Feeding grain before riding?

30 September 2021
Please advise
My older (20-23) Half Arabian gelding gets fed the following: 1 1/2 pounds Triple Crown Naturals pellets (Mainly consisting of Non-GMO Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Oats, Wheat Middlings, Ground Flaxseed, and Flaxseed Oil), his supplements, scoop of chia, then 1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice with a bit of water added and mixed in to make it easier to eat.
I have been feeding him first thing when I bring him in, it takes him maybe a little less then 10 mins to totally finish up, then I spend usually 20-25 mins getting ready (Massaging, stretching, grooming, tacking, hand walking, setting up the arena for our ride) to warm up, then I either lunge him a bit or then go straight into riding. So in total he has around 25-30 mins of some gentle movement, then it takes me like 5 mins of walking before we start trotting and go into harder work. I have been doing this for a few months and haven't noticed anything.
Today I fed him, groomed him for maybe 5 mins then put him on the lunge line, walking for around 5 minutes, then we started trotting and cantering and at one point he spooked himself and began galloping. All with in maybe 20 minutes from eating his usual grain. He then proceeds to poop twice, both times green and slightly looser then his usual. He worked until slightly warm, almost to the point of breaking a sweat, but no sweat. (He has full winter coat and we are already down to the 30s in my area but today was nice out (40's)) We finished and I stretched him, and put him out after walking out until totally cool and breathing totally normal. He went out, rolled, drank water and went right to the round bale (Alfalfa and grass). I later noticed what I did and now I'm kind of freaking. I can't see him tomorrow, but I can ask a friend to check on him.
So, what do you think.. Will he be ok for today based on the grain being mainly Alfalfa..? And it being a small amount? Or should I be worried?

Also could you tell me what you think of our regular routine?

Sorry for so much


Well-Known Member
30 January 2017
N Yorks
I'm sure people who know much more than me about feeding will be along soon, but as you've had no replies so far I just wanted to say don't panic! I ride mine straight after his breakfast (essentially alfalfa and oats) and we've never had a problem. The sloppy poos might have been down to stress, if something had upset or spooked him, and it sounds like he was totally fine once he'd settled down, worked, and been put back out. All horses are different - some seem to have much more sensitive digestive systems than others - but it doesn't sound like yours was showing anything to worry about. Asking a friend to check on him sounds like a good idea for your peace of mind though.