Easy keepers - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 08-14-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Easy keepers

I have two easy keepers that could use to lose some weight. We have three separate pastures. I am about to move them to a new pasture, and plan on putting grazing muzzles on them. The pasture is quite lush, so my question is should I have my husband mow the pasture before turning them out on it, or will the grazing muzzles do the trick. About two weeks ago I finally had my dream come true of having my horses on my own property, and appreciate everyones advice on this forum.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-14-2012, 11:33 PM
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feeding a horse mowed grass can cause colic I believe. It would be best to let them eat and just excercise them regularly whether it be riding or lunging or lots of slow rides all around.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 12:52 PM
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I don't think the OP was suggesting feeding the mowed grass to her horses...
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 01:20 PM
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yes but asked about having the grass mowed before she put the horses on it. Unless she plans on raking the excess out of the pasture then the horses will eat the mowed grass
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 01:25 PM
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Sorry if you've already outlined this in another post, but you mentioned you have three pastures - are they all grass? Would it be possible to make one into a dry lot (just dirt, no grass)? If you have a dry lot, you can move them back and forth so they can only eat grass for a controlled period of time.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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We mow the pastures at our barn but the horses are rotated around. Once a section has been mowed horses wont go out on it for a few days so the cut grass doesn't make a difference since it has been dried up.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 02:48 PM
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IIRC, the danger in feeding grass clippings to horses is only if they are collected in a bag and given to a horse directly. They start to ferment in the collector and the quantity is greater than what they would be able to graze naturally. Even so, I've seen several people on this forum say that they've fed grass clippings to their horses for years without any issues (although I'm not recommending it)

A freshly mowed field in and of itself shouldn't present any particular danger to a horse- especially if the clippings are either collected and removed or mulched, but clippings left in the field won't ferment like clippings in a bag, and the horse still has to move around and pick out the clippings.

I think the OP's question was more along the lines of what would be more effort for her horses to eat- long grass or short grass. It depends on the design of the grazing muzzle you're using, but I think long grass is generally more difficult for a horse to eat through the muzzle.

The ideal solution, as someone else mentioned, would be to have a dry lot or very sparse pasture to turn the horses out on and limit the access to lush pasture.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 03:00 PM
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easy keepers

We do the same as Poppy and mow the grass if it becomes too long and then its left for a long enough period to allow it to dry out completely before the horses go on to that patch
Turning easy keepers onto to much lush grazing is asking for laminitis as well as potential for colic if they over do it - which they often do
I never had much luck with grazing muzzles as they seem to irritate them and they spent a lot of time trying to rub them off - but yours might be OK Same goes for starvation paddocks - they can see the grass so spend the whole time pacing up and down or even jumping out - just like me sitting bored with a box of chocolates just out of reach and nothing but a bowl of dry cornflakes to munch on!!
I have a friend who uses electric tape to strip graze her two - only allowing them so much at a time
I find that what works best for me & my horses is keeping the grass mowed to a certain height and stabling the horses for a good chunk of the day with some hay. They get groomed and exercised during this period and they are out of the flies & biting insects so happy all round
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 08:29 PM
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I just moved into the exact same situation! I don't have a lawn mower (there's a company who comes and does our lawn but they won't do my paddocks). In my case I have one fat lump of an easy keeper and a pony who's stays at a good weight easily, but hasn't ever had grass before in his life. My fat lump :P I allow out for 2 hours a day until the paddock is down to only short stuff, then I'll gradually increase the time. My pony who's not used to it I'm taking out for 2 hand grazings a day for about 10-20 minutes (however long we can stand the bugs). I exercise my pony, but my fatty has been exercising herself - every new noise in our new home has sent her into a gallop around her field :P I will be exercising her more than a bit once the field is clear enough for us to actually use it xD

Good luck with your ponies
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-15-2012, 08:41 PM
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My horse Shaggy is an easy keeper too and i've also been thinking about a grazing muzzle. I've also been wondering about limiting his turn out as well as another horse on property (another easy keeper and way over weight!) but Shaggy isn't a big fan of stalls.

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