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Author: Subject: Advice regarding grass
Chrissy Pritchard
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[*] posted on 28-4-2018 at 01:32 PM
Advice regarding grass


My ponies have been on an extremely poor field all winter and there was no grass left at all. They are thinner than I have ever known them coming out of winter - particuarly Dan who is getting on a bit now. Today I moved them to their other field (which they grazed all last summer) as the grass is beginning to grow there. I am now worried that they will eat too much and get laminitis. They both could do with putting on a bit of weight - am I still right to be on 'laminitis watch'? I have never been in this situation before and don't really know how to play it. I would welcome advice.
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[*] posted on 28-4-2018 at 08:02 PM


Cara's field didn't have much grass and was very wet and muddy during the Winter. Our horses (there are 4 or 5 together) stay on the same field all the time. It is old grazing, with lots of natural weeds in there, mature hedges, it is ridge and furrow, but on sandy soil, never been fertilised. We poo pick religiously and it will dry quite quickly which is helpful. The grass does come suddenly but never gets high at all as they are constantly eating. I think you stand much more chance of them not getting laminitus if they are lean coming out of the winter which is as they should be. I know its not helpful, but it is a monitoring game. I am still giving Cara a small feed of her lucie nuts, chaff and balancers as I like to keep some roughage in and I'm starting to get riding to help with the muscling up. It has been a slow growing season this year, the farmers reckon they are a month behind. I suppose it depends on how big your new field is and how much the grass has grown already. If they are a little herd they do mooch about a lot, then have a bit of a stir up now and then and have a whizz around, its much better than having them on small strips etc. I'm trying not to worry about Cara as she got her spasmodic colic when we had a flush of grass in October, who would think that. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason sometimes.:bighug:
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barnowl
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 06:02 AM


The grass in our field has shot away. Little one is in the whole stable block as is very likely to be overcome again and Barney is on his track system or in the arena. A lot is said about changing them over from poor to lush as it alters their gut. I also give mine hay all year too. Don't think all these changes in temperatures are doing any good either.
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Chrissy Pritchard
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 07:30 AM


Oh dear - isn't keeping ponies complicated? I guess I will just have to keep a very close eye on them.
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 08:05 AM


So much for low maintenance highlands !
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 08:53 AM


unfortunately this spring Thyme is unable to go in the small unfertilised field as the fence had a small gap that had been behind brambles but YOs stallion feed bins were the other side of the fence. Thyme obviously could smell it and worked her way through the brambles, she would not trash a fence but decided a Highland can fit through a foot gap and she did. basic repairs a couple if times but no use so put back in her big field. Our lawn is racing away so a bit worried, neck is a bit bigger but no difference to her body so hopefully OK. My friend and instructor are both riding her and she is quite forward, I cant get to see her a great deal and probably July before I can ride again.
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 03:39 PM


It is said that stressed grass is the most dangerous as it contains higher sugars so the heavily grazed paddocks may 'look' safer but, for the susceptible individual, may not be.

Although I have a lot of clay, my ground dries quicker and the grass comes seemingly overnight. I split the main paddock (which they've been on for the winter) into three very small paddocks and move them around over a 48 hour period so they are working for every bit they get. The other paddock has shot away quite alarmingly - it was grazed during the winter but not as hard as it is away from the shelters - so I've not risked it and made the decision to save it for hay rather than grazing.

This year has already started differently as, aside from being a month behind with the weather, I only have two rather than four on the same grazing. IP works hard and Mac is growing but I watch them daily and make changes the minute I get an inkling they are getting too much. IP is a very good doer and it is only work that keeps the weight off for her - I've tried restricting her access to grazing and nothing makes a difference as far as calorie burn other than work.

We swop wet/cold/mud anxiety for grass/fat/flies - sometimes I'm not sure which is worse:heh hee::heh hee::heh hee:
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[*] posted on 29-4-2018 at 09:13 PM


This is the first time Maddy has been kept in over the winter so I am phasing her return to grass - not so much lami risk (although it is always at the back of my mind) but colic. She has come out of the winter pretty lean but I am sure it won't take long to get the weight back. I am continuing to give her a hay and haylage mix overnight but if the weather picks up she will be out 24/7 later this week. Humph is looking very thin but I am hoping that he will pick up now the grass is in.



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[*] posted on 3-5-2018 at 07:42 AM


It is a nightmare. The grass has grown so quickly with the raian and the bit of sun we have had. My Dartmoors are out for three hours a day and have hay and a bit of HiFi Light mixed in to a wettish mash with sugar beet to get their laminitis supplement in to them. Sugar Beet (speedi beet or any sugar beet) is very valuable in the promotion of hind gut activitiy which is essential in the prevention of laminitis. Don't be confused that fat ponies are the only ones to get laminitis. Laminitis is a response to any dramatic change. Thin horses and ponies can get laminitis too. There is a very good website called Talk About Laminitis.



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[*] posted on 10-5-2018 at 08:42 PM


Spring is an anxious time for me as Meg is prone to laminitis. I'm giving her D&H lamifree this year (in addition to the usual restrictions). Poor Meg has to gaze out of her (almost grass free) paddock to beautiful lush fields full of her friends who don't get laminitis - I do feel sorry for her!
First time for me, posting on the forum. I'll try not to get anything wrong!
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[*] posted on 10-5-2018 at 10:07 PM


indeed it is a worrying time, my two are out in a fairly bare area, electric
fence has been up for a while now, but do use a lot of hay, little and often
during the day. once the lambs are bigger they and their mums can go in that
field and wander into the ponies area, but my naughty exmoor can't be trusted
with lambs and chases them. once the ewes are in that field it is a relief as they
love grazing on the very short/bare grass, much to Floras disgust! and I feel
take all the goodness out of the grass.

Welcome to Ruthy
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[*] posted on 11-5-2018 at 06:17 AM


Welcome Ruthy :hi:
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[*] posted on 11-5-2018 at 07:49 PM


Welcome Ruthy and hope Meg remains laminitis free. such a worry
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