Hay buying quest--what do you think of this hay?

Sherry Morse

Agree with everything Kirsten said. You have hay that's borderline and a pony who has winter laminitis on a yearly basis. I would try to find a different source if at all possible.

Sherry and Scutch (and Scarlet over the bridge)
EC Primary Response

PA 2014




Kirsten Rasmussen

The protein is just borderline for the possibility of nitrates.  I'd have that tested to be safe. 

Also, starch is a bit high (anything above 2% would cause me to pass on the hay since starch doesn't soak out and it has double the effect on insulin than ESC does).

The ESC+starch = 9.1%.  It appears to have been determined by NIR, so the actual number could be higher.  Since Romeo has a history of cold-weather laminitis with corresponding high insulin, if his previous hays that he got laminitis on tested at about 10%, too, I would expect to have to soak this hay.  You might want to keep looking for lower sugar hay (ESC + starch < 7%, and ideally starch < 2%).

Kirsten and Shaku (IR + PPID) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


I am struggling to find low ESC tested hay in northern Colorado. This is what my usual hay guy has but the protein is slightly high. What do you think?

My pony has done great on second cutting from this field for three years-- minus two weeks per winter when he has some laminitis--usually when it's cold. He eats grass hay, is dry lotted with a quarter horse who keeps him moving and playing and only gets Platinum Hoof Supplement. No constant drugs. Trying to help him through the winter better this year. All thoughts welcome. 


Heidi M. in Colorado 2022 with the amazing Romeo, a 2004 model Shetland-type pony. 
Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Heidi%20and%20Romeo
Photos: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=278534