Hay for horses

Asked October 31, 2019, 10:44 AM EDT

I have an insulin sensitive mare and need hay with a low NSC percentage. I'm finding it difficult to find hay that's been tested, and I don't have the storage for a volume that would make sense for me to test it...besides that would be an after the fact exercise. I'm looking for grass hay versus alfalfa. Can you help or refer me to someone who may be able to? I'm truly in a quandary here and soaking hay is a messy, wasteful, time consuming chore.

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

From the question submitted I'm on the assumption you are located in Benton County.
There is at least one hay broker in the area that often times has analysis on the hay he sells. That is Brett Murray in Lebanon. Finding low sugar hay, such as orchard grass, in the valley is difficult. I don't know if going to Sisters, OR, is an option as there is a hay grower over there that specializes in low sugar orchard grass. It is Sisters View Ranch. They bale 2-tie small bales. They test all of their hay. Their hay runs in the 10-12% sugar range and sometimes lower.
Have you looked in to using Bluegrass Hay (straw)? It often runs in the range of 5-7% sugar with no soaking needed. I have fed this to insulin resistant horses with good success. Sometimes I did have to add some calories using alfalfa depending upon the season and how much the horse was being worked. Sometimes the bluegrass did need rinsed (not soaked, just rinsed using a garden water can) due to chaff dust, but not always. It just depends on how it was harvested. I purchased the bluegrass from Brett Murray.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Corresponding via my email, listed below, is the best way to continue our conversation.
Have a wonderful week