This is going to be interesting topic but do you believe in winter pasture grazing? I personally think there is nothing wrong with it if you monitor how deep the snow is & you have minerals to balance what the grass lacks. However at our farm we have given the choice to our horses. Their choices are either to stay in a sheltered paddock that's about 1/4 mile long with a good quality round bale. Their other choice is they could go too their pasture which has about any where from 1/2 ft of snow to a 1ft, and they only have a little bit of a wind break at the far south side; the grass is tall but has to be pawed at to get. What I have found from this little experiment is that my horse would rather paw for their food all day unless it is too windy outside. I have also heard that winter grazing is great for a horse teeth because a horse needs that ripping motion to wear down their teeth. This being said I have different view on winter grazing for ponies.
I have also realized my horses would rather eat their hay off the ground rather then eating it out of a round bale. One other thing I know a person who has a horse who is about 30yrs old and he lets her winter graze and they only have snow to eat, he also does feed her some grain. Also she has lived like this all of her life.
So what are your thoughts is it cruel to winter graze? Or is letting a horse paw for too much work for the average horse? Do you think it is cruel for horse who are "not" worked to only get snow?