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Equimins Ltd Blog | Natural Horse Supplements, Supplies & Products Equimins specialises in producing natural horse supplies, products and supplements for the major areas associated with caring for a horse. All products are proudly made in the UK and excellent specification quality products are of paramount importance. Using this blog we want to share some of the knowledge we have gained through nearly 30 years of experience.

03 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

How do you feed your hay?

How do you feed your horse his hay? Does he have it dry, do you soak, do you steam? How should you feed hay?

The first point to note is that, no matter how you feed your horse his hay, the quality should be good. Harvesting conditions can change the quality from one year to the next, but starting with good quality hay will make your life and your horse’s a lot easier. Many horses are fine with hay straight from the bale, but for horses with compromised respiratory systems or other issues, soaking or steaming might be the order of the day. Here’s our take on it.


Feeding dry hay is easy and quick – you just cut the baling twine and you’re ready to go! Dry hay can be fed from the floor, mangers or nets, although if you’re looking to support the respiratory system, feeding from the floor is best to help promote natural respiratory drainage. Dry hay is also easy to feed in the field and, as it’s dry, it won’t freeze when the weather is chilly, as wet hay can.


Hay can be soaked for a number of reasons, one is to support the respiratory system, but it can also be fed to laminitics and portly ponies as some of the hay’s nutritional value can be lost when it’s soaked. Soaking can reduce dust particles significantly, and it’s cheap to do too – just fill up a bucket with water and put your hay in. Putting it in a haynet is a good plan to make it easy to remove, and you might need to weight it down, but you don’t need a special set up. However, in the winter it can freeze and be cold for the horse to eat, it’s heavy to move around, it can’t be stored for long, and some horses don’t particularly enjoy it.


Steaming hay reduces dust and mould content, but special apparatus is needed to steam it safely and efficiently. That said, getting the right set up can make steaming hay a breeze; you don’t have to deal with cold, wet haynets, some systems allow steamed hay to ‘keep’ for up to 24 hours, and steaming doesn’t impact the nutritional value like soaking can. If you have a horse with RAO, investing in a steamer could be a game changer as it could make your life a lot easier, especially if your horse is unconvinced by soaked hay.

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