Fall grass and grazing
I have done some reading of grass, founder, and grazing and am curious is the rules still apply to horses being turned out onto new grass in the fall. Here is a lil about our horses. We have two horses, one is an easy keeper and the other, not so easy. They have been on dry pasture during the day all summer and fed a 3-way hay morning and night along with 3 lbs of grain daily. One horse gets LMF Showtime G and the other gets LMF Fiber Max. They are a 6 year old BS mare and a 12 year old Paint gelding. Our pasture that they are on now is only 2 acres. My question is due to our recent rain fall, our pastures have about 1-3 inches of new grass, d0 I need to slowly introduce them to the grass? I am turning them out for the first time today since the grass started to grow and only let them out for an hour and then put them back in their stalls. We do not turn out when the pasture are wet because we don't want holes in the ground from them walking around. They haven't been out in a week. Sorry for the rambling, I am just trying to make sure I give ALL info I can. I have included pictures of the pasture.
Here is one last picture.
Yes, fall grass is just as bad as spring grass.
Trust your instincts. If you suspect the growth is too fast, then give your horses no more than one hour grazing/day on it, and let them graze in the mornings, when the sugar levels are lower, IF POSSIBLE. I know we all work and this type of monitoring can be difficult. If it gets too high, you might be able to have it baled. After it's cured it will be quite safe to feed.
Fall grass can be more dangerous then spring grass as it stresses going into winter causing the sugars to spike. Good start only letting them out for an hour, slowly increase the time everyday(15-30mins) until they are at the max you want them out.
If your horse(s) are obese, Insulin Resistant, have previously foundered, or have other diagnosed metabolic problems, you keep them off any lush or fresh grass.
ALL other NORMAL horses are just fine with it. We have 50 horses and we have 1 that cannot stand grain or rich grass. So, in other words, 49 of them or 98% of them are just fine on good grass.
We have utilized winter wheat and rye pasture for 40 years. I have never had a horse founder on it in all of these years. I would not turn my one IR horse on wheat pasture.
Thank you for all your input. I will continue to slowly work them back up to being able to graze during the day.
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Ditto what everyone else has said.
Even though the amount of time is limited, you may still want to consider a grazing muzzle for the easy keeper.
You would be surprised at just how much a horse CAN'T shovel into their mouth, in an hour's time, with grazing muzzle.
The muzzle keeps the horse moving, looking for grass it can get thru the muzzle, so it's also getting more exercise.
You won't like putting a muzzle on your horse but, if it's an easy keeper, it beats risking founder.
I didn't think about putting a muzzle on the easy keeper. Thanks for that idea. Will start doing that today. He is gonna be MAAADDDD!,
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