How to introduce to pasture? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-03-2011, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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How to introduce to pasture?

I'm curious about how you guys would introduce a horse to 24/7 pasture. Here's the situation:

My horse is used to being in a stall and getting turned out an hour or so a day without grass(one reason we r moving him is b/c he needs much more pasture time) Anyway, he will probably go bonkers when we first introduce him to pasture and he will probably over eat and get sick, so how would you guys recommend introducing him to all the lush pasture? The problem is there won't be any stalls available just a mini pasture with a run-in shed that's sectioned off from the main pasture. They r gated in the mini pasture at night. He will also have two other pasture mates, so I don't want to put a muzzle him at first b/c he needs his teeth as a defense mechanism until he finds his place in the heard.
ThAnKs!
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-03-2011, 10:16 PM
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Did I read that right? Your horse only got turned out an hour or so a day? I'm sure I misunderstood that....

It is very very important that your horse be introduced to the grass slowly especially now that it is Spring. If he is just turned out on grass, he can not only " over eat and get sick", he could DIE. You have a tricky situation on your hands, with no stall available so you can gradually intro him to the grass, and you are right about the grazing muzzle since he'll be the newbie....

I am very interested in hearing what the others say in regards to handling this tricky situation....

Last edited by Beauseant; 05-03-2011 at 10:21 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-03-2011, 10:38 PM
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Would it be possible for you to section off a bit of the field or set up a temporary pen near where the other horses are and place him in there with a grazing muzzle on. That way he's not getting too much grass and him and the other horses can socialize over the fence.

I'm also interested to hear the other responses on this one. =)

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-04-2011, 12:06 AM
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Yeah this is tricky. Here is what I personally would do.

1. Introduce him to the herd. For a while he ain't going to give a crap about grass because he'll have new buddies and they will be establishing their order.
2. Once he gets acquainted and they stop squealing, fighting, kicking, etc and he finds his place (if even just for a while) let him eat for about half an hour without a grazing muzzle. This will ensure most of the kinks within the herd are out and that he gets his fill.
3. Put on a grazing muzzle. A well fitted one will allow him to be social and will not impair most function. He can always kick and stomp and romp, and hopefully he will already have established his place.
4. Check on him regularly. If he gets that muzzle off, you could be in a world of hurt. If he's had no turnout, depending on his situaiton he is a pretty high risk colic candidate. As stated earlier, he could die from it.

After the first day is over, take off the muzzle again for another half hour the next day. Over the next few weeks, work him up to 1/2 hour - hour - 2 hours - 3 hours and so on. GRADUALLY. Make sure to check him for signs of colic (kicking tummy, distended belly, no bowel movements) a lot to prevent a problem.

Many horses can get along just fine without having their teeth to fight. Let them duke it out and then start introducing him to pasture as you normally would.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-04-2011, 02:18 AM
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The above advise is wonderful. I would go with that and use a grazing muzzle once you can see how much grazing he is doing.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-04-2011, 06:43 AM
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Make sure you see him drink with the muzzle on before you leave it on for extended periods of time, as well.
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