My main questions, what do I need to worry about and what should I be looking out for?
Ok. My horses have been on pasture 9 hours a day every day or nearly every day until February 2, 2012. I moved them to a barn with a few friends of mine to continue our training (Previous barn collapsed from snow weight and a number of other issues). The newer facility has turn out but the paddocks have been run into mud and there's no grass except for the edges which the horses including mine in their paddocks mowed down when it started coming in. So I guess they've had gradual very minimal grazing for the last month or so if they stuck their heads under the fence.
As of recently (past two weeks) to add onto problems I've encounter at this place, they started feeding grass hay that was still wet, wasn't or didn't seem to be cured properly and was so high in everything that all the horses started with the runs, coughing, sneezing and some bloated bellies. Legacy got the runs, Lestat had them for a little bit and I didn't notice any from Caleigh. A couple days ago I was told one of my friends horses began to show signs of the beginning stages of founder and she immediately dropped his board with her other horses and moved them this past Monday. A couple other horses have shown signs and after talking with the vets they've decided because of the terrible quality of hay (they said it looked like grass clippings) they would say the hay plays a large part in the founder symptoms so because I'm not risking that I moved my horses to my pasture at my new house today. The owners of the new facility were not pleased but they refused to feed hay I offered to by saying it would be too difficult to add to the schedule if I was only going to be there another month.
My fence was just finished as of Tuesday complete with the hotwire and I had planned to wait another month but I decided today was better.
Ok so now good news and bad news. My original plan was to gradually introduce them back onto pasture. I had it mowed down so they weren't wandering into a jungle. What happened is now they're on 24-7 turn out. Yesterday when I was told I had to leave by the end of the week if I was leaving this month (barn owners said) I called my contractors working on my property and said the horses would be moving in today or by the latest on friday. Contract said fence was done but there was some bad news. After starting on the stall work I wanted he and his coworker noted the foundation was cracked and sinking actively. After talking to my parents who have the final say so in the property (I'm renting to buy from them) my dad gave the ok to dig up the stalls, lay a new foundation and start over. So I have no stalls HOWEVER the new foundation and stalls will be done in about 1.5-2 weeks.
Now for me this is far from the ideal situation. I have nowhere else for my horses to go except my place.
So here's my worry. Now they're on 24/7 turn out until the stalls are done. Even before I moved them for the short period at this other barn they only had 9 hours a day on turn out. The small turn out (50x50) I made for my mares has probably 70% of clover in it. They mowed it down in about 4 hours and there's just a few patches left here and there along with grass. I then tossed them out onto the back 2 acres I had mowed on Monday so they were on just grass without the clover and they were out there from about 4 until 10pm. Because they're not familiar with the place yet I put them back in the 50x50 turn out until I get out there around 10 tomorrow morning and throw them back out where they have plenty of room to run and not think about clover. Lestat has plenty of space in his turn out and he's been munching on the grass and running around like a happy boy not much clover on his side, mostly grass and it runs down one side and is dry on the other.
I bought probiotics for them. Caleigh and Lestat didn't mind but Legacy said absolutely not and spit it all back into her beet pulp and kicked the pan over. So tomorrow I'll syringe it to her. I was told that would be my best option and to just watch them and make sure they're active like running around and not just grazing and munching 24 hours a day.
My main worry is still founder and I want to do what I can given the situation to prevent it as much as possible. I've read clover isn't terrible for horses but in some cases is can be. All this clover is already leafed so I don't know if it was white or red or what.
Bare with me please and be gentle. I've never had horses on my property before and this will be a new learning experience. I've gone to work shops for pasture management and hired people to take care of the weeds by pulling and mowing. I don't know why this patch of clover was left behind but it's in my horses bellies now.
Anyway I was wondering if there's anything else besides Probios that might help? I have an order of hay coming in tomorrow from a respected company so I'm not worried about the BS grass clippings that boarding place got. Should I feed hay even if they're on the turn all day and night turn out or start back up when they have stalls again?
I'm a worry wart and being that this isn't the idea situation I have the "C" word and Founder running through my mind and I want to try to prevent both as much as I possibly can. I don't get to move myself in for another month so I'll be doing daily trips morning and night and most afternoons over and back.
Oh all three are on beet pulp and I mixed Legacy's and Lestats Vita Calm in with the beet pulp and Probios. Legacy hated it. I'm sure I said that earlier.
Thank you for anyone who read all this.