Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chopped Hay, Chaffhaye And A Third Meal

We have had a slight breather recently, but we have two shows coming up. The last VA Welsh show is Saturday and the dressage show is the 17th. I am taking the leap to Training, fingers crossed, and I convinced my Mom to ride Rosemary in the show.

During the break we were able to take a look at our older horses. Dottie has been battling diarrhea for awhile now. Nothing has completely cleared her up, but she is doing better. The vet said that older horses have trouble absorbing fluid. We added diatomaceous earth, pysllium and pro bi to her meals to support her system.

For awhile now, we have chopped soft hay for the older horses. We use a leaf vac/cutter to chop the hay to a length easier for them to manage. During the worst of Dottie's diarrhea we soaked the hay to reduce the scratch factor.

The vet also recommended feeding her chaffhaye. This is also called "pasture in a bag."

Chaffhaye is premium, non-GMO, bagged alfalfa that mimics the characteristics and nutritional benefits of fresh pasture.  It is carefully cut and harvested to retain its natural plant juices, preserving the natural probiotics of the feed.  It is lightly sprayed with molasses to initiate natures fermentation process and compressed into air tight bags within hours of being harvested.  This process locks out dust, rain, mold, rodents and other undesirable elements to maximize nutrients, palatability and 

It is very strong smelling, but Dottie and DaVinci love it. We worried when we found white spots in the bags, some bigger than a hand. So we carefully picked out those spots. We feared it was mold. But the vet relieved that fear when she came back out for Ember by telling us it is yeast. The horses can safely eat it. It seriously still turns my stomach to feed though.

And finally Peggy gives Dottie a third meal in the afternoon. DaVinci protests that he is the oldest and should get the same privilege, so he gets some chaffhaye. After about a month of wet chopped hay, chaffhaye and third meals, Dottie is looking the best she has looked this year. She even walks away from the chaffhaye. I guess she is full. She has even been more active in the field. So great to see :)

DaVinci has been looking good without having fluid on his belly, but he has been flaring. Mom scheduled his next chiropractic appointment for next week to help him prepare for winter.

Senior management is tough sometimes because you don't always realize how far they have slipped and getting them back is a long haul. Luckily we caught Dottie before winter. The way she looked, I don't think she would have made the season.

Now we just need to get her past this abcess she has developed... and DaVinci past his swollen eye. Gotta love the vintage ponies. They keep you on your toes as much as the young ones.


  1. We had some free samples of Chaffhay at one point. Shasta loved it. Nilla thought I was trying to poison her and wouldn't touch it despite being a mule I have watched eat bark off of trees. I should try it again with my other 2.

  2. I am not sure that we have that here. But it seems like a great solution

  3. Sometimes feeding the senior horses can be so tricky. I have the same issue with my aging pony and have considered adding probiotics to her meals. Always good to hear about how others are keeping their older guys healthy and happy!