switching my horse to pasture life ???? - Page 2
 
 

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switching my horse to pasture life ????

This is a discussion on switching my horse to pasture life ???? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        02-19-2010, 08:36 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Hi,

    Haven't read all replies so sorr if I repeat...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HalfPass    
    He currently eats about 4 flakes of grass hay and one small flakes of alfalfa.
    I just started the alfalfa about a month or so ago when I noticed he had dropped weight due to the cold.
    He may well need the extra protein in the alfalfa too, but I'd be giving him more grass hay if he's not keeping condition. I'd be ensuring he gets as much as he will eat of it if he's underweight.

    [/quote]A couple of things to take into consideration. My horse has never in his life been out with other horses in the same enclosure. Not even as a foal because he was really sick as a youngster.
    I have already introduced him to one of the horses that is currently in pasture. My gelding seems to be the dominant one of the two.[/quote]

    This is my main concern. Your horse has never learned social skills if he's been kept in solitary all his life. He is probably displaying 'dominance' because he's unsure of himself & defensive. I'd be inclined to ask the other gelding's owners if they can put their horses in with yours in the small paddock he's in now, one at a time, to see how he acts with them individually first.
         
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        02-20-2010, 08:50 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Being winter putting him to pasture isnt much of a feeding issue right now, monitor his behvaior, You can bet he's going to be extra rambunxious about his new room to kick up his heels.
    Slowly wean him off the hay, and see how he takes to grazing,it should take a month to fuly wean him off hay. Id keep him on the grain ration unitl he's off hay and you can see how he's doing weight wise
         
        02-21-2010, 07:33 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Thanks for all the info folks!

    I checked to see if they changed the feed chart to start weaning him off his alfalfa and apparently they did it a while back. Which sort of irritated me.
    In Dec. I noticed he dropped weight. It was very very cold, in the neg's. At that time I asked them to titrate him up to a flake of Alfalfa. Which I know they did because it was to be fed in the morning and I was almost always there and could see he had gotten it.
    Anohow, when I talked about weaning him off they said he already was off, so I was a bit mistified how the miscomunication happened.

    As of now he is on straight grass hay 2 flakes morn and eve and his other suppliments. He will stay on most all the suppliments when he goes to pasture, but not the same amount. I will talk to my vet about that one when the pasture grass gets better.

    I also talked to my Dad and asked him if Tiny had ever had any period of time when he was out with others. He told me he did have about 6 months where he was out with some other horses. My dad is a tb breeder and sometimes sends some of them to other places for short periods of time. I think Tiny was about 3-4 when that took place. Sometime after his stifle surgery.

    Another gal at the barn is now going through the same things as I am. She has a 21 year old Warmblood who has some joint and lamness issues. Right now she has him in the barn with a 12x12 stall and 12x24 run. (same as Tiny was in a few months this winter. She is considering putting him into the gelding pasture in March. She just moved her two horses back to my barn.
    That would make four of them out there.
    Right now he has been sort of weaned off his blankets. He still has a good amount of hair. Since the weather got crappy ( a foot of snow at the ranch today) I told the staff if it gets below 15 degree's throw a blanket on him Preferably a sheet unless it is reall really wet out.

    He has met all the horses currently in the pasture. One he knows fairly well now. The other two he has met through the fence and the only one I see him having an issue with is the yearling colt.
    I have planned the day for March 2 as I have no school that day and can be at the ranch all day to watch and observ. May even video if I feel up to it.

    Halffass
         
        02-21-2010, 08:39 PM
      #14
    Trained
    Hi,

    I would personally be keeping him on alfalfa, as it's a good source of phosphorus, calcium & protein among other nutrients, in addition to his 4 flakes of grass hay(more if he wants it).

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HalfPass    
    Another gal at the barn is now going through the same things as I am. She has a 21 year old Warmblood who has some joint and lamness issues.
    Yep, more low stress exercise is generally helpful to these sorts of probs. Horses benefit in a lot of ways from more exercise than many(most?) domestics get.

    Quote:
    Right now he has been sort of weaned off his blankets. He still has a good amount of hair. Since the weather got crappy ( a foot of snow at the ranch today) I told the staff if it gets below 15 degree's throw a blanket on him Preferably a sheet unless it is reall really wet out.
    I'd be generally hesitant to 'wean' him of his rugs if he's been acclimatised to wearing them & it's still winter where you are. If there is a problem with rugging them for turnout, I'd perhaps put off putting him out until the weather's a bit milder. The thing is, horses are designed for living out unrugged in all weather & will generally be fine with it. But if they wear rugs a lot, especially if full time/long term, especially if they're at all heavy, as most are, not only are they likely to have a thinner, shorter coat and not be acclimatised to the cold, but an effective method for self regulating their temperature is largely put out of action. Muscles under the skin cause the hair coat to stand up or to lie flat, which helps the horse to be warmer or cooler. When a horse is rugged for long periods, these muscles can atrophy and it takes them some time to recover. Of course, you know the situation, your horse & environment best tho, so the above may not be a problem for him. Just something else to consider.
         
        02-21-2010, 09:34 PM
      #15
    Started
    I think your horse is going to enjoy pasture life. They adjust better than a lot of us think they do. Your horse will have lots of time to run, buck, frolic and just be a horse. It won't be pretty for the first few minutes...there will be running, kicking and biting, but that's just normal. My horse is in the pasture and I give him the same amount of grain in both summer and winter. The only thing I do different is give him hay (free choice) in the winter because the grass is gone. Of course if your horse has to be out of work for some reason, then you might have to cut him back on something. Good luck!
         
        02-21-2010, 11:22 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandy2u1    
    It won't be pretty for the first few minutes...there will be running, kicking and biting, but that's just normal.
    Beg to differ, but reckon 'horseplay' is when horses are at their 'prettiest'!!
         
        02-22-2010, 10:46 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    Hey thanks all.
    I am going to at the least have my camera with me.

    The weather is supposed to be on and off wet over the next week, but the temps will not drop below 20 degrees. So I am fine with Tiny not being blanketed. He still has enough hair.
    Who knows what will go on with the weather after that. It is something I will have to play by ear.
    Halfpass
         

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