Dirt Lot to Grassy Pasture
I have three horses, 2 mares and one gelding. All three of them have lost a bit of weight over the winter, and since I am about out of hay, I was wanting to move them to my large, grassy pasture in the next week, so maybe I could ration my hay until spring comes along and the grass starts growing.
The grassy pasture has fescue in it. I have heard that if you turn your horses out on fescue after it has frosted, they will get sick from it (colic) or get foundered.
These horses I have are right now on a mainly dirt lot, and they were on a dirt lot at the place they were before I bought them.
My question is:
Will fescue hurt the horses? If it has frosted over, will it make them founder or colic?
If it will, when will it be safe to turn them out on it?
And how should I transition my horses from a dirt lot to a grassy pasture? Should I turn them out for only an hour a day and slowly work my way up to 24/7? Or what?
Any help would be wonderful.