Parellis take on grazing while riding - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 51 Old 08-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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most of mine only eat twice a day...with about 6 hours or so between when they finally eat up all the hay and when they get fed in the evening(I only turn out two at a time, so there is a day or two in between when they get turned out when I get home from work)...If i am roping or working them hard elsewhere, i will give them some hay after a few hours...

optimum is grazing most of the day, however, that isn't an option most days for mine...

I haven't had any ulcer issues(I have had my dun mare since 04) with any of my ponies...of course, I probably will now...
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post #42 of 51 Old 08-28-2013, 01:05 PM
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I ride mostly long trail rides and packtrips in the mountains. Riding different outfitters horses over the years who are ridden by dudes all year they almost ALL have the BAD habit of snatching grass and not looking where their feet are going. What I have done to correct it is simple but you must be a confident enough rider to do it. When they reach for a bite I take the end of the reins and smack them either between the ears or on the side of the neck. Hard enough to sting but not hard enough to make them panic. Each time they go for a bite...mysteriously their head gets stung. On some horses it works after one or two smacks and others we do it for hours. Just depends on how ingrained a behavior it is. Why is this important?

On a packtrip into a wilderness area in western Wyoming I was riding a little mare who thought she would NEVER eat again and must grab a bite on every step. She nearly dropped us off of a ledge that just as we were getting close to it. She decided the blade of grass near my right stirrup was more important than watching her feet. Despite pulling her head up hard at the last second, she still stumbled and went down to her knees, nearly sending us tumbling down the mountain. Ever since then I allow NO GRAZING while riding. Basically the rule with me is..."When a bit is in your mouth or I am leading you, no grazing. I will allow grazing while on rest breaks (when I am off the horse and the bridle is off) or grazing in hand on some occassions but basically I consider this my time and what the horse gets paid to do. Their salary is their care and feeding and we do it to the best of our abilities...we expect the same back from the horses.

We ride horses many times for 12-15 hours at a stretch with short times in the middle for grazing. LOTS of water (we never cross water without offering a drink) and they get to graze all night long. Depending on the condition of the horse this is more than ample to keep them in condition with good energy and body score. A few horses that are hard keepers will get extra grain or other supplements during a trip but mostly mountain grass keeps them going. I think alot of it depends on the quality of the forage they have access to. In general though, they get to eat on their time and work on my time.

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post #43 of 51 Old 09-03-2013, 06:33 AM
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I don't want mine to graze when riding. If leading, I might depending, but it is at my decision, not theirs.

It is a bad habit to get into.

And never seen one lunge at grass either so I disagree with his statement too.
"If you never let your horse eat grass while you’re riding, he’ll take every opportunity to lunge at the grass, even unseating a rider to get at it."

Nope. Further proof that PP's have been landing on their heads too much I think.
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post #44 of 51 Old 09-03-2013, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
And never seen one lunge at grass either so I disagree with his statement too.
"If you never let your horse eat grass while you’re riding, he’ll take every opportunity to lunge at the grass, even unseating a rider to get at it."

Nope. Further proof that PP's have been landing on their heads too much I think.
I missed that part! Funny, of all the horses I've ever rode, the only ones that would lunge toward grass and try to pull the reins out of my hands where the ones that had been allowed to eat while riding.
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post #45 of 51 Old 09-03-2013, 01:47 PM
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You don't need to let your horse graze while under saddle. It's possible that your horse's leg can step through the reins and leave you with a panicking horse under you, certainly out of your total control, so there are legitimate reasons to stop this.

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post #46 of 51 Old 09-14-2013, 03:21 PM
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I let my mare grass while riding but only if shes in a bitless bridle (I used them for trails, not much else) or if I have undone the noseband on her snaffle. I use it as a reward, *Here, you walked up this big hill. Have some grass*

Its actually good because it has made her into a very eager trail horse-wherever we are going she wants to hurry up and get there because when we do get there she will have food.
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post #47 of 51 Old 09-14-2013, 03:29 PM
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First let me apologize if this has already been said since I don't currently have time to read through 5 pages of comments.
Second I did not watch/read what was said by PP so I'm winging it

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #48 of 51 Old 09-14-2013, 03:52 PM
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(and third I need to be careful wear I put my fingers on this laptop )

In general there is not right or wrong answer to this. In specific there can be better or worse answers.

I deliberately allow my horses to eat during rides of more than hour. They learn the command "graze". I teach it to them because on a long distance ride they'll only have time to any appreciable grazing before we start and after we stop for the day. So every hour or more I will stop and allow grazing for about 10 minutes. I prefer to do it like this for the sake of keeping something coming into their stomach throughout the day. It's not a good substitute for 7 or 8 hours of grazing (a nice days ride on long distance riding), but it beats not getting to eat anything and I like it better than my other alternative of letting them stop and graze for a couple of hours after 3 or 4 hours of riding. I do during shorter rides of only a few hours more as a mean of training and conditioning them to eating like this. If I give one of my girls a grazing stop and they don't go to eating within seconds then I'll start them back down the road. The whole point was to train them to eat when told to "graze". If they don't take advantage of it then they can keep riding until I give them another chance (and of course I praise them when the do graze on command). Doesn't usually take too many rides before they figure out that they better graze when they are given the command to (it could be another hour before I give then the next chance).

That being said. If all I did was trail riding for a few hours a week I'd just allow them to eat when I wasn't riding. They'll have plenty of time to eat before and after the ride.

It comes down to the kind of riding you do and what your horse needs to be conditioned for. I can't see anyone making a blanket statement on it being best to allow your horse to graze while riding. I would completely disagree with the horse being allowed to decide when it's allowed to graze. If I'm out riding with friends for a few hours my girls can figure on being allowed to graze only if we all stop for awhile and take a break from riding (as if that's going to happen much ).

That PP makes a blanket statement about allowing horses to graze while riding doesn't surprise me. This is from someone who looks at training a horse as if all horses train the same way and what works with one should work with all (and if it doesn't then it must be the fault of the horse).

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #49 of 51 Old 09-29-2013, 06:19 PM
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With my two, even my old gelding has gotten in the habit of not picking up his head when I ask him to. He used to be real good about it, so now NEITHER of them are allowed to eat with the bridle on. My mare knows, especially in the fall as the pasture grass gets worse the stuff in the yard is better tasting so I can put my grooming collar on and I'll loosen her girth, take her bridle off, grooming collar on and she can then drop her head and graze while I take the rest of the tack off and I carry it back to the barn. lets her know what she did good and lets her realize that she does good under saddle. That's the only time she's allowed. She's well enough behaved I can turn her loose in the yard to graze and come back to her with a halter and she doesn't go anywhere.
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post #50 of 51 Old 09-29-2013, 11:25 PM
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I have a strict rule that mine do not eat with a bit in, period. After the initial setting of that boundary, I never have any problems.

I do ride some ponies, however, that practically unseat you if they catch your off guard, little buggers!

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