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Grazing Anyone really know and somebody please hold my hand

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  • Grazing Anyone really know and somebody please hold my hand

    I've had threads before about problems with my mare. Raggedy feet, way too fat.

    She is an excellent weight now and her feet are beautiful.
    What we did was take her off all grain, she gets a couple of cups of beet pulp and a cup of timothy pellets twice a day.

    We took her off of all grass, poor thing, and put her on the CA trace mineral.

    Now that all is well in her and my world I really would like for her to be able to have a couple of hours of pasture a day. What I'm thinking is to have her continue to live in the dry lot and instead of the five to seven lb. of hay she gets in the morning let her out on pasture for a couple of hours.

    After two hours bring her in and give her the beet pulp with her minerals. No hay. That evening give her her second bucket plus her night time hay

    I think I understand about stressed grass and I would not put her out if that happened, which it could this summer if we have no rain.

    Does this sound safe?? I do...not...want...to have to deal with raggedy feet and blubber horses again.

    We have a wide mix of grasses in the pasture I want to use. Common burmuda, mostly native grasses, some fescue and some clover. They will go straight to the clover but it will be eaten down very very short quickly.

    I would, of course work them up to two hours. I've started by hand grazing for only fifteen min. a day.

    What say you?

    Guess I need to add this mare is fourteen hand very easy keeper.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

  • #2
    Is there any reason why she cant wear a muzzle and go out longer? My 14 hand easy keeper mare wears a muzzle 24/7. Now that you got her to a healthy weight, I wonder if you could do the muzzle thing and turn her out more, eliminating the hay, the BP, and the pellets all together. Or, maybe you could turn her out 8 or so hours with muzzle and then keep her up the rest of the time.

    Comment


    • #3
      I hate for a horse to have to wear a muzzle ( mine would not keep hers on) but if your mare will tolerate it and can/ will eat & drink with it on I would try that first.

      If she is at a good weight now, you can try to put her out on grass for a few hours instead of feeding hay and you will be able to tell if you need to reduce ( or increase) her time on grass pretty quickly.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by ActNatural View Post
        Is there any reason why she cant wear a muzzle and go out longer? My 14 hand easy keeper mare wears a muzzle 24/7. Now that you got her to a healthy weight, I wonder if you could do the muzzle thing and turn her out more, eliminating the hay, the BP, and the pellets all together. Or, maybe you could turn her out 8 or so hours with muzzle and then keep her up the rest of the time.
        Even though I hate the idea of a muzzle I would do that if I thought she wouldn't keep on and on until she'd either torn it up and or gotten everything off.
        She loves fly masks but will not wear one with a nose flap so I'm pretty sure she wouldn't go for a muzzle.

        Good thinking though. Thanks.
        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

        Comment


        • #5
          Probably BEING FAT was more of a problem than what she was eating. I'd muzzle her and let her have some grass time if you can, and watch her weight carefully.

          No horse LIKES wearing a muzzle. Tough noogies. Strap it on so it won't come off and walk away. No horse will die of being offended, but plenty of them do from laminitis.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            No horse LIKES wearing a muzzle. Tough noogies. Strap it on so it won't come off and walk away. No horse will die of being offended, but plenty of them do from laminitis.
            That is easy for the ones who will tolerate it. My mare became impossible to catch to put the muzzle back on after she had worn it a short time.If I approached her with any type of object in my hand she was gone.( this horse comes when called 100% of the time). For her it was easier to dry lot her most of the time and allow her several hours of grazing a day. This is something the OP will have to try to know what category her mare may fall into.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by candyappy View Post
              I hate for a horse to have to wear a muzzle ( mine would not keep hers on) but if your mare will tolerate it and can/ will eat & drink with it on I would try that first.

              If she is at a good weight now, you can try to put her out on grass for a few hours instead of feeding hay and you will be able to tell if you need to reduce ( or increase) her time on grass pretty quickly.
              The weight would be the easy part. I'm really more afraid of it doing a number on her feet. Before she had crumbling, cracking AWFUL feet. Now she has rock crunching bare feet....I love it.
              I think I would cry like a baby if I messed that up.

              But maybe if I made sure she got very few sugars/starchs from anywhere else....
              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have an older pony who lives in the muzzle. Whatever frustration it causes her is better than obesity and laminitis. Besides, it gives her wily pony brain something to ponder all day long -- how to fit the maximum number of hay strands and grass through the small hole on the muzzle. No, she doesn't like it -- but what she likes is not good for her so tough cookies. She is certainly not miserable in any way.

                Don't put it on in a field, put it on in a confined area like a stall. Of course they are going to run away in the field, no horse would *rather* wear a muzzle than not....but I do think my pony would much rather be with her horse friends all day than get stuck in a dry lot by herself.

                Mine is such an efficient eater than a couple hours on grass would make her a blimp. I also remember a study a couple of years ago that showed horses can get a day's supply of grass in a few hours...can't find the link but it pushed me toward muzzles instead of "restricted" grazing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                  No horse LIKES wearing a muzzle. Tough noogies. Strap it on so it won't come off and walk away. No horse will die of being offended, but plenty of them do from laminitis.
                  This.
                  Lots of us do not like doing what is best, but we do it anyway, because it is the right thing to do.

