Question: How to transition an Arizona desert born horse to the midwest

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Question: How to transition an Arizona desert born horse to the midwest

This is a discussion on Question: How to transition an Arizona desert born horse to the midwest within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By littrella

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    11-12-2012, 03:13 PM
Question: How to transition an Arizona desert born horse to the midwest

Hello everyone!

I may have to move back to the Midwest (Missouri) and I have an Arizona born 10 year old mare. I am worried about transitioning her from a barren desert life-style to the lush & green pastures of the Midwest. My mare is used to eating only baled hay with supplements (and does very well). I am worried about transitioning her to green pastures and exposing her to the Midwest winter. She is my precious baby and I don't want give her up or cause her harm. I only want the best for her. I would love to take her with me but I am very worried about the transition. Does anyone have any experience with this type of issue? Thank you so much!!!
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    11-12-2012, 03:26 PM
I did it the other way around, in Europe, from northern Germany(your Midwest) to Italy(Arizona). It went just fine!
For the winter: hay, hay and more hay, if she is outside, shelter and a chance to grow enough coat.
Summer: she will get used to it. As for the lush pasture, just start out slowly, 20minutes hand grazing, slowly up, over a couple of weeks to 24/7. Provide roughage, like straw or stemmy hay, she will eat it if she needs it.
So, nothing to worry about
    11-12-2012, 05:01 PM
Dear deserthorsewoman,

Thanks for the positive feedback...that helps a lot! Makes me feel much better.
Your horses (in the photo) are gorgeous! Thank you for the response.
    11-12-2012, 05:51 PM
Well, thank you, and good luck
    11-12-2012, 06:16 PM
I have done the transition several times. From CA to OK, OK to AZ, AZ back to OK. The one thing I noticed was I had to start feeding concentrates because the hay out here is not even CLOSE to what I could buy in AZ. I pretty much consider the prairie grass hay out here to be forage and that's about it. I feed Strategy GX or Omolene 400 since we've been in a drought and even that hay is scarce.

The first winter or 2 I was out here, they didn't get enough coat, so I bought several different layers of blankets. I started with a sheet, then went to mid-weight, and finally mid & heavy weight during the ice storms when we were in the teens below zero. They did ok, but still lost more weight that I liked. The last time I came back to OK, we built a barn and that helped immensely. So, if you do have to come back, if you don't have a barn, I'd board her in a nice barn for at least the first winter and then in spring put her out on pasture.

We're getting down to teens & 20's here in OK, MO is colder.
    11-12-2012, 07:44 PM
My horse moved from Colorado to Massachusetts, then back to Colorado, then to the UK. I didn't "do" anything. Horse dealt with the climate changes no bother.

Though she probably did swear at me for taking her to a place where it rains all the bleedin' time.
    11-12-2012, 08:40 PM
It's defanently cold here. I'm in Nebraska & my car doors were froze shut Sunday morning. I would say get some heavy winter turn out blankets before you get here
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    11-13-2012, 11:12 AM
Originally Posted by littrella    
It's defanently cold here. I'm in Nebraska & my car doors were froze shut Sunday morning. I would say get some heavy winter turn out blankets before you get here
This darn weather here LOL up and down I would rather it stay up :P

I am glad mine have stalls to get in to this year... Cody has his Fuzzy wuzzy Fur working for him already..

Missiouri Is not that bad for cold so he'll do fine.

I think that your horse will be ok Blanket if needed..I never have when I tried it they got to hot.
    11-13-2012, 07:28 PM
You're in luck! It's almost winter here in the Midwest. It snowed last night in Chicago. :) The grass is very short and sparse, so you shouldn't have any issues with that. She'll be fine over the winter, and you can let her get used to grass in the spring the same way everyone else does.
If she doesn't have a winter coat, leave her blanket off so her coat gets sunshine (horses get their coats through the shortened hours of light in winter), and see if it grows in. If not, throw blankets on her.

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