Pasturing horses after dry lot.

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Pasturing horses after dry lot.

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  • Horse from dry lot to pasture
  • Dry lots for horses in new york state

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    10-19-2011, 12:04 AM
Pasturing horses after dry lot.

We are hopefully moving our horses to a large pasture and I am worried about two main things. The first is easy to take care of(poisonous plants) but the second has many different solutions and I am curious which one y'all would suggest.

It is fall here but the pasture is quite green and rich due to the recent flooding, so it would almost be like turning them out for the first time in spring. I am worried about my older mare (15 or so years of age) the most due to her age and the fact that she hasn't been on any pasture since the beginning of June, and that was only for a short time every day. What would you suggest I do to reduce the possibility of founder/colic?

Should I get a grazing muzzle for her? What about the 5 month old filly that's never seen a pasture a day in her life? I'm not too worried about my 2.5 year old filly though because she's been out on pasture regularly all summer. Mind you it's not anywhere near as lush and green as the pasture we'll be moving them to but still.

I will be giving them all probiotics every day and we were thinking about limiting their pasture time to daytime only until they learn the fenceline.

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    10-19-2011, 11:48 AM
Go to your extension office and find a guide for the poisonous plants in your area. Identify if you have any of those in the pasture. At this point, it's nearly impossible to control them short of hand pulling but you will identify the problem areas for next year to spray in the early spring. When there is adequate forage available, typically horses will pass on anything that might be poisonous so I wouldn't be too worried even if you do find something.

As far as transitioning them to pasture, at this time of year, I would just wait for a good hard freeze. Wait for the grass to die back than toss them out. It's nothing more than grass hay at that point. I wouldn't worry about grazing muzzles. They all will put on some extra weight and probably get a little chubby, but it's winter. A little extra weight never hurt any horse going into winter.
    10-19-2011, 12:30 PM
A grazing muzzle is a good idea, but I would also slowly acclimate them to the pasture, starting with just an hour or so of grazing and gradually building up. Can you keep them in a small pen or drylot the rest of the time, with hay?
    10-19-2011, 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
A grazing muzzle is a good idea, but I would also slowly acclimate them to the pasture, starting with just an hour or so of grazing and gradually building up. Can you keep them in a small pen or drylot the rest of the time, with hay?
There is no small pen or drylot on the property, it is all grass! Even right up to the small shed that is to be their shelter so the only thing I can do is lock them in the shelter or let them out on the grass. I think that in the beginning I will use a grazing muzzle on the mare, at least until she gets accusomted to the grass. I am not going to worry too much about the 2.5 year old filly though but I will keep an eye on her feces for signs of any problems. Hopefully the 5 month old won't have any issues either but I think she'll do more running around at first than eating as she's never had the opportunity to run, flat out, in that big of an area!

    10-19-2011, 11:27 PM
Watch them very closely for signs of laminitis....

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