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Magnum Girl

Introducing Horses To Pasture

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We recently bought a place and went from 2 acres to 22, and are having trouble deciding how long it should take to safely introduce our horses to the pasture. On the two acres, they had rocks and cactus. My colt had 24/7 access to a round bale and our two older geldings had access to the round bale for 6-8 hours. The new pasture is a nice coastal native blend, about knee high. All the literature I can find talks about introducing horses to new, fresh, spring grass... but that is not the case here. It's the middle of summer. In Texas. So we've been debating back and forth on how long to limit their grazing since it isn't new growth (most of everything is dead, kind of like hay still attached to the ground), but they're still not used to being on pasture in general... Anybody have any advice?

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I would just follow the advice of the spring grass posts....it certainly can't hurt to be on the safest side!

I, personally, would just do 1 hr a day, twice a day for 2 days, 2 hrs a day 2x a day for 2 days, 5 hours a day for 4-5 days, 12 hrs a day for 4-5 days, then just throw em on out there.

ETA: but I'm at the barn all day so it wouldn't be too much of a PITA for me to do that!

Edited by Serah Rose

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I agree with Serah. Another consideration is that even if it's dry, dead grass, if they won't pick their heads up out of it to drink water, you can end up with a dehyrdation colic.

I would be inclined to do a temporary fence so you've only got an acre or two to chase them around in for this initial time. Then the schedule Serah suggested. An alternative to that might be to use grazing muzzles but you can run into the dehyrdation issue that way too for a horse who is getting used to them for the first time.

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