Ya'll must be getting sick of me by now.
Anyway, I've just 'finalized' agistment for my new lease who will be arriving next weekend. Obviously I've been doing a heckload of reading recently, but I still want some advice on this matter.
I have the option of two pastures whenever I want them. One is a 5-10 acre lucerne block with a creek running through as well as a trough. It's currently ridiculously green and 'yummy looking', but will die off come winter, in which case I will be getting bales of lucerne hay free of charge (included in the agistment price). The other pasture is only a couple of acres right beside the lucerne one. It's rather... dead looking, but it still has plenty of feed in it.
My issue is that I've read recently that putting a horse on such rich feed as a lucerne pasture can cause colic, which is the last thing anyone would want. The horse in question is an approx. 20 year old Quarter Horse, currently in need of a diet who is fed oaten chaff and pellets. I'll be keeping up this diet, minus the chaff for a while, in order to get some of the chubbiness gone.
What I'm thinking so far is to put him in pasture #2 for the first week or so, which would have the added benefit of making sure he isn't gonna be too hard to catch. I'd give him some tethered/hand grazing time in the other pasture to start getting him used to the richness. Any time that I noticed any ill effects, I could put him straight back into the other pasture.
Oh, and in case it has any effect, he and I will be trail riding, aka exploring the few hundred acres that his agistment is on and later venturing out onto roads. I'd say he'll be getting at least 5 hours work a week.
We-eell I think that Lucerne is Alfalfa? I wouldn't ever put a horse in a pure alfalfa field, especially not a chubby one. Quite apart from colic I'd expect a big fat bout of laminitis within days if not hours.
Am I missing something? Is Lucerne in Australia not like Alfalfa in Canada?
Oh, yeah. I didn't even consider that it's not called lucerne in all countries. Yes, lucerne = Alfalfa.
In that case, yes I'll stick with my first thought. If it's pure Lucerne in there then no I wouldn't let any horse on it to graze at all.
If it is pure Lucerne then when baled it could be used as a weight-adding supplement for a very poor-doer horse.
If it's a grass-Lucerne mix, then when baled it could be used as forage feed but not to laminitic horses and only in moderation.
See, Loosie managed to say it so much better than me. I agree ^^ !
Wow, information overload loosie! :D
I've actually got a new location now, one that's actually in town rather than 15k's out (and it's next door to the hospital, just in case :P). He'll be grazing just your average grass with sheep, and horses are in a neighboring paddock. Best part, the agistment is free, and very centrally located - A few k's and I can ride dirt roads, a couple k's and I can access the showground with a sand arena, and a couple k's and I can ride to my house if necessary.
But anyway, in response to everything you just said - Yeah, the creek would have been awesome, unless he made me cross it every time I wanted to catch him xD
Haha, I'm in central west NSW :P It was gonna work out to be around $6 a day, which I thought was a bit much, but it definitely would've been worth it especially with the space I had to ride in.
I was planning on ditching the chaff and replacing it with hay. The pellets are a 'Cool Blend Mix', with stuff like molasses in them. I figured they'd be good to keep him on for nutrition reasons, since he's getting on in years. Apparently they have just about everything but oats in them.
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