Every year, for the past 16 years, I have had the same conversation with one supplier - "I have really lovely hay, full of grain", he informs me. Again and again I explain to him that once gone to grain it´s of little interest to me as I want a forage high in fiber. He protests that everyone loves it when it´s full of grain. I make it quite clear "I´m not everyone"!
Once a forage runs to seed the fiber content is seriously depleted. The mainstay of a horses diet, that forms muscle and gives them energy is the fiber and protein that comes from their forage. Ideally that will consist of a mix of natural grasses and meadow plants, often medicinal. On the Whole Horse Protocol courses you learn exactly why the fiber is lost when grain is formed and how you can provide a selection of medicinal plants for your horse to self-select. Because we are realistic. In this day and age lush meadows, untouched by chemicals, with a good selection of plants, just don´t exist. A quality hay provides all a horse needs to survive, and survive well. We only need to supplement that with hard feeds if asking a lot of work from our horse. And I mean supplement the hay, not the other way around. So many people feed 6/7 kg´s of hard feed (grain based) and only 3 or 4 kg´s of hay daily to their horse - then wonder why they get poor performance, their horse readily sweats with little work and most likely suffers a colic every now and then!