Time in field? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-21-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Time in field?

Hello everyone I really need a question answered. I have 5 mares right now and 4 are my personal horses, 2 of my horses are a little thin, deffinatly not under weight, just a bit thinner then I would like because they are more submissive. I have them all in a 4 acre area in the mornings and afternoons where I work them all out, its to hot during the day to work them so I put them in the back field for a few hours where the grass is very tall.

leading them to the field is a hassle because some untrained geldings are in the field in front of them and they always rile my horses up. the back field is about 20 acres. Thankfully they are in the routine and know they are going back there. Anyway I am wondering how long it is safe to leave the horses back there, I was thinking of leaving 4 of them out at night once they are used to the grass a bit more(and the grass starts to dry out) but im worried about founder. I could probably lessen the hay they are getting to compensate for the extra grass. the other owner just put all the geldings out there 24/7 and they are never worked but never founder and they are in a bigger area then my horses. All of Mine are worked out often and in pretty good shape, Im trying to figure out a way to make it easier on me having to walk 2 miles a day there and back there and back. Although I would gladly do it for my horses.

I also want the 2 too gain some weight but I don't know whether to leave all of them in there for a bit longer then usual or to try and make more trips for the 2 that could use a little weight gain. I don't think an extra hour will hurt the others in good shape, especially since they all get ridden a lot sometimes they are ridden 4 or 5 hours a day, not serious work but they do get their share of exercise.

Any advice would help, I think the biggest issue is the crazy geldings that chase me and try to kick me but that is fixed with a long lunge whip although my horses still get a bit riled.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 09:40 PM
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Well to put weight back on your two horses you could feed them extra grain if you give them grain and just feed the ones you want fattened away from the other horses because you don't want them to get robbed of their grain and something else that sounds bizarre is feeding your horses bread fattens them up two slices of bread in the morning and two in the afternoon.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 10:15 PM
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Don't feed them bread! That has no nutritional value what so ever and is not good for their stomachs. Have you tried beet pulp or flaxseed or oil? I'm not fond of grains and there are a lot of options out there to fatten them up. Have you had teeth checked? Worms? Those can both be factors in not gaining weight.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 10:21 PM
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Of course check for worms and how the two skinnier horses teeth look. If is all is well there I would add both copra and beet pulp, it's put a very good layer of fat on my leaner horse and a "rescue" I required, while putting a nice coat on the whole herd.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-23-2014, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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O they aren't that thin they will gain weight I just thought the pasture would be better for them then feeding them a bunch of processed foods they already get grain and supplements I just would like to see a little more on them you know? their teeth are fine and the wormer is on its way in the mail.

thanks guys just wanted to know how much pasture is to much.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-23-2014, 08:47 AM
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rescue...your horses if you build them up to it can stay on pasture 24/7.
It is how horses survive in the wild...they don't receive grain, feed, beet pulp or anything else other than grasses of different varieties and water.

As we domesticated and became nit-picky in diet, we "humans" have created many of the problems our horses now have.
We fertilized and "improved" their fields of grasses...
We cultivated and "improved" their concentrate feeds...

Horses are born grazers and if left alone will graze much but not all of the day.
I sit and look at my horse in my pasture just standing there, not eating.
He eats when he wishes, hangs out when he wishes...goes to get clean, clear water as he wishes...
Comes when I wish to get ridden, groomed and handled.

Unless you have a soil analysis done you won't know what your "complete nutrient" content is of your pasture nor what vitamins or minerals are needed or not.
To combat the mineral issue, my horses have a mineral block and a plain salt block available all the time. Horses are pretty darn smart..as is Mother Nature. The animals consume what they need, not anymore nor any less..

Here is a pretty good article for informational use...make sure to especially read the last "Take Home Message" for it has the truth in it.
Applying Pasture Analysis | TheHorse.com
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-27-2014, 01:11 AM
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I have 4 horses out on 20 acres and no problems...no founder nothing...it is not any one kind of special grass tho just a mix of whatever grass and weeds just grow out there and they just eat the ones they want...And they have gained weight from this but in a good way...not fat just healthy spring and summer weight gain. and this includes the submissive ones too because in a field that big it is no problem for them all 4 to eat as much as they want all day and night whenever...i keep multiple mineral and salt licks out for them and that's just it...summer here so it is the easy time...long as there isnt any drought thats all they need. i find the best way to put extra weight on them if they do need it is alfalfa...if you put them on 20 acres nice green grass they should need little or no hay while it lasts...maybe if you work your horses hard regularly they may need more than just the grass but im just saying what works for me and my boys...good luck!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-27-2014, 01:27 AM
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I'm going to echo the others that have said 24/7 on pasture is ok.

There are exceptions to that rule.

#1 If they are not used to eating green grass.
#2 If they have IR (insulin resistance).
#3 If they are overweight.
#4 If they are prone to laminitis or have foundered in the past.

There may be other reasons but those are the ones off the top of my head. If your horses are in good shape and are currently grazing for several hours a day you should be pretty safe in letting them stay out on the pasture. Just keep an eye on them and if they start ballooning up then you'll have to go back to limiting their pasture time. I never give mine hay when they have plenty of pasture.

Another time to be careful is after your grass has dried out in the summer and then fall rains start and it greens it back up. I have fatties so I have to really watch the amount of lush green grass they get.
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