Selecting Hay for Horses: Which Type is Best?


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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14 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for making this so clean and concise and informative – the pictures really helped. I’ve done research over the years and end up on the case study pages of ag sites and colleges. Information Overload and I end up even more confused. Thank you again for your post! I plan to share your link on several pages on Facebook so you can inform others 😀

  2. K. DeLisle says:

    You mention costal bermudagrass in your article, but what about bermudagrass grown in the southwest? Our suppliers grow their hay in the desert. Would they be the same?

    • Casie says:

      I would assume that the different varieties of bermudagrass would be similar nutritionally, but they vary in their tolerance to cold. A agricultural college or extension office might be able to better answer this question though.

  3. Thank you for the informative article! Sharing!

  4. Great article! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Judy White says:

    Do you have any information on Brome grass?

  6. Jo Schulz says:

    Is a bermuda/prairie grass mix good for horses?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Jo–as long as the quality of the grass is good (no mold, debris, etc), then yes! I would much rather feed a mixed species hay than just one species. Variety is good. 🙂

  7. Casey Witherell says:

    Do you happen to have any information on which types of grasses have low sugars? I’m reseeding my hay field and I’m looking for the best seed mix to apply!
    Thanks 🙂

  8. Jack Chronister says:

    I just got back from New Mexico and had several lively talks with a couple hispanic men and one apache Indiana and one white guy about where the best hay comes from for horses. I’m from Indiana and have always had gaited horses and, of course, I thought no one could produce better hay than Indiana with our world class soil and agriculture techniques but they said definitely not, that studies showed western hay had alot higher protein than Indiana hay. True or not? Also, I had always been told alfalfa hay wasn’t good for horses, that it should be all grass hay however I get most of my hay from a friend that owns a dairy farm and alot of it has alfalfa and it certainly hasn’t adversely affected my horses so I guess I’m wrong about alfalfa also. So, you be the judge, does one state produce better hay than the next and if so what state is best? Thanks

    • Casie says:

      Hi Jack–I’m not sure there’s one correct answer here as you’ll probably hear many different opinions on where the best hay comes from, but I’d say somewhere were the soil hasn’t been overfarmed and depleted of nutrients. I prefer to feed mixed grass hay and we bale our own here at our place in Oklahoma. How late it’s cut in the growing season and the weather conditions at the time can also make a big difference in quality, as you probably know. I would advise against feeding alfalfa as your only hay (too much protein and calcium and also creates the risk of enteroliths), but some alfalfa is fine. I feed my horses soaked alfalfa cubes along with their grass hay. This may not be the answer you were searching for, but hopefully, it helps a little.

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