Hay is one of the most important sources of roughage for horses during the winter months and in some places all year long depending on the availability of fresh grass. The digestion of roughage keeps horses warm and you may notice that they eat significantly more on a cold night than they do on a moderate night. The issue becomes how to keep hay in front of them as much of the time as possible, yet not have them overeat. If you put a few flakes of hay out most horses will consume that in an hour or two and be standing around with nothing to eat or do until you return to feed them again. If you allow them free access to a round bale many will pig out and consume way more than they need.
Fortunately many people are recognizing this as an issue, consequently there are lots of innovations out there. Some are homemade, some are commercial, some are cheap and some are expensive. I have included some links here to some ideas slow your horses down so they can have hay in front of them all the time but not overeat. I will update you as to the success of some of our experiments here as we progressed through the winter. Please share your ideas, links to products, successes and failures and we can all learn.