My horses are on pasture 24/7 and this is my first year owning horses at home. What I was wondering was if I should limit the green grass intake as it comes up, or will they be okay? I was told by a couple of people that I should gradually pit them out on pasture as it gets green, but given that I don't have a great way to keep them in, I don't know what I should do. Any opinions and suggestions are welcome.
Talk to your Vet bc you may have my situation, a 3 acre turnout/pasture/riding area full of clover. My Vet noticed the grasses growing out there and they are not a problem.
If your pasture comes in really lush whenEVER you get lot of rain, you need to limit their grazing to about one hour/day. This is bc of the carbohydrates in fast growing grass. Horses cannot deal with that much sugar. Their bodies attempt to get rid of the sugars through sweating and through their feet. You can founder a horse by letting them pig on it, and it's known as "grass founder." Do a Google search and study up. =D
Btw, I keep mine off of my South Pasture, which DOES come in fast and lush with a lot of rain. I limit their grazing there until it levels off in June.
Thanks Corporal! My pasture is about 9-10 acres of mature rather tall grass, so no clover in it. It is pretty muddy too if that would have any effect other than less grass.
Ditto discussing grazing options with your vet, if he/she is coming out to do Spring shots/coggins soon:-)
If your screen name is indicative of the breed you own, Tennessee Walkers are on the predisposed list for metabolic issues. Two of my three have that problem:-(
Is your property cross-fenced to where it wouldn't be too difficult to make a dry lot area where they would still have access to shelter?
If not, my next thought would be to muzzle them until Spring grass is done "yahooing" it's fructose-laced self up thru the ground:D
I use the Tough-1 Easy Breath muzzles because they fit those big Walking Horse noses a lot better and give them a huge opening to breath.
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle <>
I was headed for three years with one horse's muzzle but he chewed the grazing hole to almost double the size and that is not a good thing - lollol
The mesh slow feed hay nets below the muzzle are also great and last a long time, in case you have a need for those:-)
Also, there's clover in that field somewhere, even if it's only a small amount and might be a different type of clover than you're used to looking at:)
For some reason, nobody understands, my area ended up absolutely polluted with Hop Clover in 2011.
We had such a ground cover of it, that I threatened to set the entire barnyard on fire, once I realized what I was looking at. My regular hay guy didn't spray that year and I ended up throwing out around 70 bales of hay because it was so polluted with hop clover.
I didn't see it in the pasture because the horses kept it eaten down. I have 22 acres but that year I noticed they spent all their time in just a few areas, eating clear down to the dirt. I finally figured out that must have been where the hop clover was:(
Be sure to make hay available. From years of observing my own horses I've found they will graze the new grasses for brief periods but go to the hay for much longer periods. Your horse has to have a dark shelter which will provide relief from the bugs. Where I live there's about a week to 10 days when the grass will grow like crazy and that is when you don't want your horse on it, at least until late afternoon. At this time the bugs drive mine inside about 8 am and they won't go out until almost dark. This means being fed during the day but it seems to work well.
I have dry lots so i can limit grazing time to a hour a day plus i make sure they get their fill of hay before i let them out. I have one horse who get way too fat so have to really limit his grass. Dont have to worry about grass just yet were still buried in snow. I keep my horses off my pasture when its real wet. And dont let them out till its at least 4 inch tall i have limited pasture so have to take care of it. We also mow it twice a year sometimes more if real rainy.
Horse has almost no hay & eate all the apples off the tree!?
I know too much glucose can wreak havoc on a horse's digestive system but I use to know someone with a thoroughbred who was out 24/7 and only got 1 or 2 skinny flakes of hay in the morning and at night with his grain (which had sweet feed in it). The rest of the day he would be outside, on grass. All the paddocks had grass, some allot more than others. In the fall one paddock had an apple tree that bloomed and he eate allot of the apples. I don't know how he didn't get sick. It was a big tree and he was 17hh.
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