How long?
 
 

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How long?

This is a discussion on How long? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        10-07-2010, 08:45 AM
      #1
    Green Broke
    How long?

    This was probably posted before, so forgive me for another one. We started our girls out on pasture about 4 days ago. We have been putting them out there for about 20-30min a day. When can we start to bump up the time out there? There is straight alfalfa mixed with grass but the other end is straight grass, so we have been making sure they arent just getting the alfalfa.
         
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        10-07-2010, 10:23 AM
      #2
    Showing
    Add 5 mins every 1-2 days till you hit 2 hours. You should be good after that to keep them there. That's how I did with mine (although they don't go more than 4 hours anyway). But we have just grass. With alfalfa you may end up putting a muzzle on.
         
        10-07-2010, 11:35 AM
      #3
    Trained
    Start at 15 mins, add 15 mins everyday until you hit 4 hours then they can stay out all day. That's what we were taught in our Equine Nutrition class anyways...

    My gelding is sensitive and my Cushings mare recently passed. This is how I put them out for the last couple of years and had no hoof problems at all. The mare previously had some pretty major rings from being put out too quickly.

    Kitten, where did you hear that method? I've heard so many different ways now that I'm always curious where people got theres. I have a friend that puts them out for an hour for 2 days then 2 hours for three days and so on until she gets to 6 hours. I have other friends that do it different ways too..
         
        10-07-2010, 12:06 PM
      #4
    Started
    Being as its the fall, the grass is not fresh spring grass and shouldn't be a whole lot to worry about.
    I personally would toss them on for 4 hours a day for a week and full time by next week. And that's playing it safe in my experience.

    I recently moved and threw five horses on ten acres of planted alfalfa field without batting an eye, they had no pasture axcess at the previous home. Were all alive and "supprise supprise" already eating hay because they've mowed the ten acres already!
         
        10-07-2010, 12:12 PM
      #5
    Trained
    I didn't realize you're in WI. One thing you really want to watch in the fall is a sunny day followed by a really cold night. If the grass is frosted in the morning the fructans/sugars are frozen in the blade of the grass. This has been shown to cause laminitis.

    I've been watching the pasture. If it's frozen/frosted they don't go out until 10-11 if it's not I put them out in the morning.

    New Image - It definitely can be something to worry about. Grass in the fall can be just as dangerous as grass in the spring. Sure you might not have any problems, but why risk it. I know I don't have the money to deal with a bout of laminitis and it has been shown again and again that the safest way to switch a horse's diet is slowly. This lets the enzymes and microbiota in their intestines change and get used to the new energy sources.
         
        10-07-2010, 12:15 PM
      #6
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
    Kitten, where did you hear that method? I've heard so many different ways now that I'm always curious where people got theres. I have a friend that puts them out for an hour for 2 days then 2 hours for three days and so on until she gets to 6 hours. I have other friends that do it different ways too..
    I don't remember frankly. :) I like to take things very slowly as I'm really afraid of founder etc. I always start with 15-20 mins and then keep adding up 5 mins.
         
        10-07-2010, 12:23 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Ok, I was just curious. I'd rather be safe than sorry too. It really depends on the horse. With Flame (Cushings) I was very careful about laminitis/founder so I was more careful with her, she was usually increased by 10 mins/day at first. I had an old gelding and mare that I wouldn't have worried about so much, I'd probably increase them by 15-20 mins per day. Soda has gotten some rings before so I stick with the 15 min per day rule. I'll play it safe with Lily too because she's a pony.

    No matter what I still wouldn't just throw them out. Especially if you don't know the horse.
         
        10-07-2010, 12:32 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    My horse is out on pasture, 24/7 now that it's fall. It's not getting frosty here. But i've never ever heard of frost causing laminitis! That's scary..
         
        10-07-2010, 12:38 PM
      #9
    Trained
    It is something to be careful about. I'll see if I can find some links, my notes are all packed away right now and I'm "working" anyways. I did a presentation on laminitis in my Horse Health and Management class and that was one of the places I heard it.

    Maybe you won't have any problems with it. My family never observed it when we were kids, but I'd rather not chance it. Especially if I'm paying the bills!
         
        10-07-2010, 12:48 PM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Thanks. What a wide variety of answers. They don't go out on the pasture til around 1pm or 4pm so no worries on the frost. Keep me posted when you find out more about that. Thanks again.
         

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