Am I ever going to be able to use my pastures again?
Let me start by saying that all of my horse years I've only dealt with tb's, sixteen plus hands. Never have I had to worry about one gaining too much weight or not being able to eat this or that feed. THEN nine years ago I decided to go smaller as I'm getting older, much older, and it seemed like a good idea.
My ride these days is a 14 h poa. A few years ago we started having hoof wall separation as if the white line was folding in on it's self. Never a lame step but I sure didn't like it. Feet would chip like crazy and she had to be trimmed every two weeks. She also got as fat as a lard hog.
Thanks to some really good advice from a barefoot trimmer and a vet from our University we took her off of all grain and put her on hay, timothy pellets and a very good mineral. Shut the pastures off and she has been on a dry lot for months and months. Feet are now great and her weight is ideal.
Now finally to my question. Do y'all think this mare will EVER be able to go back out to pasture? We have good pastures with a mix of grasses, bermuda, native grasses, a little bit of fescue and it makes me ill to see all that going to waste.
Right now better than half the pasture is dead and brown but there is still some green even though we've had a couple of over night freezes we've had a lot of rain.
I would so love to turn her out a few hours a day but sure do not want to start any hoof or weight problems again.
Evidently this mare is sensitive to sugar/starch so....what do y'all think?
Dare I chance it? Maybe cut back on her hay and let her have a couple of hours on pasture? I do know if I do this to start with only short times at first.
First get a grazing muzzle. I also heard somewhere that early morning grass, and fresh cut grass have a higher sugar and starch content, someone correct me if I am wrong. If that is true, turning her put for a few hours midday with a grazing muzzle should help.
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Your best bet is to go to Katy Watts | Safergrass.org and read all you can about when pasture is safe and when to absolutely not let your horse on. It varies between time of the year, I can never remember lol....
I also saw an article that said if you supplement magnesium even an IR horse can graze. I don't think it's been researched enough tho, but it sounds logical. And then there is the grazing muzzle.....
LOL I was afraid everyone was going to recommend a grazing muzzle. I really don't want to do that, would if I had to but I think I'd rather just never use the pastures again than to have to worry with a muzzle. The mare would absolutely hate it and I'd be really lucky if she kept it on. :) I'd be running out there every fifteen minutes to see if it was still on.
:( I think y'all are pretty much telling me that what I had hoped to do isn't a good idea. I expect you are right.
Find a cheap used one, its worth a shot anyways. My daughter's old pony couldn't be turned out all day either. I would turn him out for about 2 hours a day AND let him graze then put him back up. He stayed at a good weight doing that.
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Im the same way you are regarding the muzzle...lol....that's why I mentioned it last;-)
But read up on safergrass.....very informative! There are times of the year and day when it's safe for grazing. Right now, drought-stressed and new growth...NOT, as the new growth is full of sugars. All it comes down to is limiting the intake and the right time if the day. It's not hard:-)
I'll check out the safer grass site. Thank you so much.
This mare is very unhappy with a nose flap on her fly mask I can just imagine how she would feel about a muzzle.
Depends on the time of the year and if there was frost at night. I can never get it right, that's why I posted the link:-)
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