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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:40:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
Our horse is running around on a nice green pasture, still. That's good! I have heard that I need to feed grain daily year around. Now I'm wondering how the wild horses managed to eat grain daily while out foraging?? I can see feeding some suplemental feed/grain in the winter while feeding last summers dried grass (hay to y'all), but I really can't see feeding grain during good grass pastures.

What's the concensus on this one?

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!

Budman
Advanced Rider



USA
230 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:35:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Budman's Homepage Send Budman a Private Message
Willie has been staying on pasture most of the time for the past year, normally he gets grain only when we have to suppliment with hay - winter, especially when there is snow. He doesn't have any trouble keeping weight on at other times, actually he gained more weight just in the pasture than in a stall with hay and grain.

No expert here, just observation.

Bud
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Budman
Advanced Rider



USA
230 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:35:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Budman's Homepage Send Budman a Private Message
Willie has been staying on pasture most of the time for the past year, normally he gets grain only when we have to suppliment with hay - winter, especially when there is snow. He doesn't have any trouble keeping weight on at other times, actually he gained more weight just in the pasture than in a stall with hay and grain.

No expert here, just observation.

Bud
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CassMJJ
Beginning Rider



146 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:58:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit CassMJJ's Homepage Send CassMJJ a Private Message
Does your horse do well just on pasture or does he lose weight? but I would suggest a multi vitamin/mineral suppliment like Millineum Gold, but it's up to you.

I know if I had my horse on just pasture he would be skin and bones but he has a typical thoroughbred appetite.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-The more people I meet the more I love my horse...aint that the truth
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a359/Cassie_/DRESSAGE/16faf454.jpg

Edited by - CassMJJ on 10/30/2005 12:19:08 AM
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CassMJJ
Beginning Rider



146 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:58:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit CassMJJ's Homepage Send CassMJJ a Private Message
Does your horse do well just on pasture or does he lose weight? but I would suggest a multi vitamin/mineral suppliment like Millineum Gold, but it's up to you.

I know if I had my horse on just pasture he would be skin and bones but he has a typical thoroughbred appetite.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-The more people I meet the more I love my horse...aint that the truth
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a359/Cassie_/DRESSAGE/16faf454.jpg

Edited by - CassMJJ on 10/30/2005 12:19:08 AM
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Saddletramp
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2546 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  08:45:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Saddletramp's Homepage Send Saddletramp a Private Message
My old guy can't eat enough hay to keep weight on, so he gets a grain ration twice a day. My mare can gain weight by just LOOKING at hay....so she gets hay, with a handful of grain pellets in the evening to add her supplement to, and to entice her to come up to the barn. They get as much turn out as I dare. I have lush green grass pastures that are too lush for my liking. I risk foundering the old guy if he is on it too long, and I risk extra unnecessary weight gain on my mare. They both get limited turn out. When the grass is dormant this winter, I will toss bales of hay out, scattering it, so that they have to move around which will simulate grazing.

Different horses, with different work, and different metabolisms will require various diets. What works for me and mine may not work for anyone else on this forum. Volumes upon volumes of books and articles have been written about equine nutrition. And for every horseperson, there will be different opinions.

My own two cents:

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

and

"Over-supplementing results in expensive urine." (Keep in mind that over-use of some supplements can be toxic.)



-Saddletramp

"She never moved the stars from their courses,
but she loved a good man and she rode good horses"
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Saddletramp
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2546 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  08:45:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Saddletramp's Homepage Send Saddletramp a Private Message
My old guy can't eat enough hay to keep weight on, so he gets a grain ration twice a day. My mare can gain weight by just LOOKING at hay....so she gets hay, with a handful of grain pellets in the evening to add her supplement to, and to entice her to come up to the barn. They get as much turn out as I dare. I have lush green grass pastures that are too lush for my liking. I risk foundering the old guy if he is on it too long, and I risk extra unnecessary weight gain on my mare. They both get limited turn out. When the grass is dormant this winter, I will toss bales of hay out, scattering it, so that they have to move around which will simulate grazing.

Different horses, with different work, and different metabolisms will require various diets. What works for me and mine may not work for anyone else on this forum. Volumes upon volumes of books and articles have been written about equine nutrition. And for every horseperson, there will be different opinions.

My own two cents:

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

and

"Over-supplementing results in expensive urine." (Keep in mind that over-use of some supplements can be toxic.)



