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hello ma'am, my trainer keep saying that he doesnt encourage his grooms to feed alfalfa grass to newly arrived 2 year olds as they tend to cough. is he true?

Hello Caine,

Thank you for your question.  Fresh forages and well preserved (mold and dust free) forages should not cause horses to cough.  If the forages are dust-free and horses are coughing, I would look for other issues including ventilation in the stalls and other respiratory ailments.

Moldy and dusty hay can cause respiratory issues over time.  In my opinion, you should never feed moldy or dusty hay to any horse, regardless of age.

Whether your trainer is right not to feed alfalfa or not may depend largely on the physical quality of that alfalfa.

Thanks, Corlena  

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Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

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