Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grass = Joy!

We had our first bit of true grazing this morning. The horses have been having nibbles of the grass that is sprouting in the dry lots, but this morning the two herds each got a half hour of grass (!!!!), which meant going to a new place (!!!!). We're very careful about introducing them to grass again each spring, and follow the same procedure when a new horse comes. We start with 1/2 hour, then 1 hour, then 1 1/2 hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours, etc. until we're up to 6 hours and then we go full day. Our grass and reseeding are a mix designed to meet the needs of horses that are not in work or that are in relatively moderate work - we don't feed our horses like cows (see Safer Grass for more information on this important topic).

Much excitement ensued - although when they went into the grass pasture, the heads were down immediately and stayed there. The mares got very excited when we moved them back into dry lot - the herd was temporarily divided (!!!!) and perhaps someone was going to get more grass (!!!!). There was a great deal of galloping, running in tiny circles, bucking, spinning and general cavorting - I wish I'd had a video camera. Tomorrow we go for one hour, and I'm sure they'll all be even more delighted.

14 comments:

  1. Grass is definitely like being in heaven for the horses. Ours have been turned out all day for a while now and they are loving it.

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  2. Kate...first of all, I love you new header shot! Wow. We do not have luscious pastures here, but enough grass to make them happy...it can't be over 1 1/2 inches high. I do not wait for it to grow tall and they have been out there since the snow disappeared. That way, it is not too rich for them and I don't have a big transition time.

    It was 86 here today...what was it like at your place?

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  3. How wonderful! green grass! soon for us I hope

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  4. I don't have any lush pasture so the Boys go out to nibble the sprouts. It's amazing how they can focus on the task.

    I love seeing them enjoy the weather though. What a great feeling it must be for them to have both sunshine and grass after the winter. Wonderful!!

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  5. There's nothing like grass. I love to see them actually graze...

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  6. Sounds like a heavenly day for your gang!

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  7. Its wonderful to hear of your horses getting out in the sunshine wih a bit of grass to nibble on. I bet they are simply over the moon getting out

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  8. Happy Grass days of spring! Last year we used the same system you use to introduce the rich stuff, but this year we started letting them out all the time when the snow was still around and they kept the pastures munched down to safe levels.
    I bet you will be laughing and smiling these next few days watching the grass playing antics!

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  9. I bet they were sooo happy. And you are lucky to get a start on grazing now. We lag way behind the rest of the country. Our grass is barely starting to emerge. Misty and Marley won't go out until mid to late June, after we've had one mowing. Our mower guy said some of the grass growing here has hooked barbs that can embed inside the horses mouth and create sores. The barbs get mowed off before the horses go out. In one of his horses, the sore erupted on the outside of the face as the barbs dug through. So we wait...

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  10. Hope it doesn't flush through too quickly, sounds like the whole herd is very happy it's finally spring!

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  11. I really like the the fact that you introduce them to the grass slowly. I think that is something that people forget about when their horse isn't used to being on pasture 24/7

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  12. I am very careful to wean my horses back onto the pasture every spring as well. It grows very lush and think where I live, and a horse could easily founder. It is so much fun to watch them on their first springtime turn out though!!

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  13. Great Writings here and liked that link too..the picture took me aback!

    I have been hand grazing for 30 minutes last week and now an hour..in hopes to turn out the mare in the grassy field soon for the same time, till she becomes accustomed..I was reading about the danger in the fructan levels when it suddenly gets colder..like it has here-70 to 30 overnight!
    I am blessed with her being very high metabolism..the Morgans I board with...dry lot all the way baby..poor things....they really want the grass!
    KK

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  14. I told my horses about your blog post and they're very jealous :o)no true grazing for my EcoLicious ponies yet... :o(

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