-Saddletramp

"She never moved the stars from their courses,
but she loved a good man and she rode good horses"
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  6:48:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
My preference is a muli-vitamin mineral supplement (ration balanacer) such as TDI 10 at the recommended weight and add oats only if needed to maintain weight. Normally a horse on good grass should not need grain. We only add oats to the older ones to help maintain wieght, the younger ones who are still growing and the mares who are growing babies.

Ed

"How Tyme Flys"
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  6:48:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
My preference is a muli-vitamin mineral supplement (ration balanacer) such as TDI 10 at the recommended weight and add oats only if needed to maintain weight. Normally a horse on good grass should not need grain. We only add oats to the older ones to help maintain wieght, the younger ones who are still growing and the mares who are growing babies.

Ed

"How Tyme Flys"
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  9:01:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
Promise is doing fine on our grass. Remember, it was our lawn a few months ago, and now it is her pasture. (we have a BIG lawn)LOL Her weight seems to remain constant, and she doesn't seem to have issues with this green grass. I's getting a lot shorter now, and I'm surprised at how well she 'manacures' the lawn. One advantage she has is open air and plenty of room to exercise, run, frolic and chase the chickes.. My wife says it is the funniest thing!! Her "pen" is some 250 feet wide by about 800 feet long, and I'm getting ready to increase that in the back portion and open up some new grazine area AND then some more free stretch running room. Our total place is around 1350 feet long by 330 feet, but not all of it is for pasture. We are on 10 acres and the East part is mostly trees, brush and the like, where I keep her out of. That area has a lot of wild brambles, with very big thorns on the bull stems I have been cut very deep by those $^&$$@#$ things and spray them with roundup every chance I get. For the most part there is a lot of quack grass and little clover..some but not a lot.

We grained the horses in the winter where I grew up. It was mostly for energy and so on. Hay actually helps fight off cold better than extra grain. BTW stay away from corn. Sure fire way I know to lead to collic sick or dead horses.. just my observation on those that have done so.

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  9:01:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
Promise is doing fine on our grass. Remember, it was our lawn a few months ago, and now it is her pasture. (we have a BIG lawn)LOL Her weight seems to remain constant, and she doesn't seem to have issues with this green grass. I's getting a lot shorter now, and I'm surprised at how well she 'manacures' the lawn. One advantage she has is open air and plenty of room to exercise, run, frolic and chase the chickes.. My wife says it is the funniest thing!! Her "pen" is some 250 feet wide by about 800 feet long, and I'm getting ready to increase that in the back portion and open up some new grazine area AND then some more free stretch running room. Our total place is around 1350 feet long by 330 feet, but not all of it is for pasture. We are on 10 acres and the East part is mostly trees, brush and the like, where I keep her out of. That area has a lot of wild brambles, with very big thorns on the bull stems I have been cut very deep by those $^&$$@#$ things and spray them with roundup every chance I get. For the most part there is a lot of quack grass and little clover..some but not a lot.

We grained the horses in the winter where I grew up. It was mostly for energy and so on. Hay actually helps fight off cold better than extra grain. BTW stay away from corn. Sure fire way I know to lead to collic sick or dead horses.. just my observation on those that have done so.

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  10:22:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
This is just a small sample of the backyard.



That brush and trees behind her is still on our property. The red trees in the far background is still on our property. This is the second time she rode her. First time didn't turn out too good, with a trip to the emergency room.. but that's another story in itself.. needless to say.. notice the helmet?? Hmmm?? *S*

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  10:22:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
This is just a small sample of the backyard.



That brush and trees behind her is still on our property. The red trees in the far background is still on our property. This is the second time she rode her. First time didn't turn out too good, with a trip to the emergency room.. but that's another story in itself.. needless to say.. notice the helmet?? Hmmm?? *S*

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  02:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Depends on the horse, and the pasture. I grain mine year round but I also limit them on the amount of grass they get. I have two miss piggies and they can't handle full time grass. So they get turned out for the night and locked in a dry lot for the day. Grain AM and PM. Right now my Skinny Minny is hurt and on limited ex. for another month and a half and she gets grain and Beet Pulp 3 times a day with all of the hay I can shove into her.

