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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012

    Default Pasture length and ulcer prevention

    I have always wonder at what length of grass does pasture have to be to prevent ulcers? I know that horses produce saliva only when they chew but if the grass is just nibble length, do they still produce enough saliva to help ward off ulcers and keep the ph at a reasonable level? And does the length of grass still give enough buffering effect?

    Anyone want to propose a study on this? Lol

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Round Hill, VA


    Hardly an expert, but I would say that a little longer is better...not for the salivation, but more because horses like the short nibbly bits because they are the sweetest (why they over graze some sections). Since high sugar can cause as issue, not allowing a field to get down to nibble length is probably better for an ulcer prone horse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    I would think that nibble length would be hard on your grass to the point where it would be too gone to be an ulcer aid. So I wouldn't overmow, or overgraze it.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Middle Tennessee


    I think it's six of one, half dozen of another. Sure, longer-stemmed pasture would be better... to a point. Too long and lush and you run the risk of obesity and throwing off the pH in the hindgut. And ulcer formation isn't just limited to decreased saliva production...

    Continuous grazing on any length of grass is going to be better for the stomach than inhaling the entire hay ration quickly.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    West Coast of Michigan


    Sugar does not cause ulcers, at least not directly. I'd think that as long as they're munching, they're producing saliva. Which is really only one of many factors that keeps the gut healthy. I can't let 2 of my 3 horses have access to all the grass they want or I'd be worrying about laminitis, not ulcers. In spite of rarely, if ever, getting to graze on lush pasture non-stop, neither of these horses has ever had anything even remotely suggesting an ulcer issue.

    I'd put the length of the grass fairly far down on page 4 or 5 of my "things to worry about" list.
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