Feeding. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-10-2007, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,062
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Where I board my horse, has no more grass. When he gets turned out, its just dirt the grass is dead and eaten, trampled and gone. No grass for grazing. Ugh, what should I do? Its the only place I can board at because we have no boarding thats close enough and we that we can afford and I can't bare to part with my baby!

I know grazing helps blood flow throughout the legs and such. I spread out the hay a little so he has to move around to get it but I feel like I could do more, like he's not getting he adequate nutrients he deserves as a horse. He gets grain at noon and at bed time, and hay during the morning and night, and sometimes he gets an armful or two during the day when I go out there.

I don't know what else to do. Is he eating properly? Should I try and keep hay in front of him 24-7? It is winter, so It gets wet and moldy fast and since there are only two horses in his pen, they can't throw a round bale int here because it'll mold before they finish it, so I don't know what to do. My stable lets me feed my horse whenever I want and they feed him for me at night and each morning, and I'm careful that if I give him grain, I tell them not to grain him so doesn't run hot but I'm worried because he's not getting any grass! Of all the books I read they said that having your horse turned out to grass for multiple hours a day is the most important and healthy thing you can do for your horse. I'm stressing out now because there isn't any.

Any suggestions? Please and thanks.

( I'm one VERY worried first time horse owner. *choke* I want my horse to be happy and healthy and I'm afraid I'm not fulfilling my duties with him. )
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-10-2007, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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I keep my horses in a dry lot for the winter to rest my pasture. There isn't a blade one of grass. I keep a round bale out 24/7 and throw a few flakes of hay here and there around the lot so they can "forage" if they want to. With the price and lack of hay this year I wouldn't waste any that I didn't have to, but I do give more hay than anything else. If it gets really cold where you are I would keep hay in front of him 24/7. Its what will keep him warm. If he is getting good quality grass hay thats really all he needs, don't over supplement him.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-10-2007, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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I let mine graze just up to couple hours max in summer-early fall-late spring. Right now (starting Oct) they are on dry lot with no grazing. I supply good grass hay year around though. As for the fact horses have to graze. Yes, they do in wild. However the grass they eat is nearly not like heavy green grass people have on fields for horses (and in fact which causes laminitis in number of horses). If my horse would stay on grass 24/7 they'd be horribly fat (even couple hours a day gave them good layer of fat by the mid of summer).
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-10-2007, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
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Grass dies back in winter. Sure it's nice if they can still munch on it if they have sufficient pasture.. Mine do, but I have 20-80 acres for them to browse on all winter also. You do the best you can with what you have. Some horses are in stalls fed twice a day most of their lives. Now, that sucks. So, do spread the hay out as you walk around the lot so they can browse as if they are grazing. And remember hay is dry grass. ;)
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Swansea
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I think this very much depends on where you are. I personally live in Wales which is well-known for it's rather wet, mild climate. As a result grass will grow anywhere and it is therefore considered a bit dull not to use grass as part of the diet considering that you get a good yield of grass from minimum expense in seeds.
In Winter the nutrition of either or neither here not there as grass loses a fair deal of it's value around now anyway. Where I am we put out a round bale of hay which is actually where the horses go for their main diet (as well as appropriate hard feeds) and they only graze as an activity and probably for some type of social bonding that we don't fully understand yet. This last point is the only area where I feel a horse could lose out during the winter months is on a social scale - if there are a few horses in an area and only a small area where hay is spread then horses can get territorial! This maybe exacerbated by there being absolutely no alternative rather than some consolatory grazing. That very much depends on the herd dynamics though.
A dry lot afterall is a million times better than no outside at all... as Appyt says 'you do the best you can with what you have'.
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