The reason I grain even in the summer is because not all nice green pastures have enough of everything that a horse needs. Kind of like a nice cake. It might look good but it doesn't have everything we need. In the wild horses can pick and choose and even eat herbs that they need. They can graze miles of area in very different spots that offer more then just one area would. Modern horses are not the same as wild horses. For one they have generations of time to get use to living by human standards. You couldn't just toss one of our horses out in the wild and have it live happily like a wild horse. We tend to limit our pastures to just a few grasses, no herbs and very limited areas. So if something is lacking in the pasture the horse can't find another area that has it. They can't pick and choose what they need, they just have to deal with what they got.

There are some things that are very lacking in some areas, by having the horse rely on just the grasses it isn't making it up. Hay is the same thing. I also limit my horses on their hay and grain in the winter even though two of them can happily live on hay alone.

You can just give supplements but there are somethings that supplements can't give you. My skinny minny mare needs a higher protien that my pasture just isn't giving her. A supplement can't make up for that. This mare burns through energy like crazy, it's just the way she is, I wish I had that problem! She just can't live on grass/hay alone even on rest like this.

Many horses do well on just pasture when they aren't asked to do a lot. As long as the horse isn't having a problem then it's not a problem, just remember that they do need salt. But many times if you look closely at these horses they do show some signs of problems. Not all of them but thinking of just 6 horses I know that are feed like this.....over half have skin/hair problems. Atleast 2 have weight problems(but I think that is more a lack of grass, owners don't care). Most have hoof problems, and 1 maybe two have IR. Of course they might not be the norm. For years I didn't grain full time but I have seen better coats, hooves, foals and preformance out of my horses when I do make up for what the pasture/hay isn't giving.

If you are worried about it you can have tests run to see what is in the pasture, what the horse's levels are and then just go from there.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  02:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Depends on the horse, and the pasture. I grain mine year round but I also limit them on the amount of grass they get. I have two miss piggies and they can't handle full time grass. So they get turned out for the night and locked in a dry lot for the day. Grain AM and PM. Right now my Skinny Minny is hurt and on limited ex. for another month and a half and she gets grain and Beet Pulp 3 times a day with all of the hay I can shove into her.

The reason I grain even in the summer is because not all nice green pastures have enough of everything that a horse needs. Kind of like a nice cake. It might look good but it doesn't have everything we need. In the wild horses can pick and choose and even eat herbs that they need. They can graze miles of area in very different spots that offer more then just one area would. Modern horses are not the same as wild horses. For one they have generations of time to get use to living by human standards. You couldn't just toss one of our horses out in the wild and have it live happily like a wild horse. We tend to limit our pastures to just a few grasses, no herbs and very limited areas. So if something is lacking in the pasture the horse can't find another area that has it. They can't pick and choose what they need, they just have to deal with what they got.

There are some things that are very lacking in some areas, by having the horse rely on just the grasses it isn't making it up. Hay is the same thing. I also limit my horses on their hay and grain in the winter even though two of them can happily live on hay alone.

You can just give supplements but there are somethings that supplements can't give you. My skinny minny mare needs a higher protien that my pasture just isn't giving her. A supplement can't make up for that. This mare burns through energy like crazy, it's just the way she is, I wish I had that problem! She just can't live on grass/hay alone even on rest like this.

Many horses do well on just pasture when they aren't asked to do a lot. As long as the horse isn't having a problem then it's not a problem, just remember that they do need salt. But many times if you look closely at these horses they do show some signs of problems. Not all of them but thinking of just 6 horses I know that are feed like this.....over half have skin/hair problems. Atleast 2 have weight problems(but I think that is more a lack of grass, owners don't care). Most have hoof problems, and 1 maybe two have IR. Of course they might not be the norm. For years I didn't grain full time but I have seen better coats, hooves, foals and preformance out of my horses when I do make up for what the pasture/hay isn't giving.

If you are worried about it you can have tests run to see what is in the pasture, what the horse's levels are and then just go from there.
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Mudder
Advanced Rider



296 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  5:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mudder's Homepage Send Mudder a Private Message
If your horse is doing fine on the grass I wouldn't worry about it just yet. Just make sure you have salt and a free choice mineral block available. My boys get no grain when on pasture, but do get free choice salt and mineral. They are both in great shape. I have a hard keeper and an easy one.

