switching to grass pasture?
My daughter is moving away for grad school and bringing her horse along. We found a great boarding barn close to campus with huge grass pastures. Our concern is that her horse is used to a dry lot with free choice hay. Not grass. What would be the best way to transition him from one to the other? We dont want him to colic, or founder, obviously. We thought of a grain muzzle for a while, but need to make sure he gets enough to eat that way. They think they can put him in a smaller pasture to start... but that is not gonna solve the problem I dont think. I thought maybe the grain muzzle for a while, and supplement with alfalfa cubes once a day and between the 2 he would get enough... ideas??? ( he will be pasture boarded so the option of getting hay in the barn at night wont work..)
alfalfa cubes will make the problem worse, they are richer than the grass. Id put him in the smaller pasture with a grazing muzzle. Spring is usually the worse time for problems. go with a low carb feed and or a ration balancer. No sweet feeds .
Id start handgrazing him now as much as possible and start acclimating him to grass now. When he gets there, fill him full of hay and turn him out.
Unless the horse is IR/has metabolic issues or the grass is just super rich, this should work well. Id ask your vet also.
Thanks! A friend pointed out that since we would be moving him at the end of AUgust, the pastures will be pretty much grazed over around here- so not as big of a deal as, say, moving him in June. I think I will go with the grazing muzzle when he first gets there, and try letting him graze a bit here till then.. ( I usually like to let the boys out and eat grass when I can anyhow... not all day, but for an hour or so while I am at the barn..) So the combo should work. He does not get grain- just some vitamins and hoof supplements... so that should help as well...
Oh that makes a BIG difference. August grass is well hardened off an not usually a problem even if you just turn them straight out on it from hay only. Again, It can depend but I wouldnt worry at all. Stuff horse full of hay before you turn him out and he should be good.
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