grazing question

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grazing question

This is a discussion on grazing question within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    08-24-2008, 11:09 PM
grazing question

We have 2 horses and a small place.Where we have them fenced off there is no real vegetation, so I fenced off an area(w/ electric tape) that had some lush grass for them to eat.They get grain,local and orchard grass on a regular schedule.I am so fearful of them foundering that I thought 2 hours grazing was long enough.Then I put them back into there field.

My question is how high is the danger of foundering when they get some rich grass to eat?And how long should they be left to graze, did I have them out too long?Im new at this again, but so desperately want to do right by our boys.Thanks....
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    08-25-2008, 01:25 PM
Green Broke
Personally, I let my guys out in 20-40 minute intervals when introducing them to really lush grass (up to your knees and trip through it kind of lush)...other people might do it diffrently, though.
    08-25-2008, 02:31 PM
I start with 20 mins and go up to couple hours adding extra 10 mins every 3-4 days. I don't let them on grass the whole day (provide the hay).
    08-25-2008, 02:44 PM
Our horses have the same issue that you have. Smaller pen with no grass, then we let them out everyday to graze, then put them up in the evenings so they aren't grazing 24/7 yet they aren't stalled either.

In the spring when the grass gets rich and lush we start out with 20-30 minutes of grazing time (still with free choice hay in the pen) then work up adding 10-15 minutes every 3-4 days until they are free choice grazing from about 8am-5/6pm then we bring them back into their pen and feed about 2cups of grain each. We take the hay out once they are grazing all day.

We have found that for our schedule it works best this way and it keeps them from eating too much. Our vet has worked with us to get our horses to a healthy weight and they have no health issues. When we had them on pasture 24/7 Dumas colic'ed from too much grass. With the system that we use they aren't gaining or losing weight.
    08-25-2008, 04:30 PM
Thanks guys for the input.Its not tall grass, I guess lush grass was a comparison to the dirt hehe.And it has weeds in it too.Actually not a big area(outer edges of what was once my sons dirtbike track)but the goods were there and I had the resources to fence them in temporarily.Maybe I'll try 30 minutes today.They were fine the other day when they were out for 2 hours but don't want to take any chances.Thanks again.

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