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Stalling horse at night
I've been thinking of stalling Berdi at night as she is getting too fat. She has a huge pasture to eat in the day. If I stall her - should I put some hay in there in a slow feeder or will she be ok till morning? I have a grazing muzzle but she hates it and runs away from me when she sees it. :-(
A low nutritional hay will be fine. Low nutritional does not mean cow hay, just year old timothy, fescue, or similar. The point is for it to be low in nutrition but not quality. A horse wants to graze and to sit in a stall for 10+ hours at a time with nothing to do is never a good thing.
If you have a paddock or dry lot or can cordon off a place in the pasture where she won't get grass will work better, mentally, then a stall.
The absolute best way to keep the fat off is to turn it into muscle by work - it's just that most of us can't do that for one reason or another.
Agree with what others have said. Horses have evolved to eat tiny amounts of low grade roughage near constantly and it's not good for their digestion to go hungry. As horses have also evolved for lots of free movement and herdlife, I also agree that it's best not to stall her unless absolutely necessary. The more exercise the better, but if you're like me & many of us(living in the Real World<G>) you don't have time to give her enough. You may be able to 'kill more birds' by implementing a 'paddock paradise' type setup. Google it for more info.
Oh, and if you are needing to stall or pen her, the sugars in grass increase with photosynthesis, so it would be best to stall her during the day from mid morn & let her out to graze at night.
Thanks for the advice! I will try to figure out a small paddock for her. And that is good to know about stalling her in the day if I have to stall her. I do try to ride her as much as possible and that helps but I'm busy and can't always keep up with it!
I have my boy running towards me when I come out with his grazing muzzle.
I started it by putting a couple of baby carrots inside it so when it was slipped on he had a treat. Every day for a week he got baby carrots with his muzzle. Then you go to random treats. Starting with missing a day here and there and end up with treats more often not being there than being there.
Works like a charm.
also the age of properly stored has does NOT effect it's nutritional value... what you are really looking for is low NSC hay .. if you can't test soak it drain and rinse well to pull some of hte sugars out
also be sure she is getting well rounded balanced nutrition with a vitamin/mineral supplement or ration balancer ...
a mg type supplement helps to utilize the sugars in the system I use Remission and have had GREAT luck with it
I agree with the paddock or dry lot. You can use electric or metal panels (do you have a round pen?). Mow the area very short if it has grass, so she has less to nibble on. You won't need to put hay in until she's destroyed all of the grass.
Depending on how unpleasant the actual experience is it doesn't always work, but is often worth a try. If they become irritated when wearing it & try to get it off can be more of an issue, but even then, if you make a point of supervising the first fair few times she wears it, distracting her from fidgetting with it, giving her Good Stuff when she's quiet with it & only removing it when she's quiet, you can often desensitise them to it effectively. Just like teaching a dog to wear a halter or harness or horse to a bit(not that everyone bothers to get animals comfortable with these things...).
Had a pony that became more than happy to come put her nose in the muzzle, apparently comfortable & desensitised to wearing it.... but no matter how long I supervised, no matter how short I was away, she learned that as soon as I was away she could get it off!:-( Tried a number of things, hid & spied(she seemed to know) but never was able to keep it on her or find out how she got it off!
Loosie, you were dealing with a pony. Giggle. Of course they know when you are trying to trick them.
Pony is a four letter word. :wink: (Old saying but it sure fits here.)
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