Horses need fresh air and green grass to lead a healthy lifestyle. Take a look at these wonderful horses enjoying a peaceful and sunny day on this fresh pasture. They certainly feel very good and they like these few hours of peace and quiet.
But horses should be fed hay before going out on pasture the first time. Do not turn them out with empty stomachs! Initial grazing should be limited to 15 to 20 minutes and gradually increased each day by 15 minutes until the horses are out for about 4 or 5 hours, at which time they can be allowed unrestricted time.
The majority can survive only with grass because that is what they were born to do in the wild, but wild horses only live about 10 years. Horses, if in work, need lots of vitamins and minerals that grass alone can’t give them. Many horse owners will feed them hay, and grain, and a salt block to give them those nutritions.
In general, you should allow horses to graze either in the early morning or evening to minimize the ingestion of fructose-rich leaves. However, those are also the peak feeding times for mosquitoes, which can transmit a multitude of infection-causing organisms, including the West Nile virus. So be aware.
And we know that young spring grass is tempting to your horse after a long winter of hay and grain, for example, but eating too much of it can bring on serious abdominal pain known as colic. As with the founder that also can follow too much spring grass consumption, moderation is the key to the prevention of grass colic.
Many people also find that allowing their horses to remain turned out 24/7 is beneficial for the animal’s mental health. The extra freedom leads to fewer behavioral problems and also makes the horse easier to train. Boredom can be an issue in the stable. So it’s your choice how to kill this boredom.