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skylavaulter

Moving To New, Unmowed Pasture In July - Grazing Advice To Prevent Founder?

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We are moving to a new property at the end of June and just bought a pony. The new pasture for our pony has not been mowed down at all this year, and is about a foot tall at this point. It will be mowed once before the pony arrives. What should I be doing as far as a grazing schedule to prevent founder? I know the spring grass is what to look out for, but if the pasture hasn't been mowed regularly, is the sugar content / other concerns the same in late June grass? The pony is currently being turned out very little at her current stable to keep her off spring grass, so I'm wondering what to do with her for the first few weeks when she comes to the new place. Thanks!

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Here's a great site that will educate you about grass and horses. I would put the pony in a grazing muzzle to be safe. It would also take care of the cribbing.

www.safergrass.org

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Good link to read^^^

I'd honestly make a dry lot area she can be put in during acclimation and anytime the grass is stressed or overgrazed (high sugar.) Grass has highest sugar content during the day (9am-11pm) and lower at night, so it is a bit "safer" to turn out if they're prone to laminitis.

I start out with 1 hour of grazing a day for 5 days, then increase by 1 hour and repeat until out for 12, dry lotted for 12 and fed hay. I probably do a little overkill, but I have a gelding I suspect to be IR so like to play it safe. I try to turn out at night only, 9pm to 9am.

Edited by Smokum

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Anyway you could also just restrict the amount of pasture, when you do give them turn out at night, versus mowing (portable electric fencing ). Mature grass is going to have less sugar then short new growth, and why horses love to graze in areas that have short grass, versus high grass

Since the pony already is being managed, far as grass time, have you asked the owners if this pony ever showed laminitis? Could be the owners are just being pre active, but would be nice to know, because if this pony ever had laminitis, you may never be able to turn it out, or at least without some sort of monitoring

I have one horse that is quite IR, and she gets zero turn out, except in winter when all the grass is dead Another horse is a bit 'pony in build, being stout and only 14.1hh. She got just slightly sole sensitive last year, turned out full time. Since I now know that is an early sign of pasture laminitis, she is in during the day and turned out at night with a grazing muzzle.

Edited by Smilie

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Well, I read that the best way to prevent founder is to exercise your pony a lot. Like riding. Also, if there is a round pen or stall around, you could put your pony in there at nights, or for a few hours a day, then release. A good way to tell if your horse is foundering is to pinch the neck (not so that it will hurt) and see how much skin you get in your hand. The more fat, the worse. But a grazing muzzle and careful watching will probably help :smile:.

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