Not much grass left for grazing - almost none

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Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2005
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Well, the grass is down to dirt and nubs now......Ellie is being feed mostly hay and omelene this okay or should I find her more grazing??? Thanks for your help!
I'm not sure exactly what you are reffering to. If I remember correctly,
you wanted to get some weight off of Elllie.

I rotate my fields so that none of them get down to the "nubs"

That's no good here for me. That's how my horses would injest too much dirt and colic on me. Over grazed pastures can cause your horse to get wormy for one thing and of course expose your horse to dirt and too much manure, so personally I avoid that. Horses are grazers and should be allowed to graze. However I found out the hard way that when it comes to minis, I have to control their exposure it to keep them from becomming obsese. I've got two here that would pork out dangerously if left to graze too much. Well they are porked out too much actually.

Sometimes your darned if you do and darned if you don't with the minis. Drives me nuts. At the beginning of spring, as the grass begins to grow, my horses are only on it like 2 hours per day for fear of founder, then brought into the dry lot and fed hay.

During summertime, I still control the hours of grazing until about 4 hours per day because then, the grass has taken hold and is growing constantly at a rapid rate. Again, recipe for founder and big pot bellies.

Now we are getting into autum. The horses can stay out on what I have here all day long. It's still growing out there but not thick and lush as before. It's going to be dwindling off now.

Horses of course perfer grass, something nice and green to hay. And grass of course is good for their little systems and has mositure in it too. I don't know what your set-up is, but I would still want grass for my horse available daily until of course winter sets in and you can't have any. Then its hay hay hay all the way and plenty of it to keep them warm.

I don't think you're going to find a perfect answer.

I think you'll have to just keep standing back and taking a good look at Ellie and see what she is doing in the weight department and keep on making amends as her body changes. Blubber is just no good.

Keep in mind, I'm no expert at anything. I just keep an eye out on everyone's weight and adjust the times of exposure to grass as needed and do remember that horses still are meant to be grazers.
In answer to your question does a horse have to have grass to graze on the answer is no they dont. If they have hay to munch on to satisfy that need it will be fine. I have had horses all mylife in So Cal where pasture wasnt heard of it didnt exisit and they all did just fine for over 30 years so yes a horse can live just fine without eating grass

mine dont eat dirt in fact even now they are drylotted most of the day and only out on pasture to run and play for a bit daily
My "used to be" overweight mare is allowed to graze on mowed/ or short pasture, in the daytime only. If it seems a little too sparce (hardly never) then I put out a barrel of burmuda grass hay, to make up the difference. I dry-lot her at night, as the sugar content is "higher" in the grass at that time, and can contribute to extra weight gain. I watch her weight, and feed any extra, "only" according to her needs. I know where her fat pockets will build up, if she is ever inclined to pick up the excess weight again. Once it is off of them, you know where to watch for it.
I dry-lot her at night, as the sugar content is "higher" in the grass at that time, and can contribute to extra weight gain.
Margaret - I wasn't aware of that. We normally put our show horses out at night so the sun won't bleach them. Now we know why they get fat!!

You learn something new everyday.
If your asking if horses need to be on pasture and have grass the answer is no and she will be fine as long as she has hay and grain.

Mine eat hay year round since we dont have enough pasture to feed them, its just out there for a snack but there is really not much for them to eat with 2 horses 2 ponies and a mini all on one 1 acre pasture
I learned that from a cattle rancher here in Arizona, that bought a mini from me. An "ole cattle secret" to putting weight on them. The mini he bought from me only gets to graze from 7:00 AM to 2:pM durring the day, after that she is dry lotted. She seems to stay plenty fit on that. Since I mow my grass, I allow a slightly longer day time grazing period. It is easy to adjust the time allowed, once you see the results.

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