How long do I turn the horses out?
We are moving in our own place next year and I will be in charge of turn out. I simply don't know how long to turn them out for. I know how to slowly introduce them to grass in the spring, but I don't want them to founder. My mom wants them to be turned out all hours of daylight once possible, but how do I get them to that point? I know of horses who are turned out 24/7 and haven't foundered. How do I avoid it?
Sorry I know this is a noob question but I've always boarded and our barn doesn't own any grass so I never had this problem. One of the ponies too will be a pony. Because of his size does he have a bigger chance of founder?
The way you introduce turnout slowly is to permit them out for ever increasing amounts each day. On day 1, they might solitary go out an hour. Day 2 - two hours. Day 3 - three hours. Once you get up to 11 or 12 hours, you can probably go up by two or three hours per daytime since that is a smaller percentage change.
Horses that are used to being out adjectives the time do not need to be reintroduced to grass slowly in the spring unless they are especially prone to founder. Since the grass grows contained by slowly, their guts will have time to adapt. It's horses that aren't used to grass that need to pay attention in the spring.
So introduce the pasture/grass over a span of 2-3 weeks, slowly increasing the time they are on the grass each day (start at give or take a few 15 minutes and work up to 3 or 4 hours and then from there they can just be turned out adjectives day) and wait until the grass has grown in to almost 3 or 4 inches before starting pasture turn-out--otherwise it will not last the summer...
1. limit the amount of time they are on the grass
2. limit the amount of grass they can get
Our horses are out adjectives year round, 24 hours a day. What we do when we rotate pastures in the spring is use intervening fencing to fence of a small portion of the pasture near the gait, then, as the grass begin to disappear, we move the fence out farther, until they are on most of the pasture then we lift the fence out. If you wont be there to move horses around a lot or whether you have horses that dont do well with long period in a stall, that's a good option.
If you are going to be in attendance to shuffle horses in and out a few times a day and your horses can handle person indoors alot, you can limit the time they spend by bringing them in after a few hours of play and grass. Then slowly increase the amount of time they spend out until they are out all daylight.
Ponies are much more likely to founder and need special attention. Carefully monitor his poop- if it get very runny or very green (or if he balloon in weight) you might want to cut his time back or get him a grazing muzzle.
for the first week about an hour at a time then subsequent week 2 then gradually increase the time. After about a month they should be fine to stay out adjectives the time. don't feed them too much grain though, that could cause foundering too.
If you think they are gaining too much weight, don't prohibit them as this make them more eager. Just work your horses more often and for longer periods/harder work. They need to burn the additional energy from the extra feeding. In the undomesticated, horses travel from very droughted places to lush fields and do the same things.
If possible, try to alternate the paddocks that they're within. At our agistment, we have a few smaller paddocks called "lock up" and it's practically worn down beside very small amount of grass. This is mainly for the piglets and obese but it's good for managing.
Hope that give you insight. (:
I would start with a hour aday