Horse harnessed to carriage

Ordinance requires feeding a working animal an undefined “adequate amount.”

Note this horse’s hooves and muzzle. His hooves are a green tint as is his muzzle.  This barn was found, in the Independent Vet Review, to use chlorine bleach to clean stalls. Chlorine bleach is dangerous when used in stalls because combined with ammonia, or horse urine, it can create a toxic gas, called chloramine vapor and hydrazine, in those stalls forcing the horse to breathe the toxic vapor.

Feeding and Management Recommendations


  1. Two percent of body weight per day of grass hay for an idle horse. Higher quality hay can be fed at a lower rate.

  2. Three-to-one substitution of hay for grain (3lb:1lb or 3kg:1kg).

  3. Green pastures are adequate for mature, idle horses. Dry pastures are low in protein and phosphorus, and can be low in energy if not enough dry forage is available.

  4. Warm the drinking water in cold weather to at least 40 ̊F. This will encourage the consumption of more water improving the digestive functioning and gen-eral health of the horse. It will also help stretch the feed supply as energy from the horse’s body is not needed to warm the consumed water.

  5. If low quality dry roughages or pelleted feeds are fed, an ample supply of good water is important.

  6. Provide a shed or windbreak to keep horses from burning up energy to keep warm.

  7. Young horses not on pasture should have a well-balanced ration to meet their needs for growth.

  8. Water and salt are the cheapest feeds of all. Be sure the horse has plenty.

  9. Salt and mineral mixes are best supplied loose (rather than in block form). The amount of mineral consumed can be controlled by varying the percent of salt in a mix. Usually a 1:1 mix works well.

  10. Summer is the time to plan for your winter hay needs. Hay is usually cheaper just after harvest. During winter, hay can become scarce, and very expensive.

  11. It is recommended that you have your hay tested. Different hays can vary in their nutrient compositions. Most county Extension offices can help you with hay sampling, lab location, and results interpretation. “Book values” of feeds can be found in “Nutrient Requirements of Horses”, Sixth Edition, 2007, National Research Council



**City of Charleston Ordinance**

  • “Animals shall receive an adequate amount of equine feed daily, which is free from contamination, sufficient in quantity, having nutritional value, and be provided frequently enough to meet normal daily requirements for the animal’s condition, special needs, environmental factors and size of the animal so as to maintain a healthy flesh” Chap 29. Article V. Div 1. § 29-212 (h)(1)

  • “Clean drinking water free from contamination shall be available to an out of service animal at all times” Chap 29. Article V. Div 1. § 29-212 (h)(2)

  • “Out of service animals shall at all times have access to salt in a block or loose form” Chap 29. Article V. Div 1. § 29-212 (h)(2)



**City of Charleston Ordinance**

While free choice water is stipulated by the ordinance, it’s left to the industry operators to voluntarily comply.


Here’s how an Independent Veterinarian weighed in on those issues in May – June, 2009:

  • None of the companies, except one, was feeding the horses enough hay.

  • Herd Health for equine animals is not a new concept but it is to Charleston Carriage Company Owners.

  • Poor Ventilation due to blocked exhaust fans or failure to maintain exhaust fans. Low ceilings of stalls also create respiratory distress.

  • The size of stalls is too small. Dimensions of the stalls are based on highly antiquated practices based in the 1800’s.

  • Use of Chlorine Bleach in the disinfection of stalls is a health hazard.

    • *Note the horse’s hooves and muzzle in the photo just above. His hooves appear to have a green tint, as does his muzzle.

    • This horse’s barn was found to use Chlorine Bleach to clean stalls. Chlorine Bleach is dangerous when used in stalls because combined with Ammonia, or horse urine, it can create a Toxic Gas, (Chloramine Vapor and hydrazine.) in those stalls for those horses to breathe.