i am trying to feed up two old mares, as i've mentioned before on this board. local farmers are getting thier first cutting of hay these last couple of weeks. the guy i have been buying hay from has poor quality hay, but between the horses and the goats they are cleaning everything up. i was buying it for the goats, who like the real weedy stuff. i found another guy close, who is also selling square bales at 50 cents more each. he has 100 bales of barn kept hay from last year, as well as some just cut in the last few weeks. he says it is alfalfa and orchard grass. friend says it is good hay and buys it for her horses. so my question is... does it make a difference? should i buy only the freshest hay, or is hay that has been barn kept over winter good enough? or does the hay have to "cure" or something before they eat it? these two old horses haven't ever been used to real quality hay, i don't think. also vet said to give them grass hay, so i wonder is the alfalfa mixed in going to be too rich for them? i don't mind springing for the more expensive stuff, if there is a real benefit to it. as always, thanks for all the replies!!