When I seen the Vet the other day, I asked him about the number of skinny horses that he was seeing. He had told us earlier that he thought that it would really get bad this year because of the hay situation. But he said that he hadn't seen any that were real bad and that things hadn't gotten as bad as he had thought that they would. Hardly any calls for neglect or abuse and the ones that he checked out were just a little on the thin side but not starved nor neglected. But then he said that he hardly ever sees real skinny horses until March and April.
So, I explained from experience why this happens. Starting in March and carrying on into April our own horses start losing weight. The reason that they do this is because the new grass starts coming on and they get a taste of it, then nothing else satisfies. You can continue to feed hay or have free choice hay out for them but they won't eat it because the grass is just so much better and they are bored with hay by this time anyway. The new grass doesn't have much nutrition and is sparse, so they start to fall off in weight.
The Police start getting a lot of calls for horses and cattle being out, because they start pushing on their fences to reach that grass that is growing thick and untouched on the other side, it is greener too, by the way.