Pasture/Field grazing
 
 

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Pasture/Field grazing

This is a discussion on Pasture/Field grazing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is it safe to graze horses on pasture gone to seed
  • Is it ok to seed a field with horses in it?

 
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    05-05-2012, 11:11 AM
  #1
Foal
Pasture/Field grazing

Good morning. New here. Hope this is in the right area. I consider it a health related question.

My question is concerning pastures/fields with mixed grass that have gone to seed. Are these areas safe for grazing? I've heard varying stories but not definitive answers.

Thanks kindly
     
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    05-05-2012, 12:01 PM
  #2
Trained
No problems grazing there. Horses will graze a pasture by eating the grasses from most palatable to least, moving back and forth. Unless they're starving, they won't eat anything that is bad for them...even in a well grazed pasture there will always be places they don't eat.
     
    05-05-2012, 12:14 PM
  #3
Foal
So no worries about the seeds and any potential colic risk with the length of grass? There is ample water source (troughs) that are kept full.

This is a new pasture for us and instead of mowing it down, I was just going to turn the horses out in it.
     
    05-05-2012, 12:22 PM
  #4
Trained
I wouldn't worry about colic. If anything, you'll want to start the grazing at a couple hours and let them get used to it and minimuze potential hoof problems (sounds like it is beyond the real lush stage and probably getting stemmy, though)
     
    05-05-2012, 01:06 PM
  #5
Foal
Yes, it is a little stemy. Our regular pastures are well manicured. This is just an additional space (lot next door) that we just acquired.

So we'll limit their time in the new field to no more than two hours a day until they get it where they like it and we can keep it up from there.

Sound about right?

And thanks for the advice.
     
    05-05-2012, 01:26 PM
  #6
Trained
Sounds like a plan. We've used our mares to clear new areas with thickets/blackberries/etc many times. We just fence it and let them loose. They'll eat what they like and trample the rest.
     
    05-05-2012, 01:34 PM
  #7
Trained
The only thing I would watch other than colic and founder would be the seeds. They can get in their eyes and cause infection pretty quickly. Fly masks would be a good idear.
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