Soaking Hay to Reduce Sugars


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

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8 Responses

  1. Robynne Catheron says:

    This is really helpful, thanks! I read somewhere that if you soak hay in hot water, it only has to soak for about 15 minutes. Do you know if that’s true? Maybe I read that on, I can’t remember 🙁

    • then5925 says:

      Hi Robynne,

      Yes, I’ve heard that soaking hay in hot water will reduce sugars faster. On Dr. Kellon’s Equine Cushings/ Insulin Resistance yahoo group, they recommend soaking for 1 hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water. Getting hot water outside wasn’t feasible for me though, so I just used cold. is a great resource too!

      • Robynne Catheron says:

        That’s what it was, thanks! Also, did you know about steaming hay to eliminate dust and mold? Horse and Man dot com has a DIY steamer with great instructions for making a whole-bale steamer out of s Rubbermaid tote and a little portable bathroom steam cleaner. I can’t remember the title, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find. She has an awesome daily blog, btw 🙂

  2. Susan Deakin says:

    This is all well and good but what do we do when we have several horses that need soaked hay and it’s below 0 degrees outside????!!!

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    • then5925 says:

      Hi Susan–that would be tricky. Maybe you could soak the hay in a garage or somewhere where it’s warmer. Or you could make/ purchase a steamer. I’m not sure how they would hold up in cold weather, but that’s another option. I get my hay tested and I’ve only had to soak one batch so far.

  3. Carol says:

    I thought I read somewhere that soaking hay for long periods affected the Ca:P ratio…. So looked it up again. There is a lot of conflicting information on treating metabolically challenged horses!
    I have a severely IR mare and have been testing through Equi-Analytical for the past four years. They are great. Luckily I have low NSC hay this winter and am so grateful I don’t have to soak. When I did, I soaked it at home and brought it to the barn. It was not fun.

    • Casie says:

      Yes, I’ve had my hay tested through Equine-Analytical as well. It’s usually low NSC, but one year, I did have to soak. I agree–not the most fun thing to do!

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