I'm sure this had been done to death, but can a bit too much alfalfa make a horse hyper and grouchy? My normally nice albeit ADD mare has been crazy and pinning her ears at me for the last days. The only change is that I am giving her larger flakes of alfalfa along with her timothy. She is a WB. I think I may have created a demon child. I've cut way down on the alf and may have answered my own question, but am interested in your personal experiences. I want my nice sweet girl back.
You don't have enough information here for understanding. What do you mean by "crazy?" And by "pinning her ears," do you mean she does this to people who are just bringing her food?
I do know that alfalfa can, and will, give a horse more energy if fed in significant doses. It has a lot more fiber than other types of hay. I have heard many horses have a rise in energy after being on alfalfa, however, I have not particularly heard it make them "mean," such as changing behavior so drastically that they start to make ugly faces (hopefully that's all she is doing).
Did you introduce the alfalfa to her slowly and gradually? Alfalfa is richer than most types of hay, so you certainly don't want to just up and start feeding her it or go from a little to a lot all if a sudden. If you did, her attitude could very much be the result of an upset stomach i.e. ulcers.
You can try this cheap and easy way to help determine if your horse does have ulcers:
Feed 1 cup of aloe vera juice twice daily. By the end of the week, if you notice a change in her behavior for the best, I would bet that was it.
I guess crazy was a poor choice of words. I should have indicated that she is full of herself. The ear pinning isn't a food thing but more of an aggression. I've had this mare since she was hatched and she sometimes tests the pecking order, but not like this. Normally she is very sweet, though as I have already said, ADD. It is almost as if she doesn't quite know what to do with herself and she is tight and tense. I have thought of ulcers, but she has had no stressors and she gets hay on a very routine basis to keep the gastric juices busy. Plus, alfala hay is supposed to be good for horses with ulcers. I am thinking that this load of hay is alot richer and the flakes are heavier so it may be just too much of a good thing. She has been getting alfalfa, just not this much. As my other post indicated, I am wondering also if I am dealing with the grande finale heat of the season. It's not the end of the world, just wondering.