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lilcowgirlash2003

Advice On Turning Horses Out To Pasture

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Hello, My neighbor just offered for me to turn out my two horses in her pasture. My horses now are in stalls and get fed twice a day. The grass in the pasture is relitively tall. Can I just turn them out or should I do it in intervals for the first few days? I do not want them to colic due to overeating. Please send me your advice.

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I would introduce them to the grass gradually. Start out with about 30 minutes to an hour. Then over the next couple of weeks increase slowly. You will need to check for heat in hooves daily. Watch for signs of foundering.

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When I start a new one on our grass pasture, I first feed as much grass hay as they want, before turning out. I do this for quite a while. That way, they aren't starving and are less likely to gorge themselves at turnout.

I start out with hand grazing somewhere with grass for 30 minutes or so. I do that a few days. Then I turn out for 1 hour for 3 or 4 days. I increase that gradually, by 30 minutes or an hour until they are up to four hours. Once they've been at four hours for a few days, I then consider them acclimated and will allow them to go to their full, 12 hour turn out.

ETA: To give full disclosure, I did have one, mild colic doing things this way this spring. It occurred the third night they were out for 12 hours. However, I and the vet were unsure if it was due to the grass or more likely the fact that the extreme temperature changes seemed to have caused the mare to decrease her water intake significantly.

Edited by ExtraHannah

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ditto, I know this is to late for this but I also will turn them out before the grass comes in completely, I will just feed them grass hay until they stop eating it, this way they acclimate themselves

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That's the way I too prefer to do it ranch horses! It's what I normally do and I've never had an issue that way.

The two that I had to acclimate this Spring had been on dry lot as our pastures are fescue and one of them was a bred mare.

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When I start a new one on our grass pasture, I first feed as much grass hay as they want, before turning out. I do this for quite a while. That way, they aren't starving and are less likely to gorge themselves at turnout.

I start out with hand grazing somewhere with grass for 30 minutes or so. I do that a few days. Then I turn out for 1 hour for 3 or 4 days. I increase that gradually, by 30 minutes or an hour until they are up to four hours. Once they've been at four hours for a few days, I then consider them acclimated and will allow them to go to their full, 12 hour turn out.

This is basically what I do, except that i don't consider them acclimated until they have been at 6 hours for 4 days.

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Yup, good advice here. [Not Worthy]

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