Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Too Hot! Everybody out of the Pool (Pasture)

As spring arrives we usually pull our horses off the pastures and put them into the gravel paddock (soon to become my (kinda-sorta) outdoor riding arena). 

Our area is known for having a high content of fructose in our spring grass.  The grass is green.  The grass is lush.  The grass looks beautiful.  But looks are deceiving.  The grass is hot and it can be fatal to turn your horses out on it.

So usually this time of year our horses are all in the gravel pen, unhappy and bored with their surroundings.

This year I thought I'd try something different.  I turned the horses out onto our large (summer) pasture in mid February instead of waiting for the end of June.   I thought if I started them on the pasture while it was still winter that they'd eat down the grass and I wouldn't have to pull them off in the spring.

But Mother Nature pulled a fast one on me.  My plan hadn't predicted 30 degrees yesterday morning nor the wettest winter and coolest spring in history.  The wet weather followed by periodic days of sun has caused the pastures to explode with newly sprouted grass. 

The horses can't keep up with the growth and I've had to abandon my plan before someone gets sick or worse.  I've told my horses, "Heh, I tried - but everybody out of the pool and into the paddock." 

As you can see, they are not pleased. As I work in my office these days, this is what I usually see outside my window.  Glad I've got a stash of carrots in my little fridge out here!  :)


  1. My horses are also not allowed out on pasture until late June. All around me I see horses out on pasture and I question if I'm being too cautious. But my vet doesn't think so, based on the number of founder cases they see in the Spring. Better safe than sorry. I agree with your approach.

  2. Aww poor babies! Too bad we can't explain to them that we do what we do to protect them. :) I'm sure the extra carrots help though.