wasnt part of the question but some people feed chaff and then go for a ride, which i dont see a problem with as its only chopped grass/hay/straw.

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