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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2007
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    New Jersey
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    285

    Default Alfalfa Hay - Making Horse Wild?

    My horse has been a little wild recently. I think its a combination of factors including limited turnout because of the mud, spring fever, and being over the indoor. However, he also just started getting some Alfalfa Hay. Not all alfalfa but some mixed in with his regular hay. My question is - could this be a contributing factor to all his energy? TIA



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2004
    Location
    IN
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    2,604

    Default

    No.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2009
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    1,806

    Default

    absolutely yes!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
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    133

    Default could be

    Every horse reacts differently to diet changes, I certainly wouldn't dismiss it out of hand and say "no." My current easy-going and sensible gelding turned into a fire-breathing dragon when he was getting 2 flakes of clover hay a day. My old mare had the exact same reaction to a flake of alfalfa a day. She also went ballastic on cocosoya oil. As soon as the offending substance was removed from their diet, they were completely back to normal in 2-3 days.

    It does sound like it could be a combination of things with your horse, but it's certainly an easy experiment to try - take him off the alfalfa for a few days and see if he's any better.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    37,136

    Default

    WILL it? Not necessarily.

    CAN it? Absolutely.

    Easy to check - take it away for a week or two or until you see positive changes, then put it back.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
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    2,534

    Default

    I would lay bets that his excitability has more to do with his limited turnout than with the alfalfa...however I've heard that some horses get "hot" on it. I've never seen it any of my horses. They are more likely to be affected by limited turnout.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    WILL it? Not necessarily.

    CAN it? Absolutely.

    Easy to check - take it away for a week or two or until you see positive changes, then put it back.
    Ditto on this.

    Alfalfa is very calorie dense. If he is now getting more calories than he needs, he may have some extra to burn. Whee hee! That can be fixed usually w/more work.

    Horses can also have allergic type sensitivities to just about anything, including alfalfa. So he could be sensitive to it which may cause him to act, well, spastic.

    Figuring out what is up is easy enough, like JB said, pull him off it for a week or so and see what happens. It will not tell you WHICH problem it is but it will tell you if it a problem at all.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    10,991

    Default

    Probably not.

    From your description it's likely just "equine cabin fever."

    Of course you could just switch to a non-alfalfa hay and see what happens.

    G.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2004
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    190

    Default

    yes. Will not feed my horse alfalfa after she lost her mind on it



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Brenham, TX
    Posts
    5,251

    Default

    Maybe. I have one mare that is a total froot loop on alfalfa. Others I own are just fine with it.

    Limited turnout could be the major culprit.

    Try taking him off alfalfa for a few days or a week. If he calms down, then you know the alfalfa was contributing to the problem. If he is still wild, then it's not the alfalfa.
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I wonder if it's possible to do a selective search on this forum, sorted by time of year, and count how many "my horse is going crazy!" threads. My guess is there'd be a VERY sharp spike in the number every March-through-May.

    Horses go bonkers in the spring. Seeing my sedate Shetland piaffing around and blowing those big SNORTS through her nose is as natural as the first robin, the first crocus, and mud this time of year.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
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    14,495

    Default

    Doubt it- it's spring fever.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
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    4,350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Horses go bonkers in the spring. Seeing my sedate Shetland piaffing around and blowing those big SNORTS through her nose is as natural as the first robin, the first crocus, and mud this time of year.

    Yes.
    We call it Spring Sillies.
    This is my mare's way of reminding me that yes, she IS a Tb and yes, she is VERY athletic and VOCAL *roll eyes*
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
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    4,523

    Default

    Agreed that it is most likely spring fever. That said, when I boarded my horse, every time the BO got a lovely load of alfalfa hay, my horse went nuts. Didn't matter if it was spring, mid-winter, whatever. Horse now lives at home, and he never gets alfalfa. He does get spring jollies, but not the white of eyes type madness he had on alfalfa.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    I could not feed straight alfalfa to my Arabian. I had to be careful even giving him a little bit. He went wild and bronc horse wierd on it. Snorty and spooky. I cut it out of his diet and he went back to his loving and calm self.
    In winter I gave it to him at night and limited it to half a flake. I fed mostly volunteer grass hay and he did great on that. Alfalfa is hot feed. If the horse is working hard or it is really cold winter they can handle it. The Shetland we had got really wicked on it. He got wild eyed and started biting. I cut him off it right quick. He too went back to his good natured self in a week off of it.
    The others gained weight immediately. The QH did not get wierd on it but she gained an astounding amount of weight in just about 10 days.
    It is great feed for some horses, but use care in feeding idle horses with it.
    Yes the animals here are getting wiggy because of the Spring weather.
    If I were not so old and sore I might join them.
    I'd cut the alfalfa out and see if the horse returns to his natural self.
    Sadlmakr



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    3,035

    Default

    I was giving TWO OUNCES of Alfalfa pellets to a couple of my horses a few months back just to add some flavor to their beet pulp. One mare lost her ever loving mind on it. Went back to normal the day after I pulled it. This particular mare was fed alfalfa quite a bit during the first year of her life (she's 17 now). She just can't do alfalfa anymore apparently. And yes, it was back in November/December so no spring sillies there. Nothing changed in her life but that.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies everyone! I think I will take it away and see if it makes a difference ... I know this is ridiculous, but I just wanted to get opinions before I took it away because he really loves it - its like candy to him! Oh well, he will just have to live without it. Thanks Again!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by amt813 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies everyone! I think I will take it away and see if it makes a difference ... I know this is ridiculous, but I just wanted to get opinions before I took it away because he really loves it - its like candy to him! Oh well, he will just have to live without it. Thanks Again!
    If it IS causing him to be nutty you should see improvement within about 48 hours after you remove it. If nothing changes, you can probably feel pretty safe in putting him back on it and just chalking it up to the weather



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