By Heather Smith Thomas
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Extra resources for Care & Management of Horses: A Practical Guide for the Horse Owner
If he can only pull out a few wisps of hay at a time, he can spend the whole day “grazing” rather than eating his food in a short time. Make sure part of his hay ration is lower in energy and nutrition (such as late-cut grass hay) so it provides more fiber and less nutrients, giving him more eating time without providing excess energy or making him fat. If he’s in a paddock, put electric wire along the fences so he stays back from them and never grabs onto the posts or poles. If he must be in a stall, give him a window so he can see what’s going on outside.
He won’t have so much energy to burn. Pasture time is best, but if this is impossible, devise ways to increase his eating time in stall or paddock. Some horsemen use a double hay net (two or even three hay nets wrapped around several flakes of hay) to make the horse work harder at get- Electric wire discourages cribbing. qx 5/21/04 8:23 AM Page 32 2 ting the hay out, thus spending more time eating. Hang some hay in several corners of the stall to encourage the horse to move around more while he eats.
If a horse is consuming too much salt, you may want to switch from a salt block to granulated loose salt, which most horses won’t overeat. qx 5/21/04 8:23 AM Page 44 2 Signs of Stress Domestication has created problems for the horse, including stomach ulcers. Stress of confinement and unnatural conditions, stress from emotional and physical aspects of athletic careers — all the stresses that go with trying to adapt to human management — can create ulcers in horses. Ulcers, once thought to be mainly a problem in confined foals, also plague adult horses.