adjusting to pasture - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-27-2011, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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adjusting to pasture

I need to switch a horse from dry lot to pasture. It's past the more critical time of spring grass, but I still want to be careful. Right now I'm doing one hour in the am and one hour in the pm. Anyone have thoughts on this and am I being overly cautious or not cautious enough? We have mature grass at this point. I mowed it about a month ago and it's probably due to be mowed again in a couple of weeks. This horse has a history of laminitis. He's not fat and he's sound currently. Just wanting to be careful but he's sooooo unhappy in the dry lot. I'm going to get him a grazing muzzle, but in the meantime, wondering how much concern I need to have with mid-summer grass?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-27-2011, 12:43 AM
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You're not being overly cautious. I would not be grazing a laminitic prone horse however in the evening. The grass has spent all day making sugars and are highest right at dusk. Grasses will be lowest in sugars in the early morning so graze him before 10 am.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-27-2011, 11:20 AM
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This is an article from the University of Minnesota, but it may have info that will help you. The article is on page four entitled: Sugars in Pasture Grasses: Equine Concerns
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-27-2011, 02:59 PM
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Summer grasses are every bit as bad as spring and fall.

If there's no rain drought grass is even more dangerous.

The only time the muzzles come off my horses is when it finally gets cold enough to frost and freeze. Sadly, they only get about three months of muzzle freedom where I live

I see you are in the southeast somewhere, so you are probably experiencing the same ghastly heat/humidity that I am.

My area hit the mid-90's in May and we have only had a handful of day in the high 80's since. We've hit triple digits a lot (we will today) with humidity around 105.

My two insulin resistant horses go out with grazing muzzles regardless. I absolutely hate it for them, but it's either that or chance the founder.

I really really like these Tough-1 Easy Breathe grazing muzzles. They quit running to the corner of the stall after I got these and now put their noses in them willingly.

I'm not sure these would work for some horses as the grazing hole is also bigger than a Weaver or Best Friend. The breathing holes are huge which is great for my big-headed Tennessee Walkers

I take them off around 7:15 every night to give them some free grazing time after the sun goes down.

Please don't wait to use the grazing muzzle. There is no safe grass for easy keeper horses, as I am learning

Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-27-2011, 06:08 PM
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I got an Appaloosa who was not on turn out to pasture for 2 years. I put him out about 3 hours a day for a week so he could regulate and after that I let him out to pasture. now pretty much 24 hours in the summer...

I monitored his feces for the first few days / week. and he was fine.. He is alot happier now for sure!!!
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