Click each benefit below to view more details.
Respiratory Health
Digestive Health
Skin Condition

Respiratory Health benefits

PREVENTION is better than cure

Preventing respiratory issues such as coughing, IAD and Equine Asthma is far easier than the potential long road that comes with treatment and recovery.

Steaming hay and haylage eliminates the allergens and other unwanted particles that are a threat to a horse's respiratory health.

Mild respiratory conditions

Mild to moderate IAD can affect horses of all ages. Clinical signs are usually subtle and may or may not include poor performance, nasal discharge and occasional coughing but with normal breathing at rest.

A study shows that 88% of horses examined suffered from IAD and steaming hay reduces the risk of IAD by 65%.

Severe respiratory conditions

Severe equine asthma (SEA) is a performance-limiting allergic airways disease, that affects genetically predisposed horses when exposed to allergens found in the barn.

A study found 14% of the UK horse population suffer with SEA, resulting in coughing, nasal discharge and respiratory difficulty.

Digestive Health benefits

PREVENTION is better than cure

Preventing mild digestive issues can significantly reduce a horse’s susceptibility to more severe problems such as colic and ulcers.

Feeding plenty of long-stemmed, steamed forage will help to reduce the risk of digestive problems in two ways, firstly by improving the hygienic quality and secondly by increasing the amount of water intake.

Mild digestive conditions

Research by Kaya et al (2009) showed that horses fed poor hygienic quality hay are significantly more susceptible to colic than those fed clean hay.

Steaming hay cleans hay and prevents any bacteria, fungi, mold and dust from being ingested.

Severe digestive conditions

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) frequently referred to as gastric ulcers in horses is a common problem among domesticated horses.

Symptoms include poor appetite, loss of performance and weight loss. Any period of low forage intake can lead to increased gastric acidity and a risk of ulcers.

Hydration Health benefits

The Importance of Hydration

Keeping your horse hydrated is not always as easy as it sounds. Dehydration is when there is not enough water to support the functions of the body which can be a result in not enough water going in or too much going out

A horse can lose up to 5% of his body weight in fluids before showing any actual signs of dehydration. It will undoubtedly affect a horse’s performance but it can also be life-threatening. Dehydration can also worsen respiratory diseases such as Inflammatory Airway Disease.

Steaming hay is a good way to increase water content to help offset dehydration. The amount of water that will be taken up will depend upon the water content and maturity of the forage. Earing et al. (2013) found that steaming increased the water content by almost 3 times.


Increasing Forage Intake

Four independent palatability studies demonstrated that steamed hay was more palatable, was on most occasions the preferred choice over dry hay and haylage, and could increase the voluntary forage intake compared to dry and soaked hay.

Peasebrook Equine Clinic, Gloucestershire, use the Haygain Steamer to render their hay dust free and to improve the palatability. Most of the in-patients are on box rest or are in light exercise. It is vital that the clinic can provide them with clean palatable fibre that will not make them too lively. Increasing the moisture intake of the horse via steamed hay is another important advantage and sick horses are often reluctant to eat and so the enhanced palatability of steamed hay is very helpful.

Skin Conditions

Helping the Sensitive Horse.

Horses can become allergic to things they eat, inhale and touch or through insect bite hypersensitivity. Researchers Lanz et al at the University of Bern found there is a risk that horses suffering from one allergy at a certain point in time may develop other allergies in the future. Their study also showed horses with insect bite hypersensitivity had increased airway hypersensitivity even without showing symptoms of equine asthma at that time.

So if your horse is sensitive or suffers from allergies, feeding steamed hay would help reduce this increased risk of developing Equine Asthma and other allergies.

When it comes to both allergies and the general health of horses it is important to minimise exposure to respirable dust and allergens where possible; forage is the largest part of the horse’s diet; it’s also a major source. Control exposure by using a Haygain Hay Steamer.


The Poor Performer

Poor performance can often be a combination of factors resulting from physical or psychological health issues. The quality of forage fed to the performance horse can be the deciding factor in how well a horse can perform due to its impact on respiratory and digestive health.

As forage is known to be the highest source of dust in the stable environment, steaming the hay is the only way to ensure the forage you are feeding is not going to be the trigger for any short or long term health issues.

Optimum Performance

Performance at peak level requires optimal musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory function along with appropriate diet (in particular forage) and good psychological condition. External factors such as the weather conditions and a competition environment are elements that are unpredictable and unmanageable.

Poor performance can often be a combination of factors resulting from physical or psychological health issues. What can be managed is a horse's stable environment and the quality of the forage. Clean, palatable and hydrating forage is a key requirement to keep horses in top condition.

Other benefits.

Good for you

A study at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, showed that 25% of people working with horses have a diagnosed respiratory condition such as asthma, not to mention all the hay fever sufferers.

Not only will steamed hay help your horse with a respiratory condition it will also help you!

Good for your Wallet

Forage is known to be the biggest source of dust in the stable environment. By steaming hay, 99% of this dust is eliminated which helps to prevent associated health issues and reduces the need to call out your vet.

Steamed hay is also highly palatable meaning less waste. An epidemiological study found respiratory problems in race horses to be the second highest reason for lost training days.

A dusty stable environment can have financial implications; not just in lost training days but vet bills too.

Good for the Environment

Steaming hay drastically reduces water consumption. Filling a container for soaking hay typically uses 50 - 250 litres. The sheer volume of water used has an impact not just on water bills, but also on the environment.

Post-soak water is contaminated with bacteria, mould, WSC, proteins and minerals which leach out of the hay, making it an environmental pollutant which must not be disposed of in storm drains.

Haygain steamers use approximately 4 ½ litres of water per cycle and produce no environmental pollutants. Steamed hay is also highly palatable, meaning horses don't waste as much.