I love finding out something I have been doing already for years, is now recognized by the medical community as fact.
Alfalfa has been villified by many a horse expert throughout my experience in the industry. It supposedly makes horses crazy, causes mineral imbalances and is far too nutritious for most horses.
I have been feeding alfalfa for years in the proper amounts to everything from minis to warmbloods. The reasons I feed it are this, It possesses nearly every vitamin and mineral we and our horses need, It provides cloryphyll (if your horse isn’t on grass he needs this) it is a good supplement for our ever depleting hay nutrition (due to poor seasons and soil quality), Even if your horse is on grass, most grass pastures (unless strictly cultivated) are depleted of any real nutrition.
Now let’s talk about the medicinal qualities of Alfalfa. It can reduce arthritic inflammation, It has been shown to be a healer and preventative for digestive issues and Ulcers. This is one of the main reasons I feed it. It can help balance hormones (any moody mares out there?), It is a detoxifier, It improves milk production. It is good for low carb low sugar diet needs. The list goes on…
I feed it with Oats and sometimes Kelp to keep minerals balanced but it really depends on accurate testing to find out if the Calcium/Phosporus ratios are way out of balance. With the right mix you should need little or no supplementation for any horse, Mare, Foal, Stallion, or Performance horse. And as we know in our own diets, whole foods are better then processes foods. Remember to make feed changes gradually and consult with your vet to see if it is appropriate for your horse. Avoid the cubed form if at all possible, they can cause choke.