Grass Help

Gift Horse

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This is my first thread thanks for reading
:)
I have always grazed horses in a herd on relatively large well grazed paddocks so they have to walk quite a distance for their forage.
I am at livery at the moment so I can't manage the turnout as I would like.
My horse is out 24/7, I ride 4 times a week hacking twice and schooling or jumping on the other two days. Horse is a 16.2 Warmblood x Tb and his weight is just right.
The yard owner wants to move the horses on to a paddock that she wants "eating off"
It's about 2 acres and knee high, it's permanent pasture and has a good mix of grass and plants, there is plenty of Timothy which has already gone to seed. The paddock will be sub-divided into 3 paddocks with 2 or 3 horses in each paddock. My concern is the quantity of long grass. I can strip graze it but even so the horse will be on a small area with plenty of grass and will not be walking around much. This is the opposite to what I'm used to.
Stabling for part of the day is not an option.
Do any of you graze your horses like this?
 

LittleGinger

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It's about 2 acres
The paddock will be sub-divided into 3 paddocks with 2 or 3 horses in each paddock.

That's a lot of horses on a very small area - how long is it for? Is it just to eat the grass down? My thinking would be that 6-9 horses on two acres means the long grass won't last for long at all - I don't even think you'd get a fortnight out of it as ours grazed down a paddock that was over an acre within 2-3 weeks, and the grass was above knee height. There is goodness in long grass, of course, and he could well balloon initially on the new paddock, but long meadow type grass isn't as harmful as short, lush grass from a laminitis perspective.


Muzzling is an option, although it's more difficult for them to eat long grass through a muzzle so could lead to frustration/gorging when it's removed. Would work short-term until you have a barer area though which I don't think would be long, but I'd want to know mine were eating enough plus I know G would be furious at being muzzled, so I'd be bringing in to hay or grazing in hand as well - I know the former isn't an option for you, but what about the latter?

Can you fence a smaller section off within your 2/3 of an acre, and then move the fence a little each day? I know it's hassle and initially he would be on a very small area (but it would still be bigger than a stable).

What about upping his workload, even if just short-term?
 

Gift Horse

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Thank you for your replies.
I have never had to use a muzzle so I have no experience of that option but its a good suggestion I will have a look at them.
Yes it's short term to eat it off. I think 2-3 weeks and they will be moving again or 2 will stay on the eaten off paddock and the others will move.
I think riding more is the answer it will be difficult to fit in but short term I will manage.
 

9tails

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That sort of space won't last long at all with 6-9 horses on it! I personally wouldn't be at all concerned, long grass is essentially standing hay.
 

Gift Horse

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9tails thank you. You have really helped put my mind at rest. My rational side thought this. I have had horses on a long grass crop before but always in winter and it never worried me.
I was looking for opinions because it's spring/summer and I have read so much recently from people who keep their horses grass intake to an absolute minimum at this time of year. I check pulses daily and ride regularly so hopefully I would pick up on a problem.
 
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