Never Been on Grass- Now Pasture? Help!
My horse has been kept on a dry lot since he was at oldest 18 months. He has been fed hay or hay cubes that whole time, and is now 11 y/o.
I am moving to a house with a grass pasture. He will still be getting hay as the pasture isn't sufficient to sustain him, but should I worry about him getting too much grass? Should I just let him loose on it or should I let him out on it only at night? There is a small dirt pen I could confine him to if needed I suppose.
What should I do?
Was there any reason that your horse was kept on a dry lot or was that just all that was available?
Being thrown out on grass, even at this time of year, is a *huge* change. To be on the safe side, I'd start out with a couple of hours on the grass, and gradually increase the time, monitoring your horse's weight as you increase access. I would start him out on his previous ration and gradually decrease the ration as you increase his pasture access.
I agree with Maura. Slowly increasing grass time helps prevent probs and just keep tabs on his weight.
Easy solution, mow the grass down short. If it's less than 3" high, you won't have to worry about him eating too much.
If you can't mow it all, then use a grazing muzzle.
Dover Saddlery | Padded Grazing Muzzle .
Thanks guys- he's been on dry lot because that's all I could afford.
I'm not getting the place anyways now. The landlord told me I could have it, and I was to put down a deposit tomorrow, but he rented it out to someone else today. I'm furious about this. I wish I'd been able to put down the deposit down yesterday- I had the money, but he wasn't there to even show the place, the other tenant was.
Oh well, to search for a new place now....
A horse can still over indulge very easily and it is a founder risk.
Aspin, sorry things fell through.
As long as you wean them slowly on to grass you should have no problems provided he has no underlying metabolic issues.
My horses are in gravel paddocks for the winter and out on pasture in the summer.......I start out really slow
10 minutes for 3 days
20 minutes for 3 days
30 minutes for 3 days
40 minutes for 3 days
60 minutes for 3 days
90 minutes for 3 days
120 minutes for 3 days
240 minutes for 3 days
then increase hourly
Heres another thread that I just replied too earlier today. I don't want to re-type everything! :lol:
Basically you start w/ 15 mins and increase by 15 mins per day until you get to 4 hrs, then you can leave them out full time. Be careful w/ frost in the fall especially after a really nice sunny day. If you have horse with other risk factors do it a little slower.
Thanks guys- we already found a place that seems promising, also with pasture. Maybe all this advie will come in handy after all. :-)
Just let him get a taste of it then bring him back in and do that for a few days then expand the time (if he does well) If not, contact your vet for advise.
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