Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Mini Mouse

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2006
Reaction score
My minis are in the pasture all day and put up at night. The spring grass is growing like wildfire right now. Is it OK to leave them out? I don't feed them any grain or hay in the morning and only a half a cup of grain at night to get them to come in. Is this an appropriate feeding program? And are they gonna get too fat with all that grass. They are not show horses. One is too fat now from the winter and one is not.
I would be a little cautious of the chubby one having free choice of the spring grass. It is very energy dense this time of year. I am sure you'll get a bunch of replies on this.
I would not be as concerned about them getting fat on the spring grass (and they will do that) as i would about them foundering from it. Spring grass is notorious for causing founder. If they were my horses I would be adjusting them gradually to spring pasture and limiting it all year to try to maintain a healthy weight.
Please Please be careful with that spring grass. I left mine out 24/7 last year and my little mare is paying for it now. This year they'll all be on dry lot until the grass starts to dry out.
I guess you are going to have to judge that on a day to day basis. Be very aware of laminitis etc. Is there anyway you can keep the grass short or even just fence off a smaller area for them?
I wouldn't leave my horse in a field of Spring grass for any longer than an hour and a half or so, maybe once in the morning and once in the early evening.
Do you ever notice how the horses go for the nice short new baby shoots of grass. They have the most sugar and are the sweetest. recommends that you leave your grass to get so high before letting the horses on it. I can't remember how high ( shame on me) .

Mowing your grass really short when it is soo green is the worst thing you can do. I noticed this week here in Ohio that our grass suddenly greened up. Scares me every year.

They have been in the pasture since last August and all through the winter but I was supplementing with hay and 1 cup of Lite Balance twice a day in the winter. They have been in the pasture every day while the grasses were growing but now they get NO hay and only give 1/2 cup of grain at night to bring them in. Since they have always been there do you think they worked up to the grasses slow enough to handle it now?

Also, do you think it is OK to feed only grass in the spring and summer? Are they getting enough nutrients?

Also, could someone tell me what to look for in founder? What are the signs?

Thank you very much!
There is a good thread on founder on the 'Best of" forum and you can do a google search for Laminitis or founder and learn a great deal that way. One of the obvious signs is pain. The horse doesn't want to put weight on its feet and stands stretched out and tips back on its heals. Walking is painful and the horse will take tiny mincing steps when they walk. The problem is by the time you see the symptoms your horse has probably already done some permanent damage. Your horses have probably adjusted to the green grass (hard to know for sure) but all day on pasture is still going to make them dangerously fat on spring grass (and all year for many) I continue to limit grazing time all year for my miniatures. As far as nutritional quality it will depend on the local conditions where you are and how heavily grazed the pasure is. A horse can be fat and still lacking in certain things. I always feed a good vitamin/mineral mix along with salt to ensure they are covered.
An easy way to limit spring grass intake is a grazing muzzle. Not all of the comercial ones are really any good on Minis but one that seems to work well on all size horses, is the home made one shown on the "grazing muzzle" link at <>

Take a peek! I have been using them for years.

Latest posts