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  1. #1

    Default Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Hi everyone!

    We are due to move our three horses from Kent to Hampshire in a couple of weeks. They will be going from private yard to private yard. All are very good doers (Cobs and Andalucians), and are already verging on overweight. Their current fields are fairly poor quality, with mostly brown, very short grass - although they have been well looked after and regularly fertilised. They will be moving to 9 acres of lush, long grass that has been grazed by a few sheep for the last 20+ years. There are no stables at the new place (yet) so they'll have to live out 24/7 from Day 1. We have electric fencing and access to one 14x14 field shelter. They are all happy to live either together or separately. If they are put into a tiny field, the youngster will break through the electric fencing.

    So the question is... what is the best thing to do to minimise the risk of causing problems - in the short term colic (shock to the digestive system from a dramatic change) and the longer term weight/laminitis? None of the horses have a history of either colic or lami, but we've always closely controlled their diets and tried hard to keen their weight down (difficult, as they're VERY good doers!)

    Do any of you have any good ideas to help?

  2. #2
    Veteran asmp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Grass muzzles? Or small area fenced off with high electric fence posts and lots of strands with a powerful energiser. Then strip graze.

    Ours are good doers and strip grazing is the best way for them. We have mains electric fencing which give them a good poke though.

  3. #3
    Old nag MiJodsR2BlinkinTite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Buy LOTS of leccy fencing; I'd be inclined to play safe and buy TWO energisers and always keep a spare battery handy (that is if you're going for battery fencing rather than mains). Also invest in a current-testing device - well worth while and the most useful item you'll ever buy (tip, don't leave them around at yards coz they'll walk!!!) My great guzzle of a cob has psychic knowledge for when the battery's beginning to run down and he can get his great greedy head underneath and then whoosh, he'll take a suicide dive and he's under.......... bleddi thing I set-up mains here after a few incidents like that. Much better, and much more economic to run IME. And you don't have to worry about whether the battery's flat or not.

    Research doing a "track" system of grazing; I had thought of it for my lot. A lot of people swear by it. Might be worth looking into??

    You will have to be firm re. the grazing!
    A woman is always right; even if she happens to change her opinion

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Thank you - I think my coblet has that psychic knowledge too! He certainly has lots of spirit - he has even broken through into a field of LESS grass just because he was... bored?! Trying to annoy us?! Who knows!

    I'm thinking of setting up two small pens with tall electric fence posts, plus the field shelter. That way we can put naughty coblet into the shelter and the two well behaved ones in the pens with lots of hay (and the electric on) for a few hours a day as pseudo stables. So they won't be able to gorge for quite so long each day. Then turn them all out into a relatively small field for the rest of the time until they eat it down, then begin strip grazing.

    In the short term I think we'll need to use an energiser and car battery, but we have a mains box we can set up after a day or two, when everything's sorted and the unpacking has calmed down.

    I do love the idea of a track system - will do some research. The field is on a slight hill too, so there must be advantages in encouraging them to walk up and down. My old boy is due to move in a few weeks later and has arthritis, it would help him too. I'll look into it

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    You could also feed a good quality probiotic supplement if you don't already, to help support their digestive systems during the transition.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Ooh I hadn't considered a probiotic, good idea - do you have any recommendations?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    I would go for protexin personally, but you could have a chat with your vet. It would be more expensive buying through them but seeing as its a one off and it would be recommended specifically for your types of horses I think it would be worth it. For me anything which reduces the risk of colic would be worth it.

  8. #8
    Get on with it.
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Help! Moving Good Doers to Lush Pasture - Colic/Laminitis

    Weeellllll......... recently there has been a study that is going against the grain about long pasture vs short stressed grass.

    It is showing that mature grass has more indigestible fibre and less sugar than short overgrazed stressed grass. I tried this theory out this year and none of my fatties have had laminitis this year. I've left the grass to go to seed and put them on that. They obviously eat more in bulk but what they are eating is fibre, not sugar. I guess this is why hay is safe for laminitis because it is long fibrous low sugar grass vs the short stuff we are all led to believe laminitis should be grazing on.

    There's an interesting video on forage plus website recently may be worth watching.
    Love a lot, trust a few, but always paddle your own canoe...



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