Health & DietHorse

Tip of the Week: How To Transition Your Horse to Green Grass

In the much anticipated warmer weather, your horse might be starting to eye the lush green pastures that beckon from his corral. However, the transition from winter hay to fresh grass is a delicate process that requires careful consideration and planning. Introducing horses to green grass gradually is not merely a precautionary measure; it is a vital step in ensuring the health and well-being of your four-legged friend.

In this tip of the week, let’s look at the steps to transition horses slowly to green grass, exploring the benefits of a methodical approach and providing valuable insights to guide horse owners through this seasonal change with expertise and care.

Transition your horse slowly to green grass to avoid issues like colic and laminitis. Mark J. Barrett/

Gradual Transition:

When transitioning your horse to green grass in the spring, it’s crucial to start slowly to avoid digestive issues. Begin by allowing your horse to graze for short periods, around 15 minutes initially, and then gradually increase his grazing time over several days. This gradual introduction helps his digestive system adapt to the new diet and reduces the risk of colic or other health complications associated with abrupt dietary changes. Start by hand grazing at first to limit his intake (and enjoy some peaceful bonding time with your horse.)

Read: Tips From a Hay Broker

Monitor Grazing:

It’s essential to closely observe your horse’s grazing behavior and overall well-being during the transition period. Keep an eye on how much he is eating and watch for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior. Overeating on lush spring grass can lead to issues like colic and laminitis, so being vigilant and adjusting his grazing time accordingly is key to ensuring his health and safety.

See also  Horse Neck Issues & Solutions

Supplement with Hay:

To support your horse’s transition to spring grass, consider supplementing his diet with hay. Providing hay alongside the fresh grass helps balance nutrition and ensures he has a familiar source of fiber and nutrients. This can be particularly beneficial in the initial stages of transitioning to green grass, helping to ease the adjustment period and maintain a more consistent diet for your horse.

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