Casey is a 14.2 Arabian Paint cross mare, and she has 2 and 1/3 acre, which is as much as we can set aside for her. She is a moderatly hard keeper in winter, and she is currently a bit skinny and isn't gaining weight. That isn't the problem though, the problem is that the grass isn't growing, and so we are going to have to make a dry lot, as she can't be kept in her stall for a couple months. We didn't over-graze the pastures, they just stopped growing, as it is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit here, and so we have to make an area she can move around in. We have a 100 by 16 foot area marked out that was rocked about 5 years ago, so the grass has grown over it, but it still will help keep the mud down. So... To the point. Any opinions what I should do in the future to prevent this from happening again? I am thinking that during winter, when we have grass in the future, I will turn her out on the grass for about 7 or 8 hours, and then bring her back into her run area, and the same for spring, but for fall let her out on the grass for about 3 hours or so, because that is when it is really crucial for the grass to grow to get ready for winter. During summer she would most likely have 24/7 turnout on grass, we always have loads of it in summer. Do you think that schedule would work? I would feed her some sort of grass hay, probably Timothy or Rye, and I will supplement with Alfalfa to help with weight. Just for fun, she gets fed 2.5 pounds of rice bran and 3/4 lb of shredded beet pulp- teeth were just done last spring, vet says worm free from fecal egg count, but I am having a vet come out to do fall vaccinations, so I could ask him/her then. Oh yeah, she currently has pasture grass and about 4 pounds grass hay w/ 30% alfalfa.
Thanks in advance!