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taweavmo3

Horses, Hay And Feed

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I have signed my daughter up for riding lessons. She adores horses, and I know she would love this. Now I'm wondering if I made a huge mistake. She is extremely sensitive....the last time she was glutened, it was from painting a mold made from plaster. Apparently the inhaled gluten made her more sick than ingesting it. She had bloody noses, and ran a high fever (105) for over a week. Scared the crap out of me!!!

This riding class teaches the kids how to groom the horses, feed them, etc. She will be in the barn, with dust flying I presume. Then there's the hay...could that be a problem too? I'm a city girl, have not a clue what hay is actually composed of. My husband said it could be from wheat...it's probably not, but could be.

Anyone on here have horses and Celiac? Could this be a problem do you think? Luckily I haven't told my daughter I've signed her up, so if I have to cancel it's okay. The last thing I want is for her to fall in love with the horses, then get sick:( Thanks for any advice.

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Hay is just grass, alfalfa or timmothy or whatever shouldn't bother her; oat barley and wheat hay is usually made into straw, which is rarely used as bedding these days, but grain is a different story, if they are on grain at all. I assume school horses would be on grain as they are used a lot usually for lessons and need the energy. They might be on alfalfa or corn pellets, but they could also be eating oats, bran or wheat. Most popular horse treats are oats, barley and wheat bran stuck together with molasses.

That being said, I think it's doable. Warn the instructor right off the bat, and tell your daughter to be weary of grains. Bring some carrots or apples and she can feed those for treats. If she has to scoop feed get her to wear gloves and wash her hands after.

I've been around horses for 16 years, and once I found out I have celiac disease I only really changed a few things, like kissing my ponies on the cheek instead of the nose (so hard to resist haha), feeding gluteny treats in their feed bucket, and apples and carrots from my hands, and of course no eating the horse feed! (When I was younger some girls and I would dare each other to try it..sweet feed is pretty good haha)

She'll get used to it, she should wash her hands fairly often and remind her not to touch her face.

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Forgot to add, good luck to YOU as well. If she gets bitten by the horsie bug you're gonna be a whole new type of mommy :D My parents are still hoping it's just a "phase" for me..

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Thank you!! Hopefully if we play it safe, she'll be okay. I know what you mean about the horse bug....I used to ride quite a bit when I was younger. It is such an amazing feeling, it just never leaves you. I hope this works out for my daughter...I think this will be a great confidence booster for her. Something about horses is so therapeutic on many different levels. Thanks again :)

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I react to the hay dust from my horses. It is either wheat or oaten hay. I wear a mask when feeding them but still get symptoms. Good luck!

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I have had horses all of my adult life and have allergies to a lot of things associated with horses, but not to the actual horse itself. I'm allergic to some hay. When I feed, I put an oversized long sleeved shirt on backwards over my other shirt, so it acts like a smock with the buttons at the back, but I don't have to button it. I also wear a baseball cap and my sunglasses to keep this out of my eyes. Then I take it off when I'm done throwing hay, and wash my hands afterwards. I don't take my clothes that I have worn outside into the bedroom, they go into another room, get hung up in the mudroom, or into the laundry basket. In the supreme irony, we have 2 related horses who also have allergies, and some are allergic to the barley and bermuda grass families. The hay we use that those horses do not react to, bothers me much worse than if I handled hay with rye grass in it. I can sit or lay down on ryegrass out in the pasture, and nothing as long as I don't eat it, but some other hays give me a fairly quick contact allergic reaction which disappears as soon as I wash my hands and arms off. I also have 2 crossbred dogs of the same half breed which have wheat allergies.

I try to do as much as I can in an open environment next to the barn instead of inside a building, including grooming. Our barn is fairly open (we even cut out one side of it to make it have better ventilation). When I've taken lessons it was at a covered arena with open sides.

Wheat is not good for horses. Some horse feeds contain wheat or barley now or brewery leftovers. Here in CA some feed stores also sell oat hay or rye hay which are these grain plants cut with the seed heads left on, then dried and baled, that some people will feed instead of feeding grain. When we stopped feeding this because of the horse with allergies, the behavior of the other horse without became a LOT calmer. This was the best thing I've done for my riding horse. We feed oats and/or black oil sunflower seeds and soaked beet pulp if we need to supplement, but because we have pastured horses, we are normally just feeding hay or a little bit of alfalfa mix to supplement.

For treats I just use sliced apples or carrots. You can also if you are not an oat reactor, bake your own oat cookies for horses with molasses. You may be able to get your horse to take a rice cake or a corn tortilla as a treat. I have a few who will eat almost anything if I am eating it. (years ago I had one I could share sandwiches with....) I have thought about trying to make some gluten free sorghum rice cake corn chex treats.

