Introducing a horse to pasture?
I have a new horse that I will be bringing home in a couple of days. She has not had any grass so far this year, and we have fairly lush pastures. I have had to wean horses onto pasture before, but never one that has had no grass whatsoever. We do have an area we could temporarily fence off that is full of small weeds and very sparse grass - would that still be too much grass to put a horse out on who has not had any?
- gallopLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
A broadleaf weed killer can be applied today and the pasture will be safe for her to graze in two days. Some weeds are toxic, so killing these weeds will prevent her ingesting any, and remove more of what could colic or founder her. It won't kill the grasses, but it will improve her area. If you only let her out at night, it may be safest. A horse that has not been on any grass needs ample time for the gut bacteria to adjust to the new grasses of pasture. Anything you can do to limit her time grazing it, and limit what she grazes will help to prevent problems. If she is used to hay, buy and bring some of the hay she is used to eating with her and feed it 24/7 free choice in her enclosure, to encourage her to eat it in combination with whatever is growing.Source(s): 57 years with horses
- FinleyLv 71 decade ago
That area that you can use as a "dry lot" (sparse grass and weeds) sounds good.
I would allow this new horse to go to the lush pasture for an hour every day only (for 2 weeks). Then You can bump that to 2 hours (maybe an hour early and an hour later)
If the horse is being worked a lot (ridden/exercised) every day, then it would be okay to allow her to be up to 4 hours in the lush pasture every day. Dry lot her the rest of the time.
If she's not being worked at all, then stick to 2 hours tops each day.
It's very easy for a horse to overeat and get too fat and then you've got all kinds of possible medical issues (founder, laminitis, etc)
Watch the horse's body conformation and be sure that she doesn't get a fat neck (cresty) or that you can still press hard against her sides and feel ribs. You shouldn't be able to see ribs, but you should be able to feel them if you press hard.
No grain unless she's very young or very old or is being worked a lot, either.
- 1 decade ago
I would say fence off your pasture leaving just a little bit of grass and every couple weeks extend the area...
- Anonymous1 decade ago
start by putting her out in a pasture with not alot of grass for only 30 mins or so and each day increase it by 15 mins or so