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Old 08-22-2010, 11:39 AM  
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Hay to pasture transition

Just brought home a 16 yr old quarter horse. There was no pasture were she came from. I let her out to look around for about an hour. My plan is to let her out for about 3 hours this evening then put her in for the night. Put her back out in the morning for the day. Is this too fast of a transition for her. I don't want to end up with a sick horse.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:48 AM  
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Sorry no one responded to your post. I did not see it. As far as transitioning, you are going pretty fast in my book, especially if the grass is at all lush.

Spring is worse, but I would only let your mare out perhaps 1/2 an hour at night, another 1/2 hour the next day, with hay in between. The next day 40 minutes, etc. Again, it depends on how lush the grass.

I hope your mare did not suffer any ill effects if you did what you posted.

In the spring, I go even slower with mine - 15 minutes the first day, 25 minutes the next, and take about a week to letting them be totally on grass, and then not 24/7, as I have plentiful pasture and easy keepers (Morgan and Haflingers).
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:07 AM  
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You're going very fast if your grass is at all lush. I'm not quite as conservative as singingtree, but increasing by one hour a day is what I do when moving a horse onto pasture from hay only. Keep feeding the hay when she's in, so she's still getting plenty of fiber, and her gut bacteria are still getting what they're used to digesting.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:39 AM  
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Too fast in my book also. I've given my horses a month to transition onto the grass. Granted my grass is very lush, but they were also on pasture before. Since your new horse has not been on any pasture before, I would start very slowly. You could risk colic or founder if you do it too fast, so why take the risk?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:51 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky88 View Post
Just brought home a 16 yr old quarter horse.
There was no pasture were she came from.
I let her out to look around for about an hour.
My plan is to let her out for about 3 hours this evening then put her in for the night.
Put her back out in the morning for the day. I
s this too fast of a transition for her.
I don't want to end up with a sick horse.
I would transition her over to pasture over a period of a few weeks to a month.
I would work in increments of an hour or 2, the first few days,
then 3 hours to 1/2 day for a few days,
then 1/2 day for a period of a week, then a little longer, etc., etc.
I would be keeping her up, or at least in a smaller paddock with plenty of hay to help her make the transition as well.
As others have already said,.., especially if the grass is lush.
Spring pasture AND Fall pasture can be equally as lush.
Short, eaten down, grass can be potenent as it is usually very high in sugar content also.

You could invest in a grazing muzzle for her, as you introduce her to pasture.
Then she could be out with the herd, moving around some, but not over eating

I would definitely be keeping her up in for 1/2 of a 24 period, AFTER the weeks of transitioning to a 10-12 hour day on grass.

Good luck.
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