We all know that horses can be fussy eaters, especially when you’ve got their best interests at heart. Sometimes, though, it’s worth convincing them to try something new – like hay that has been soaked.
Those with horses prone to laminitis will probably be familiar with this trick already, but soaking your hay can be helpful to horses of all kinds. This is especially true during hot weather, when it’s important to keep them hydrated.
Soaking hay is a quick and easy process, and it’s worth getting into the habit. Here’s what it can do for your horses:
- Cut dust out of their diet
Anyone that’s ever been in a hay barn will tell you that they’re extremely dusty places. When eating hay, horses will ingest dust and mould that can worsen, or in some cases cause, respiratory issues.
By soaking your hay, you can significantly reduce the amount of dust and mould that your horse is exposed to. Some horses are more sensitive to dust than others, especially when it is hot, and soaking their hay is an easy way to help keep them comfortable.
- Reduce their sugar intake
Horses, like many humans, love sugar. Whether it’s fresh grass, hay or the occasional mint polo, it’s no secret that a sweet tooth is something we share with our four-legged friends. High sugar intake in horses can cause inflammation within the hoof known as laminitis, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on how much sugar they have access to.
Soaking hay helps to reduce its sugar content, keeping your horse healthy and happy.
- Keep them hydrated
As obvious as it may sound, it’s worth highlighting that eating soaked hay will help to keep your horse hydrated. As long as they have access to water, horses are usually good at drinking plenty, but giving them soaked hay can help to ensure that they take on enough water even when it’s hot.
Soaking hay for as little as ten minutes can remove a great deal of dust, but if you’re looking to reduce its sugar content, you’ll want to soak it for a bit longer – from 30 minutes to an hour.
Using a ned & fred Hay Soaker makes the process even easier. Simply fill the Hay Soaker from the hose, drop your hay in and ensure that it is submerged, then remove the drainage plug once you’re ready. In this way, you don’t have to worry about lugging water around on a hot day.
Top-tip: if your horse is a fussy eater and doesn’t seem interested in soaked hay, try mixing it with dry hay before transitioning to fully-soaked.
To purchase a ned & fred Hay Soaker, and view the rest of our range, visit our horse shop at: https://nedandfred.co.uk/horse-shop/