Is haylage making my pony fizzy?

Aug 26, 2015
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#1
Hi, since owning my horse for almost 2 month who's on working livery he's been on hay and a small daily feed of pony nuts and HiFi, he's also out on grass. The yard he's on has changed to haylage and our horse has gone totally crazy. He has dumped my daughter in sand school was galloping & bucking and had a completely wild look about him, he also tried to bite me. Since owning him we've never had any bad behaviour and before buying him my daughter was riding him for a round 5 mths at the riding school, could it b the change to haylage and if so should I put him back on hay? Also if he goes back on hay should he have it dry or wet? He's always had it dry before but reading on other sites people saying it should be wet?!
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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#2
It depends on the quality of the hay as to whether you want to damp it down. If it's dusty it will benefit from steaming or spraying with water. If you're trying to lose calories then it needs soaking. I buy excellent quality hay and rarely have to wet it. However on the odd occasion it is a bit dusty I soak or spray.
Not all hayledge is rocket fuel, I buy a bagged variety suitable for good doers and resting ponies. It has never affected either of ours. I have found yard's own make of hayledge can be quite strong stuff - but that's just my experience.
Two months isn't long in the grand scheme of ownership and it may not be the hayledge that has caused an attitude change at all. I seem to remember a certain cob got her hooves under the table with me, and became more lively (even tho she's not ridden lol). Might be that your pony is just finding his hooves with your daughter! It probably wouldn't hurt to eliminate the hayledge and replace it with hay for a while and see what happens. If you can it's worth a try.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#3
I switched to haylage (generic farm made) last winter and it made my girl silly, more reactive to everything than normal, put her back on hay and she settled once it was out of her system. Tho I echo what trews says, could be the feet finding phase or just what she's like this time of year with the autumn flush of grass coming through.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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#4
I'd be more likely to blame the recent flush of grass. In my experience haylage doesn't usually make them fizzy, but since it often has a higher feed value (unless you're using one made for good doers which is unlikely if the yard's providing it) you may find that he doesn't need the pony nuts. But if you're having doubts why not ask the yard to put him back on hay?
 
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KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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#5
I've had 2 horses for whom haylage has acted like rocket fuel. And several others who show no behavioural changes on it. It can affect some, I am sure.
 
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LindaAd

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Feb 20, 2000
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#6
Would it be a good idea to switch back to hay for a while anyway, so that you find out if the change in behaviour is down to the haylage or something else? (Probably better if you make the change gradually, not suddenly).
 
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Mar 11, 2019
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My 20yr old tb was on haylage 3 days running as we had no hay delivered to yard. The change was horrendous, kicking out in box, snapping and lunging at passers by! He seemed to be unable to control himself. When hay arrived he was switched back and within days he was nice. He,s a bouncy forward going ride and jogs constantly but on haylage he bucked and kicked at other horses. I'm sure it affects horses differently as a lot of the yard feed Haylage with no problem. Its a pity really because he loves the stuff.
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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My 20yr old tb was on haylage 3 days running as we had no hay delivered to yard. The change was horrendous, kicking out in box, snapping and lunging at passers by! He seemed to be unable to control himself. When hay arrived he was switched back and within days he was nice. He,s a bouncy forward going ride and jogs constantly but on haylage he bucked and kicked at other horses. I'm sure it affects horses differently as a lot of the yard feed Haylage with no problem. Its a pity really because he loves the stuff.
Haylage just gave Ramsey the runs! Wouldn't dare feed to Hogan - I think he has the capacity to be completely psycho and also is fat enough on teeny slivers of hay! Pity, because I love the smell....