Let me start by saying that all of my horse years I've only dealt with tb's, sixteen plus hands. Never have I had to worry about one gaining too much weight or not being able to eat this or that feed. THEN nine years ago I decided to go smaller as I'm getting older, much older, and it seemed like a good idea.
My ride these days is a 14 h poa. A few years ago we started having hoof wall separation as if the white line was folding in on it's self. Never a lame step but I sure didn't like it. Feet would chip like crazy and she had to be trimmed every two weeks. She also got as fat as a lard hog.
Thanks to some really good advice from a barefoot trimmer and a vet from our University we took her off of all grain and put her on hay, timothy pellets and a very good mineral. Shut the pastures off and she has been on a dry lot for months and months. Feet are now great and her weight is ideal.
Now finally to my question. Do y'all think this mare will EVER be able to go back out to pasture? We have good pastures with a mix of grasses, bermuda, native grasses, a little bit of fescue and it makes me ill to see all that going to waste.
Right now better than half the pasture is dead and brown but there is still some green even though we've had a couple of over night freezes we've had a lot of rain.
I would so love to turn her out a few hours a day but sure do not want to start any hoof or weight problems again.
Evidently this mare is sensitive to sugar/starch so....what do y'all think?
Dare I chance it? Maybe cut back on her hay and let her have a couple of hours on pasture? I do know if I do this to start with only short times at first.