Alfalfa Over Everything

I don’t think it’s all that unusual to have a picky-eater OTTB. But Eli is really taking it next-level. I changed his diet a while back because he went on a little grain hunger-strike AGAIN. So he’s been getting a flake of alfalfa with his morning and evening meals (sorry, wallet). He still gets a small amount of senior feed and the regular amount of hay, regular meaning what comes with board — 2 flakes in the morning, two flakes at night.

Well. Guess who eats most of his alfalfa BEFORE touching his senior feed.

To the best of my knowledge, Eli has never had to compete for food and is extremely polite during feeding times. So in some ways, it’s not surprising he has the luxury of being picky, and is a slow eater in general. But not eating grain first? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. … Definitely not with my other 3 horses over the years.

Eli just REALLY loves alfalfa, I guess. He does eat his grain … eventually.

Now, I am sure we have all heard anecdotes of alfalfa making a horse cuckoo bananas, but I have not noticed that at all in Eli. (Rice bran DID have that effect on him.) Honestly, he looks to be in the best weight of his life, and in some ways he seems calmer, almost. I have only been riding sporadically, and even without getting on for a week, Eli comes out ready to work (and play a little) without much nonsense. Unless it’s cold, then forget it. I think that has to do with Eli hating cold weather and not so much with diet.

It was like 80F on Sunday and Monday. Eli likes it!

Of course, it’s about to be cold and rainy for the rest of this week, so I know the earliest I might get to ride would be Saturday. Hopefully it won’t rain too much and the turnouts will stay usable.

I honestly wish I had discovered years ago that alfalfa seems to be a good choice for playing a major role in Eli’s diet!

10 thoughts on “Alfalfa Over Everything

  1. Stampede was the same way. He often just never finished his grain at all, preferring to eat hay. He also said no to anything added to his grain but plain table salt. I eventually figured out that he did quite well on alfalfa and that kept him at an okay weight most of the time although with his size he still needed a fair amount of senior feed as well. He was never hot from alfalfa either so it was a good answer.


  2. Subi likes his alfalfa too but eats his candy before anything else. Literally. Candy. Peppermints and carrots over sweet feed because he won’t eat senior right now… sometimes he won’t eat the sweet feed either. But he generally does eat his alfalfa and his candy so that’s good? And picks at his regular hay. Nay Nay eats all his grain and stares longingly at Subi’s alfalfa but my wallet says he’s still young so no alfalfa yet. And Jiminy is just lucky he gets to eat being a mini… he recently discovered the bag of chopped hay and getting to grab a bite of that is the best thing ever! He’d die (literally and figuratively) in Subi’s stall!


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