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Re: round vs square/conditioned vs non-conditioned hay

> Which do you think retains more nutrients longer?  Conditioned hay or
> non-conditioned hay?

That depends, what do you mean by conditioned hay?  Do you mean with
preservatives like proprionic acid and such?

> And, of the winner in that catagory...which do you think retains nutrients
> longer: round bales or square bales stored in the barn?

Any hay stored away from sun, rain, snow etc is generally going to retian
nutrients longer, as a general rule of thumb.

> Another reason I'm wondering is because I hear tips about packing your
> horses grain for these long rides in baggies and giving it to them on the
> trail, at vet checks etc.  Here I am over here feeding mine (5 yr old
> gelding) 12lb a day of pelleted grain wondering how in the heck I'm
> to pack along 12 lb of grain in baggies!

Well, I'm not sure I would even try to feed 12 pounds of grain during a
ride.  There are much more important things to get the horse to eat to
maintain hydration and gut motility, and nothing but grain all day long will
create a number of problems.  However, I'm assuming you're also feeding
plenty of hay at vet checks and such.  My suggestion would be not to try to
carry tons and tons of grain, just maybe a pound or two in a baggie between
checks, then another pound or two at the check, along with hay, and so on
throughout the day.  Send fresh baggies ahead to the check so you can just
pick up one or two at each check.  Plus, take advantage of any grazing you
can along the way.

 So, how is it that endurance
> people seem to get away with feeding so much less grain when the horses
> working so hard?  I'm apparently doin' somthing wrong here :-)

Just because there are problems associated with feeding tons of grain on a
daily basis, I think endurance people have just gotten pretty good at taking
advantage of other ways to get calories into the horses aside from grain.
Beet pulp is one good option, added fat is another, even rice bran (though
I'm not a big fan of huge amounts of rice bran, but a moderate amount is
okay).  A good general rule of thumb for grain is never more than about four
pounds of grain per meal and if you're having to feed more than about 8
pounds or so a day, there are probably other ways to increase the caloric
density of the ration (ie, those mentioned above).  :-)

Susan G

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