I'm sure others will chime in with their feeding ideas. Also, you can check the archives, there have been many discussions on feeds and feeding (check out the search button at the top of the page).
I feed my minis grass hay. Up until a week ago, they were on Progressive Nutrition grass balancer pellets (which I really liked), my supplier decided not to carry the PN any more, so we are back to square one (I live in the middle of nowhere, so choices are slim). So, I have changed to a 12% complete pellet and some rolled oats; our grass hay is so-so this year, so added the complete pellet for better quality fiber plus the vitamins/minerals in it. They are also getting BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) for their coats; one gets 1/2 cup per day, the other gets 1/4 cup per day.
In September, when Tana comes home (weanling filly), I'll be feeding her Nutrena Life Designs Youth with grass hay.
[SIZE=14pt]I use a 10% complte feed pellets for my non show horses it is 6% fat. For the show horses I feeda 10% fat 10% protein sweet feed and alfalfa cubes. For supliments I use Flax seed, Black oil Sun flower seeds, Sunshine and beet pulp.[/SIZE]
An all alfalfa hay diet will be unbalanced in terms of calciumhosphorus ratio. It provides much more calcium than phosphorus. This might not be too big of an issue in your adult horses, but could cause problems in any young horses you might have. Just a little FYI. You could provide a legume balancer mineral of some sort that has a higher concentration of phosphorus in it, or add some whole grains like oats, corn or barley, all of which are higher in phosphorus.
To answer your question, I feed both alfalfa and grass hay to all of mine including the show horses. The amounts and ratio of grass to alfalfa may vary, but they all get some hay daily plus grazing. I choose Triple Crown products: 1) TC Growth to all horses under 18 months, lactating mares, stallions, late pregnant broodmares, 2) TC-30 supplement + whole oats to show horses, 3) TC Lite (a low carbohydrate pelleted feed) to all maintenance horses. Supplements include: 1) black oil sunflower seed (a good source of phosphorus and minerals), 2) freshly ground flax seed - an important source of essential fatty acids -- good for the coat and immune system, 3) top dressed minerals (TC Equimin) for extra minerals, 4) soaked beet pulp once per day and some specialty items for individual horses that need them (i.e. CortaFlx HA, a joint supplement for my driving horses and Ucekele's Glycocemic EQ, a mineral blend for a some of my very easy keepers) 5) Calf Manna for nursing foals and lactating mares. Sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it's very easy to prepare. I am a firm believer in feeding all horses as individuals. A maintenance horse generally needs a much different diet than a baby horse or a show horse.
There are as many ways to feed as there are feed manufacturers out there, so you will have a wide variety of opinions! But I think the main thing to remember is that horses are designed to digest FIBER not grain and the main ingredient in a horses' diet should be hay or pasture. Feeding that along with a quality protein/vitamin/mineral supplement should ensure you of having a happy, healthy horse for many years to come!
I've noticed quite a few people feed alfalfa cubes. I've fed alfalfa hay before, but never alfalfa cubes. Now that I'm living in South Texas alfalfa hay is much harder to find, so I'm considering switching to alfalfa cubes.
How many/much alfalfa cubes do you feed your horses?
I feed Omelene 100 with wet beet pulp to all the horses. Also all horses are out on grass during the day. My new rescues are also have added wet alfalfa cubes to their evening meals. Plain salt blocks available at all times along with loose minerals.
I feed Purina Omelene, grassy pasture and orchard grass hay. I like soaked beet pulp for a lunch treat. In summer I fix it cold and soupy to be sure they are drinking adequate water and in winter I like to fix it in hot water to warm them up.
The only time I fed straight alfalfa hay was to my pregant mare and I may not do that again. It was very hard on her kidneys: kept her drinking and peeing like crazy.
my big horses get alfalfa hay and partial pasture and that is it. I don't feed extras unless they absolutly need it...and when that is I feed Omalene products mostly 200 but that is on my big horses. That is why I am asking ahead of time. To see how it will differ.