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GRASS BALANCE FOR HORSES:

We talk a lot on this site about balancing and restricting green grass intake for our horses, in favour of encouraging owners to feed a more species appropriate diet to our equine friends for better health and improved temperament.


We mainly recommend this style of grazing to avoid the many medical problems that plague New Zealand horses due to their exposure to rich farming grasses, that thrive all too well here in our 

wet and warm climate.


These unsuitable grasses can cause many issue to develop, such as laminitis and attacks upon the horses central nervous system that can make our horses very sick indeed, in addition to severely affecting their behaviour negatively too, which can develop from eating the mycotoxins and high sugars contained within our New Zealand pastures.


What we hope others have learned from our articles about grass, diet and horses, is that the best approach by far for a healthy horse is to try to have a balanced grass management plan, where we feed our horses some grass and plenty of low sugar hay.


As we have found that hands down that this the very best approach to having happy, as well as healthy horses.


What we want to stress and definitely do not want to see or hear about is horses not having any grass at all and being fed on an all-hay diet, unless of course that they are in the recovery stage from an illness such as say an active bout of Laminitis or if they are in the elimination stage of being grass affected or other grass related issue.


As without a shadow of a doubt, horses do need some fresh green grass every day, albeit for the vast majority, only in small amounts. This is because they cannot get the much needed nutrients they require for a truly healthy body from an all-hay diet, especially for the long term.


Now before you rush out to let your horses on to that rich meadow, we ask that you clearly understand that letting horses graze full time pastures is not what we are recommending here. SO IT IS A DEFINITE BIG NO TO THAT.


What we are saying is to let your horse have access to a small amount of fresh grass every day, perhaps for you and your circumstances that could be by break feeding a small strip to them, or by having your horses access some grass from grazing them on a track, or by letting them have just an hour or two out on the paddock, or from taking them out for a walk to have a feed on a small amount of grass . Which ever way that works for you we can highly recommend this approach.

PLEASE NOTE: horses with active lamintis should continue to receive NO GRASS until they have made a 100% recovery.


However, for the rest of our horses, the reason they benefit from grass is that fresh grass is packed full of essential nutrients that horses turn into much needed vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which aid digestion and help to avert many issues such as ulcers, colic and improve water content to name but a few of the benefits.


So we are asking for you to continue to please manage your horses grass intake, and be stricter with them now we are heading onto spring or at other times when grass growth is prolific, but also do allow them to have a little grass as their health will benefit from it.


We hope this will help you to achieve a happy balance to grazing for your horse.

Happy Horsing

www.naturalhorsenz.co.nz