I recently bought a horse and am keeping him on pasture board. I will of course be checking on him every day, as well as the barn workers. I have bought him several blankets and bell boots. There is a washer and dryer for me to use to keep his blankets in good condition. I will be bringing him in about 6 days a week to groom him and of course ride. Does anyone have suggestions about keeping a pasture horse well maintained? Are there certain supplements you would suggest for a pasture-kept horse?
I had my two competition horses on pasture board when I lived in TX.
Barn owner fed grain and hay twice a day, plus the pasture was on grass.
They had blankets, farrier and vet attention, and were kept in regular work the same as they are now on stall board (with regular turnout) in NY.
I actually have to do less when my horses are out on pasture board. Herself's gut seems MUCH happier when she has grass/hay available all day, so I take her out off the probiotics. Same with the joint supplements since she's out moving all day.
I much prefer pasture board to stall board for just about any horse, as long as they have adequate shelter from the elements and safe fencing.
My one other suggestion would be to make sure to check your blankets for water proofing on the regular. I'm not sure where you are located, but I think that the rain/wind combo can sometimes be more miserable than snow.... don't want anybody getting wet underneath their blankets!
Last edited by Superminion; Mar. 11, 2013 at 05:49 PM.
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This isn't an issue now, but come spring you might want to think about putting a grazing muzzle on him for all/part of the day if he has access to lush grass. You might also want to cut back on his grain if he's eating all day, but this is something you'll have to play with yourself.
My two live at home with me, but theyre out 24/7 (didnt even go in when we got 13 inches of snow last week!)
Mine get hay 2-3 times a day. Other than that, they have fresh water. Since I have left over smartpaks from last year, I feed them as a treat occasionally by hand. Of course they also get regular farrier/vet. But thats it! I think theyre much healthier being out, especially my retired gelding who has arthritis.
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
And to answer the original question, I do less now that she is in pasture. What I really like is after a cross-country run, she goes right back out to a huge pasture where she can keep moving as opposed to being cooped up and me worrying about her legs.
My TB mare has lived on pasture board for over 10 years. She is blanketed, gets hay and grain(with supplements) 2x per day. In the summer no hay as the pasture has great grass. She is getting older(19 this year) so I do pay attention to her weight and give her beet pulp and alfalfa forage in the winter when I am grooming her. She is much happier living out. For supplements, my mare gets one for joints, mineral salt, and Moody Mare type herbal. In the summer she also gets a Bug off garlic supplement.
My guy is out in the field 24/7. I actually prefer it to when he was stalled part of the day at his old barn (mostly because he makes a mess in his stall, LOL) and I'm sure he does too. He certainly likes the opportunity to roll whenever he feels like it.
He's basically got a shelter, water, and they get fed in the morning and night and looked over by the BO when that happens. I got out a few times a week to groom and ride him and that's about it (plus vet, farrier, etc). Don't do anything extra, don't even blanket him (we're in Georgia, though). Of course, we're also not showing or really have aspirations for such beyond like...schooling shows so take with a grain of salt if you do?
Oh yeah, I did make sure to keep him on anihist during the summer and slathered in fly spray and swat on a couple of his itchy spots, but that's mostly because when we moved here, the gnats really bothered him and I think that would happen whether he's inside or outside (he didn't have any issues when we were in Maryland).