Most commercial sweet feeds are made of corn, oats, other grains, sometimes pellets made of ground up stuff like soybean meal and alfalfa, and are coated with molasses to keep dust down and retard spoilage in a drier climate. In a hotter climate like here, molasses in the summer = fermentation real fast and spoilage. There's a lot of ridiculous hype about horse nutrition. Horses mainly need to eat a lot of good hay, about 2% of their body weight a day in hay, to thrive, and grain is a supplement. That means a good size horse may be eating 20 lbs of grass hay a day. If there is alfalfa, that stuff is really rich and they don't need to eat straight alfalfa as the protein content is way too high. Some larger, bulkier horses are actually easier keepers and eat less than smaller, wiry ones.

Most horse bedding is now made of shavings of softwoods such as pine. Straw is much more rarely used, is usually oat straw, but sometimes it can be wheat. In our barn we put down heavy rubber mats to cut down on dust, and we use pine shavings on top of them, the rubber mats paid for themselves quickly, and I highly recommend them to anyone with allergies setting up their own facilities.

In terms of also potentially avoiding allergies, you could set her up with her own little grooming tote of a bucket with her own basic assortment of essentials, a curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, sponge, washcloth or wiperag, and hoofpick. (mine has a hoof knife, a rasp, a pair of work gloves that fit me, a squirt bottle of diluted iodine, and cotton balls, but you're probably not doing your own hoof care....) and you can keep these rinsed off. You can also make your own solution of insect repellant for spring/summer/fall use if you or the horse has allergies - that is a whole 'nother story at our place, as I use herbal stuff on myself and the one horse and commercial stuff on another. I take a few drops of essential oils of citronella, tea oil, and mint and put them in water in a small squirt bottle, this keeps mosquitoes off of both of us. Do not wear floral perfumes in areas with yellow jackets or honeybees in the summer, as this can attract them. If she is actually going to be washing a horse, she can use plain water for the majority of it, or human quality gentle shampoo with no gluten, like castile liquid. I don't know what this stable does that you'll be at. A lot of times in winter bathing is not an issue at all. In summer, a bucket of plain lukewarm water and a sponge to get the sweat off the back under the saddle area may be sufficient. A dash of pure apple cider vinegar in the water might be used in the rinse. I have made a very shiny looking horse using nothing more than water and a tiny bit of vinegar and listerine mouthwash.

The other thing that tends to collect dust is the saddle blanket. With my saddle blankets or saddle pads, if they are fleece bottomed, I flip them over the fence in the sun and let them air dry quickly after use and then brush them off and make sure the fleece is fluffed. ( a pet grooming brush or hairbrush can do this, too) . Sometimes they get hosed off or washed and sun dried. If they are the neoprene waffle bottomed special pad I use with a treeless saddle, that has the insert pockets for shims, it just gets sponged or rinsed off and flipped up to air dry before being put away. If your daughter gets assigned to a specific horse and saddle she might be able to bring a clean pad if the instructor fits it to the horse and saddle. (Rule #1 - keep the horse as comfortable as possible, and everything else goes better. )

I also use the biothane (synthetic soft leather) accessories for bridles and breastcollars and these also just rinse off with the hose and quickly air dry. As you can tell, the cleaner the accessories are the less likely they are to collect a lot of mold dust and mildew which causes allergies. Some of this stuff I've had for over 10 years and it's still in very good shape, I try to take good care of it, as sweat is acidic and tends to spoil things. When you have allergies, synthetics can be your friends.

As long as she remembers to wash her hands before eating anything herself after touching the horse, she should be fine.

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Hay is just grass, alfalfa or timmothy or whatever shouldn't bother her; oat barley and wheat hay is usually made into straw, which is rarely used as bedding these days, but grain is a different story, if they are on grain at all. I assume school horses would be on grain as they are used a lot usually for lessons and need the energy. They might be on alfalfa or corn pellets, but they could also be eating oats, bran or wheat. Most popular horse treats are oats, barley and wheat bran stuck together with molasses.

That being said, I think it's doable. Warn the instructor right off the bat, and tell your daughter to be weary of grains. Bring some carrots or apples and she can feed those for treats. If she has to scoop feed get her to wear gloves and wash her hands after.

I've been around horses for 16 years, and once I found out I have celiac disease I only really changed a few things, like kissing my ponies on the cheek instead of the nose (so hard to resist haha), feeding gluteny treats in their feed bucket, and apples and carrots from my hands, and of course no eating the horse feed! (When I was younger some girls and I would dare each other to try it..sweet feed is pretty good haha)

She'll get used to it, she should wash her hands fairly often and remind her not to touch her face.

My only other thought is the dust from oats, if they are feeding oats. Others have talked about flour getting into their nose and therefore into their stomach. Usually oats aren't ground like a flour, so the risk would be smaller, but I do remember dust in the feed when I had my horses. Usually it was at the bottom of the bag when filling bins, so I don't think it is a huge issue, just be aware. Nothing is better than a horse to confide in as a girl growing up! They were my BEST friends!♥

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