rage'n asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Is it asking for trouble - obesity and founder, if you pasture board an "easy keeper" in lush pasture?

I have beautiful stables with 22 miles of trail closeby, with 40 acres of lush pasture to board in. Is it a mistake to buy an "easy keeper" that would live in lush pasture? The stables do a wellness check twice a day and give each horse some grain, at that time. I can't ask for a special routine for one horse.

I hope to trail ride 2-3 times per week. Realistically, I won't be able to exercise the horse enough, to keep the weight off an easy keeper.

(Background: I am looking to buy my first and last (probably, as I am 55) pony or horse ( I am 5'3"). I can't spend more than $2000, in Va., on the horse, unless i buy it in payments. Even then, I still have only $1000 for all tack and supplies, unless use payment plan. I am looking for a western or Australian saddle trail horse. For that money, I am having a hard time finding a fit, sound, trained to some extent, horse 10 yrs. or under, in Va.)

Sorry this is so long. I am not good at prioritizing info!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    If you're concerned, try putting a grass muzzle on your horse. Even if it is turned out on 40 acres the horse will be limited in the amount of grass the horse receives.

    Keep sugar feed (like sweet feed) to a minimum. Consider feeding only feed like hay stretcher and hay pellets, with perhaps a small handful of something else thrown in for flavor.

    It is important to double check that they introduce the horses to spring pasture SLOWLY. Spring pasture is the most dangerous time, because of the high sugar content due to fast growth. They need to have 15 minutes on one day, and then slowly build to all day turn out. This is very important.

    I think if you're careful the horse can be alright. Just introduce your new horse to the grass slowly, consider using a grass muzzle, and stay with easy to digest, 'safe' grains such as hay stretcher and hay pellets. Of course, avoid ANY horse that has ever foundered before, no matter how great they seem. They're at an even higher risk.

    Source(s): 15 years of experience with horses, 2 years managing a horse who'd foundered twice (he didn't founder while I cared for him, but foundered one month after I left the position due to poor management of his condition- they turned him out for an hour on spring grass he wasn't used to)
  • sazzy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Horses don't have to be easy keepers to be at risk of founder, horses that aren't easy keepers are also likely to get it if the grass is really lush. And if the horse is turned out on the whole 40 acres, with minimal exercise then they are at an extremely high risk of getting it - and if nothing else it is more than likely the horse will become obese, which is not at all healthy, it puts a strain on their heart and joints.

    Mine is an extremely easy keeper, he has some form of exercise every day for at least an hour - the grass he is kept on isn't brilliant, he has no feed at the moment and he is still slightly over weight, if he was in a lush field 24/7 with minimal exercise he would be obese and I would be surprised if at some point founder didn't set in.

    Horses are not built to cope with lots of lush grass with no exercise, in the wild they are on the move a lot of the time, snatching grass and food on the way. They are not built to gorge on lush grass 24/7 especially not without daily exercise.

    If you're going to get a horse, this is something you need to be extremely careful about. High sugar levels in the grass with a horse at constant exposure is very likely to cause founder, it doesn't need to be an easy keeping horse. I know lots of horses that are poor keepers and still at a high risk of founder.

  • 4 years ago

    I am a pasture boarder for sure. All the way. It's just always what I have prefered. Also, with my mare having heaves, that's the only way I can board her to control it better. I live in Canada, where we get pretty cold winters and hot summers, and my mare is outside in all of that. She has a few shelters too though. I am a pleasure rider, so there has never really been a point for me to stall anyway. Like I don't need her clipped over the winter or require a special nutrition diet for her, so it works out well. Most places around that I know of have mostly indoor board though. I'm not sure why. I guess some people just prefer it. Like I do with the pasture way.

  • Kendra
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The people that own the place shouldn't have the pasture too lush, since its used for horses. Try to look for a horse that isn't so much of an easy keeper. Since they do a wellness check, you could get one, but be careful and be prepared to move the horse if it does start getting too fat.

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  • 1 decade ago

    My fella is a real easy keeper and I had to put a grazing muzzle on him to keep him from getting too much protein and weight. Try your local craigslist.com for used tack and saddles and also for a horse.

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