Types Of Hay For Horses

Hay is for horses! All kinds of hay! Wait- there’s more than one? Surprisingly, there are many different types of horse hay! Different kinds of hay have different nutrients and have different effects on a horse’s diet.


Timothy Horse Hay

Depending on where you live, timothy hay can be hard to get a hold of.  If it has to be shipped long distances, it can be quite pricey.

Bermudagrass Horse Hay

Bermudagrass hay is a commonly used hay in southern regions since bermudagrass hay only grows tall enough for a traditional cut in these regions. 

Another popular grass hay is orchard grass hay.  Orchardgrass horse hay is easier to harvest than Bermudagrass and Timothy hays, and it, therefore, tends to be cheaper.  

Orchard Grass Hay

Oat hay is known for being especially low in protein, but high in sugar content.  It also sometimes has thicker, tougher stalks that horses are not accustomed to.

Alfalfa Horse Hay

Alfalfa hay is not considered grass hay.  It has much higher levels of protein and calcium, and lower levels of fiber.  Alfalfa hay is extremely easy to find and is the hay of choice at barns across the United States.

* For example, if your horse is insulin resistant or easily contracts laminitis, Alfalfa may not be the best choice for you.  If you’re questioning whether this may be the case or not, always consult your vet.

Who knew there were so many different types of hay! Depending on your horse and his dietary needs, some hays will be good for him, and others will be less beneficial.  It’s good to know what type of hay your horse is eating, in case it could be causing some underlying issues (or some positive ones!).


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