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[RC] the good and bad of alfalfa? - LTYearwood

Hello Everyone,
 
After a lot of training, and even more anticipation, I am planning to ride my Arab this spring in our first official endurance race. I'm really excited!
 
So I was wondering if you could help me understand about alfalfa. Someone here just posted that alfalfa helps reduce the acidity in the horse's gut. How does this work?
 
I hear so many different things about hays. Some people say alfalfa is too rich and causes indegestion, ect. Some say grass is the only way to go, and feed it free choice. And then I hear of those who say they feed alfalfa hay in the winter time because it creates more heat.
I am not sure of which thing to do so I basically feed nearly all grass hay and a little mixture of alfalfa and grass at night (which my horses promptly pick through and eat only the alfalfa...)-
 
Also, what are the smart guidelines in terms of feeding on a, say, 25-mile ride? How do you guys figure this out the first time around? :)-
 
I already ride between 35-50 miles a week, and have been doing this for nearly two years. But the miles are broken into small rides of 5 miles and up on any given day. So the ins and outs of a long ride are not clear to me.
 
Thanks,
 
Lori