I’m in kind of a sticky situation at my current boarding facility; I normally would just use the barn hay to feed my horse but my horse is starting to have dental issues, so he’s wasting/not eating normal hay. I have him on track to get two problem teeth removed but was told even after he may still have issues eating normal hay. I’m currently in the meantime feeding him chopped hay (TC Safe Starch) and soaked hay cubes (TC Safe Starch) until the surgery, but I am concerned about the cost of paying for full board (which would include the cost of hay that i’m not using) and paying for this extra forage, which is manageable, but not cheap. I have a few options and wonder if any of you had been in this situation:
Option 1: continue buying my own hay and see if my BO will reduce my board since i’m not using her hay; the only thing i’m concerned about is she’ll say no and then cause issues I asked, take offence in someway etc. I don’t want to come across like I don’t respect the work they put in, but i’m not buying my own hay because I don’t like the quality, he just literally can’t eat it.
Option 2: Same as option one, but just don’t ask about the board reduction and just pay for my own hay. Now until March/April will be rough, but come spring I think I won’t have to really worry about hay at all because he’ll be on grass.
Option 3: I know you can DIY chop your own hay, so I could do that with the BO’s hay. My only hesitation is I know its very time consuming, doesn’t always chop fine enough, and just overall a PITA. I also work full time and usually overtime, so going out all the time to chop hay seems less appealing then just forking out the money to buy the bagged stuff/cubes.
I know I could also compromise and buy chopped hay and mix some of the DIY stuff so I don’t have to spend as much $$…which may not be a bad idea. I’m also worried as in the field he won’t be able to eat the hay out there, so i’ll have to provide my own out in his field, but he has buddies out there that will definitely eat what is meant for him, when they have their own hay they can eat. So that’s going to be frustrating if i’m paying like $28 a bag and/or spending hours chopping hay in the cold. I’ve also asked about moving him to a different field but there isn’t really a good solution at this farm to accommodate.
Anyone have a good solution to this? Or any tips to feed a horse in this way to make it as easy on barn staff as possible? Have a better diy hay chop solution? The only thing I’ve seen is a mulcher/leaf shredder but you have to put handfuls of hay at a time, and i’ld probably want to do multiple bales, so I can’t imagine how long that would take.
Before anyone asks, i’m also looking into retirement board for him that would likely include all of this for about the same price as my current board or a little less, but I would likely not be able to move him for a few months while I deal with getting the issue fixed.