Spring and Fall grass
I know that spring and fall season grasses are higher in sugar. What about in areas like San Diego, where I have had grass all winter still? Granted, that it is more sparse than probably summer etc. (I've only lived here since November). Since we have had a little rain over the past month, things are greener, but the grass was never totally gone either. Does the same rule still apply with limiting spring/fall grass? If so, how do I know when spring begins around here?
You must live in a rural area outside Chula Vista and your paddock area has grass without having to water? :shock:
This is the typical rainy season for SoCal. If your paddock has grass all year long and it's greener right now, I would get the grazing muzzle on your horse during the daylight hours.
Muzzles are not meant to be worn 24/7; if the horse is out 24/7, take the muzzle off once dusk settles in.
I lived an hour further north for five years. I never had grass in paddock and what little there was in the yard was gone by April at best.
SoCal generally averages 4 inches of annual rainfall. I could be wrong regarding your area but, unless you're very close to the ocean, to where you pick up some of the moisture in the air, I'm thinking the grass won't be a problem for too much longer.
Still-in-all, if there's greener grass than normal, I would consider the muzzle during daylight.
I'm not that familiar with the Chula Vista area except to know there was no way on this earth I could ever afford to live there with one horse much less the three that moved with me to SoCal. I tip my hat to you:D:D
Holy Crow! I just saw the Weather Channel -- the San Diego area has snow:shock::shock: I saw it but I don't believe it - lol lol
Did you get any of that?!
If you're caught up in the severe weather swings, I would muzzle the horse. The extreme cold followed by a sudden warm-up always causes the roots to push more fructans thru the grass. All that sugar is where the danger for laminitis or founder is.
Keep the muzzle on during the day at least until your weather levels out or the grass goes away:-)
My horses are actually 15 minutes from me in Imperial Beach...a mile from the ocean, on the bird estuary. Over the hill across the street is TJ. It is a wonderful, beautiful place and I am very lucky to be there. My horses are quite lucky and have a great area to live in. The first area is sand with shelter. The second part of their living area is gated off, but private for my horses with grass...it is twice the size as the sand/shelter area. They have two huge water sprinklers in there, which the owners keep watered for the grass. That is why I have the grass. I have only lived here since November, so I haven't seen a full cycle of what the grass does out here.
Here are a couple of pictures of the horses' living area. It is just my two horses and we have a private grass pasture:
Belle is waiting by the gate for me to open it..lol:
Here is my tack room! This place is the greatest ever!
The cool little town area of tack rooms:
How cool, to be able to ride on a trail, just one mile to the beach:
So, I'm thinking that the grass growing now is spring grass? They are on it a couple hours a day maybe, when I'm out there...never at night.
I AM SOOOOOO JEALOUS....:-)
The danger lies in cold nights and sunny warm days for now. Once the nights are warmer you'll have less to worry about. Any stress causes the grass to hold the sugars instead of using them for growth. Cold, drought.
Best bet, to be 100% sure, check on Katy Watts | Safergrass.org
Ditto Deserthorsewoman's comments on the stress of cold nights and fast daytime warmups.
Even though your horse is only on grass a few hours daily, I would consider a grazing muzzle; especially given she's a Draft as all the Draft Horse breeds are on that nasty Predisposed List for metabolic problems:-(
I use the Tough-1 Easy Breathe muzzles. The other kinds don't allow my big-headed Walking Horses to breath very well.
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle <>
Again, your horse lives in a drop-dead gorgeous environment:D:D
Between Sun City and Hemet? Hmmm.....my inlaws are in Sun City......we could've met if you were still there;-)
The grass area has a gate, so I don't have to let them on the grass at all for now....as hard as that is when Belle stares at it.:)
You can have anything you want built onto your tackroom. One lady has a solar water heater and outside shower with a bunkbed. She sometimes spends the night since she works so far away. The good thing is it is such a comfy atmosphere that we can have cookouts that run late into the night with wine and just spend the night.
I might take you up on that.......inlaws will not like it, tho....we belong to them when we're down there:-)
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