Edited by - Mudder on 10/31/2005 5:58:21 PM
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Mudder
Advanced Rider



296 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  5:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mudder's Homepage Send Mudder a Private Message
If your horse is doing fine on the grass I wouldn't worry about it just yet. Just make sure you have salt and a free choice mineral block available. My boys get no grain when on pasture, but do get free choice salt and mineral. They are both in great shape. I have a hard keeper and an easy one.

Edited by - Mudder on 10/31/2005 5:58:21 PM
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missy
Beginning Rider



USA
123 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  01:12:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit missy's Homepage Send missy a Private Message
I don't feed grain when there is still grass. I also have a hard keeper and an easy one. When the grass is gone I give the hard one grain and beet pulp along with hay. The easy one gets a small amount of grain and then some hay. They have salt and mineral block. I have never given supplements although I do think that supplements are needed for some horses.
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missy
Beginning Rider



USA
123 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  01:12:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit missy's Homepage Send missy a Private Message
I don't feed grain when there is still grass. I also have a hard keeper and an easy one. When the grass is gone I give the hard one grain and beet pulp along with hay. The easy one gets a small amount of grain and then some hay. They have salt and mineral block. I have never given supplements although I do think that supplements are needed for some horses.
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  1:19:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Only the "seasonal lawn" which I let them nibble...I'm thinking all the hay weighing I do is easier than pasture keeping!! Not mentally though. Good topic and info...still considering turning a slope into pasture...
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  1:19:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Only the "seasonal lawn" which I let them nibble...I'm thinking all the hay weighing I do is easier than pasture keeping!! Not mentally though. Good topic and info...still considering turning a slope into pasture...
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  6:07:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
Promise is our self-propelled, self-motivated lawn mowing machine! Before her we had such a big yard it was a headache to get mowed. She's on the payroll and does an excellent job.. wondering if I can get her a Social Security Number??? LOL


Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  6:07:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
Promise is our self-propelled, self-motivated lawn mowing machine! Before her we had such a big yard it was a headache to get mowed. She's on the payroll and does an excellent job.. wondering if I can get her a Social Security Number??? LOL


Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and glue.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!
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appygirl
Clinician



USA
3211 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  10:05:00 PM  Show Profile Send appygirl a Private Message
Horses are genetically engineered to be foragers; i.e., grass eaters. Grain is not a necessity for the horse providing they have ample nutritious forage in grasses and hay. Historically, grain was introduced after the horse was domesticated, and it is consumption of grain that actually causes problems with equidae teeth and the need for floating.

I feed a minimal amount of grain during the spring - fall; just a pittance handfull actually to mix in with the supplements to make them a little more palletable. In the winter, I feed just a little more, perhaps half a scoop. I provide lots of good quality hay and continue the supplementation.

Appygirl
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appygirl
Clinician



USA
3211 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  10:05:00 PM  Show Profile Send appygirl a Private Message
Horses are genetically engineered to be foragers; i.e., grass eaters. Grain is not a necessity for the horse providing they have ample nutritious forage in grasses and hay. Historically, grain was introduced after the horse was domesticated, and it is consumption of grain that actually causes problems with equidae teeth and the need for floating.

I feed a minimal amount of grain during the spring - fall; just a pittance handfull actually to mix in with the supplements to make them a little more palletable. In the winter, I feed just a little more, perhaps half a scoop. I provide lots of good quality hay and continue the supplementation.

Appygirl
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Frost
Beginning Rider



USA
115 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2005 :  10:59:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frost's Homepage Send Frost a Private Message
I agree with you appygirl. I belive grains are there for some energy and "extra value" of a source of nutrients from the lacking of dry hay in the winters. I also agree with Stormie, in that I feel it is a grave mistake to make a "pretty" pasture by only planting one species of grass and manicuring it like a golf green. A little of this, a little of that, some dandylions, some quackgrass and brome grass, (althoght NO Downy Brome!!), some assorted clovers of red mixed in and some nice weeds here and there do give the pasture it's value, to the horse, and not necessarily to the looks of the owner.

Grain provides something that is lacking in put up hay used in the winter, mostly protiens and extra carbohydrates. There are some trace minerals, no doubt, but the bigges boost is the carbohydrate. That is why overuse in this department can lead to more harm than good.

Vern

Former Nebraskan... Fix it with bailing wire and a welder.. I Remember when rocks were soft and dirt was new!

Edited by - Frost on 11/02/2005 11:09:20 PM
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