                  My horse hates his muzzle but easily lets me put it on him because there is frequently a treat in the bottom when I approach him with the muzzle. Some days one baby carrot, some days a few pieces of hay stretcher pellets (scooped out of his dinner ration ), etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My mare became impossible to catch to put the muzzle back on after she had worn it a short time
                    Evidence that humans are not difficult to train.

                    My pony comes trotting to have her muzzle put on because she knows it means she's going out to grass and that's the ONLY way it's going to happen.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can't help but agree with those that hate using muzzles. However , even more than that I hate the word laminitis. So the muzzles go on.

                      And they are inspected regularly. I have a hole widening expert. I have found that when they fit close, they rub less. Sometimes you need to add the fuzzies to get that tighter fit. For some it is a way of life, for others, it is about to be a way of life.
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll comment on the feet... because I've been there. The morning dew on the grass caused a midwall fungus to make my gelding's feet fall apart. The key was keeping him off the grass if there was any excess moisture on it. I also started treating his feet with "the right step" made by the same people as farriers formula and it's helped his feet alot.

                        I'm considering a grazing muzzle for my gelding as he will be going out in the big pasture with lots of pretty grass once we get the new fence done.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Y'all NEVER say what I want y'all to say. You were supposed to all say "great. PJ,
                          sounds as if that would work fine."

                          Instead most came up with the M word.

                          Guess I'll go on line and look at muzzles. She wears cobb size halters I guess she would need a cobb size muzzle?
                          You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I went back & found her old photos from last year (hint hint ) - did you & your vet ever discuss possible metabolic issues with her, e.g. Insulin Resistance or Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy etc?

                            There's not a lot of info in the thread I found, so I'm just tossing out possibilities here, NOT probabilities!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by alto View Post
                              I went back & found her old photos from last year (hint hint ) - did you & your vet ever discuss possible metabolic issues with her, e.g. Insulin Resistance or Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy etc?

                              There's not a lot of info in the thread I found, so I'm just tossing out possibilities here, NOT probabilities!
                              My vet doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with her.

                              I ended up taking her back to Auburn to see a hoof specialist who is the one who had me to put her on the CA Trace, and told me to continue with the no grain.
                              She said the feet were not as bad as I felt they were. Said that the way I talked she expected to see something really horrible and they weren't. (Looked horrible to me.) We were trimming her every two to three weeks and she had me stop doing that, too. Guess she knows her stuff because there is all the differene in the world with this mares feet now. I don't even have to use her boots now when we trail on rocky trails and no cracks or crumbling!

                              LOLLOL I will try to get you a picture of her this afternoon if you will excuse the mud she is likely to have on her.
                              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by deltawave View Post

                                No horse LIKES wearing a muzzle. Tough noogies. Strap it on so it won't come off and walk away. No horse will die of being offended, but plenty of them do from laminitis.
                                Easier said than done. I've dealt with several that can get any muzzle off, regardless of how loose or tight or whether you have a halter over the top or use one of the ones with the extra straps over the front. They can all be pulled off over the front, even if they are cranked so tight that the horse's poll is dented in and the muzzle is tight against their nose (which is NOT how they're supposed to fit).
                                As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Interesting. With a dog, you'd just use a clicker and train them to tolerate the muzzle by just holding it in your hand while they touched it, then work up to putting it on in stages, so that it's always Happy Muzzle Time. (Using treats of course, and you have to understand how to clicker train but I won't go into that here.)

                                  I'm sure that could be done with a horse, the question would be, would the horse pull it off in pasture. I guess I think if you worked on it in the dry lot, just working up to longer times, the horse would learn to tolerate the feel of it, and continue to associate it with good things.

                                  Just speculation, never tried it. The other thing about inducing toleration for unpleasant things, associate them with a sound, and then give the animal control over the sound. There was a great study about this, just recently, but I can't remember where! Sorry.
                                  Ring the bells that still can ring
                                  Forget your perfect offering
                                  There is a crack in everything
                                  That's how the light gets in.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    They can all be pulled off over the front, even if they are cranked so tight that the horse's poll is dented in and the muzzle is tight against their nose (which is NOT how they're supposed to fit).
                                    Not if you implement a cribbing strap as part of the apparatus. Saved me from the clever Shetland's machinations--she now CAN NOT get it off, and I've even been able to loosen the muzzle/halter apparatus slightly from around her face. I fasten an old stirrup leather to the crown piece and tape it in place, then buckle it around her neck just like a cribbing strap--no more pulling it off over her face! Her rolling and rubbing her head on the ground will occasionally free one ear, but the muzzle stays on.
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Nadie a slimmer girl




                                      There you go.
                                      Notice no fat pads, ribs can be felt with the slightest pressure.
                                      Crest is not hard at all.
                                      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If the muzzle is a 'fail' per horsey, then either turn her out only short time where the grass is, and/or increase her exercise to offset the grass. The 'metabolic easy keepers' are most at risk if they eat too much and do not exercise. You may be able to tweak her exercise enough to make her able to utilize the extra calories from grazing rather than store them as fat.
                                        Jeanie
                                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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