Hay testing

Tina Bachmann

I am trying to decide which hay tests to do. I am going to several farms this week to try and find good hay for Griffin that I do not have to soak. I may be testing 3 - 4 different hays. Griffin is IR/PPID. When I read in files I see #603, just ESC and ? And then something about wet hay. Can you please tell me the most cost effective test to do. Thanks

Tina Bachmann in VA 2021

Sherry Morse

Hi Tina,

We recommend Trainer 603 which is done via Wet Chem.  You can ask them to test ESC+starch and send you those numbers first and then ask them to complete the full test if those results are safe.  You do not want to do NIR analysis but wet chem.  We do have people who will soak hay and then send it in once it's dried, but that's a whole other discussion.


I agree with Sherry. If you request the ESC and Starch tests FIRST, and then find the levels too high for your horse you will only be out a small amount of money. You can then have a different lot of hay tested  and hopefully find a better/lower  ESC load of hay. 

I used to live in Maryland and bought hays from MD and VA. Much of MD and VA is red clay soil so a lot of the hays growing in that type of soil can be really high in IRON. Trying to balance high iron hay is a PITA!

However, if you can find hay grown in the Tidewater region the soils may be sandy and MUCH lower in iron. Balancing the minerals in hay grown in the lower iron regions can be much easier to do and results in a much more palatable batch of balancing minerals.

FYI, always ask for hay test results to be emailed to you. You will get the results faster and can make a decision about your hay purchase.
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album Deceased

Tina Bachmann

Thanks Bonnie and Sherry fir getting back to me. I have not found new hay to test yet so I am going to ask you to look at what I am feeding now to see if I need to add any supplements. The test I did on this orchard grass was the 600 fast track and I am soaking  6lbs twice a day. He also gets TC 30% balancer  1 cup twice a day. 1 lb of TC low starch forage 2 times a day while waiting for hay to soak. And then I give him 1 lb of standlee compressed orchard grass 2 times a day because he has such long stretches without anything to eat. He is eating hay from nibble met. I have not figured out how to put photos in my file so I will try here. I am going out of the country mid September and would like to have a plan before. Can I send hay results and picture of Griffin to you somehow?  Thanks
Tina Bachmann in VA 2021

Sherry Morse

Hi Tina,

Can you please update your signature with your case history link?  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Tina%20and%20Griffin

To do that:

1) Go to this link to amend your auto-signature: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/editsub
2) Look at the bottom of that page for the window where you have your signature. to type in your name, general location, and year of joining.
3) Copy the link to your case history into the line below your location.  You may need to add a space after it or click enter to make the link live (turn it blue)

4) IMPORTANT: Scroll to the bottom and hit SAVE!

I don't see any hay test information in that folder.  In order to find out what supplements you need you'll need to contact one of the balancers listed in our files: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/6%20Diet%20Balancing/HAY%20BALANCING-1.pdf for their assistance once you have hay that's been tested.  For general dieting information check all of the folder contents in the files: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/6%20Diet%20Balancing.

Please note that we do not recommend TC 30% as a balancer due to the higher than 10% ESC+starch amounts and TC low starch forage is also not recommended as it's also not guaranteed to be below 10% ESC+starch.  You can replace the TC 30 with rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp or Stabul 1 as a mineral carrier and you can replace the Safe Starch with Triple Crown Naturals Timothy Balance Cubes which IS guaranteed to be under 10% ESC+starch.  You would then need to only balance the hay but not the cubes as each bag is balanced for you.  You do need to add in flax, vitamin E and salt as outlined in the emergency diet though. 

Also, just a reminder but Griffin should not be eating more than 14.5lbs a day TOTAL.  You have him eating 16 lbs of forage in addition to the balancer for a total of 16.5 pounds of day. Given his insulin level his diet needs to be dialed in much more and getting it down to the right amount of intake is an easy first step to take.

To post pictures you first need to create an album named "Tina and Griffin" in the case history photos section: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/photos

Once you've created the album you need to open it and then you can upload pictures from your device.  If you get stuck doing that let us know where you're getting stuck so we can help you.

Tina Bachmann

Sherry, thanks you have eased my mind. It just takes so long to get all the history updated hey testing etc. to go forward with the diet I’m going to get the timothy cubes today.  Here are my questions 
*Can you check and make sure that I put my case history link in correctly. 
*My first two hay tests went out yesterday  I did the 644 test because I could not afford 3 of the 603 test  I am hoping if any of the 3 look decent I can add on tests.
*When I stop the TC30% you suggested I use the Stabul 1 as a carrier.  I am not sure what carrier means unless it’s to add any supplements. I would rather use the Stabul 1 than the beet pulp because I travel a lot and need to make it easy for the pet sitter.  Seems like the beet pulp R/S/R takes time and looks like not many horses favor it .  How much Stabul 1 should Griffin get?
*How do I measure the TC Timothy cubes to measure the equivalent to 1 lb of hay?  I will be giving 4 feedings of this thruout the day. *Griffin now weighs 720 with weight tape so he has lost 
approx 60lbs since May 2021  TRH test done on 6/10/2921 Insuline baseline 67.36ulU/ml 10-40
                  TRH response: ACTH Pre 35.9pg/ml 
                                                   Post 156 pg/ml 2 -110
He was started on Prascend and is now getting 1 pill a day  and doing well on it. I was going to get Vet to come do an ACTH to see insulin level since he is IR/ppid
*Do the puffy pockets above the eyes ever go down?  Griffin has lost his crest but above the eyes are still puffy.
I i’m not sure where my Case History went???? It was there before. I will try and update everything this weekend. Thanks for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated by myself and Griffin!!!

Tina Bachmann in VA https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Tina%20and%20Griffin

Sherry Morse

Hi Tina,

It's like the old joke about 'how do you eat an elephant' - one bite (or in this case step) at a time.  I know the joke isn't PC, but you get the idea.

Your CH link is fine now.

The 644 is good to get you started.  You can always ask them to do a full test if one of the ones you sent in is appropriate.

Yes, as far as the Stabul-1 - you only need something as a carrier for supplements, otherwise you can just feed hay or the balance cubes.  We recommend the minimal amount needed to get supplements in and whatever is fed for a concentrate needs to come out of the total amount fed per day (that's 2% of ideal weight or 1.5% of current weight whichever is greater - if Griffin's ideal is the 720 he's at now he should be eating no more than 14.4 pounds a day) 

The timothy balance cubes are fed at a 3:4 ratio for hay (so 3/4lb of cubes is equivalent to a pound of hay).  So to anticipate your next question - they are more calorie dense than hay so if you're replacing 4 pounds of hay with 3 pounds of cubes you use the lbs of hay when considering the total per day to make things - in theory - less confusing.

The puffy eye pockets should decrease once insulin is under good control. 

I could not find your CH so I don't know if it was deleted by accident or ???  If it's saved on your device just upload it again to your main folder.

Most importantly - keep breathing!  You're on the right path and we're here to help you both.