Do Pasture Horses Need Grain? Tips to Help you Decide

Horses were born to eat grass, it is their natural food. The supplemental feeding of grain was created by man in order to keep weight on horses as they were being used for beasts of burden. Horses pulling caravans across this vast country did not have time to graze, so man had to supplement their need for food. This is probably when feed bags were invented. As man settled and began to farm, horses were necessary for plowing and traveling long distances either for supplies or for herding cattle; again demonstrating the need for grain.

Horses can survive on grass alone. The need to give them grain will depend on the age of the horse, what kind of activity the horse is performing on a daily basis, the amount of pasture that is available for the individual and the quality of the pasture. Young horses that are weanlings (babies just weaned from their mother) and yearlings are growing at a fast pace. Actually any horse under the age of five for most breeds is still growing. If you want a horse that is strong and will grow to their full potential, giving them grain is the right thing to do. Horses that are being ridden often or on a daily basis should have grain. Now if your horse is in a pasture that has a lot of weeds or the grass stays short because there are too many horses in one pasture, then you may also want to supplement them with hay as well as grain. Another factor that comes into play is the breed of the horse. Certain breeds will need only a small amount of feed, others such as Thoroughbreds, need much more grain to accomplish the development of a healthy, strong animal.

Being a horse owner means that you must monitor your horses weight and condition constantly, whether they are in a stall or in a pasture. If you have a horse or pony that is an aggressive eater and is becoming too fat or even obese, when you are graining the other horses in the pasture, you will have to put that horse in a catch pen, usually built into a corner of a pasture, with no grain until the other horses are finished eating. Remember, if you are giving grain to pasture horses, the amount that you feed will be much less than that of winter time. Lets’ say you turn your horses out during the day in the winter. They will just forage around and pick a little on old dead grass that has little to offer as opposed to gorging themselves all day long and even during the nighttime. Horses can suffer from a severe condition called laminitis (founder) when they are carrying too much weight and producing too much heat in their bodies, and the heat travels to their feet. This condition is not only very painful for the horse but it is a permanent condition. They become more sensitive, can re-founder, will need extra care and specialized shoeing, and it can even cause them to loose their life if they are not removed from the environment that originally caused them to founder.

Horses have been around for millions of years and they survived without grain. The decision is yours and if you have horses in a rich pasture and they are not being ridden often and they have a healthy weight on them, then grain probably is not necessary. As long as your horse has a plentiful supply of rich grass, plenty of fresh water, trees or woods or a lean-to structure for protection, and you have them on a regimented worming program (will be discussed at a later date), life will be good for them without grain. Even though they seem to be self sufficient, horses always need to have a watchful eye on them at least once a day. It is necessary to check their water and clean the waterer or tubs often. Make sure all the horses seem happy, and are following their usual daily habits. You must also check them thoroughly making sure there are no serious cuts, wounds, or kick marks, and check their eyes for injuries or signs of illness or allergies.

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470 Responses to Do Pasture Horses Need Grain? Tips to Help you Decide

  1. OK, here’s a test:at 1pm today the ABC website posted a story that Troy Buswell has sacked Rob Johnson.neither the West nor WAToday have posted that story on their sites yet – despite the Waste running a front page story this morning about the possibility of it happeninglet’s see who gets it up firstphnarr phnarr

  2. Eis a volta do verdadeiro denuncismo sem justa causa. O PT parece ressuscitar seu modus operandi de tentar desqualificar seus adversários políticos com fins escusos. Já vivemos essa historia no tempo do PSDB no governo, quando um tal funcionário do Ministério Público (MP) fazia denúncias vazias a toda hora, mas o tempo se incumbiu de desmoralizá-lo, e hoje permanece no ostracismo. Essa investida sobre Gilberto Kassab já é manobra manjada. Fiquemos de olhos bem abertos, a Prefeitura de São Paulo merece. Fora, “trapalhões”.Leila E. Leitão

  3. J’ai essayé d’afficher ma photo pour mon blog perso… et toujours rien pourtant j’ai effectué les consignes de votre article, donc quand on a seulement 14 amis dans nos cercles on a le droit à rien je suppose

  4. Continually through this debate the recurring theme is that the U.S leads disarmament. One of the primary reasons for U.S hatred is the belief that it acts like a bully, pushing or applying leverage to weaker countries to follow it’s bidding – though maybe Obama can overturn that. Furthermore, from reports it seems like America is as bad as the rest when it comes to secrecy, abuse of human rights and injustice. Though many issues raised about America’s honesty have been directly linked to the Bush Administration I, as a UK Citizen, wouldn’t feel trusted in the Americans following the requirements they make of the Globe and therefore of themselves.

  5. Enquanto o “cruzeiro bem estar” cruza os oceanos com movimentos que nos embalam, o “kangoo jump” nos move através desses movimentos. Energia, visual e sofisticação: Cruzeiro bem estar + Kangoo jump = combinação perfeita, imperdível e inenarravel.”

  6. Honestly, I think this sounds like a better story. The first few sections of your castle story still seem awkward to me, but that’s just my opinion. After getting over the awkward getting-to-know- what-you’re-writing-about part, it seems to be flowing better.

  7. anon,Perhaps my Swiftian satire of “insulting upward” was a little too convincing!”The Egyptians,” Mr. El-Gamal not withstanding, are not a monolithic and amorphous mass. The attraction of nationalism is that it offers a chance of achieving power, and if it has that chance, it will take it.But plenty of perfectly stable and peaceful societies – the majority, in fact, I’d say – have been governed by a ruling caste which was culturally distinct from the body of the population.

  8. How about the same way everyone before the 1930's did? It's only in the last century that anyone came up with the notion that loyalty to your own group or defending yourself against barbarians or not encouraging bloodthirsty savages to invade your country meant murdering all of the members of a completely peaceable and highly civilized group.

  9. This post is shared at Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, the Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog Carnival, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Living Green Tuesdays,  Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Fresh Foods Blog Hop, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, and Fill Those Jars Friday.

  10. It seems like Katie and I are often drawn to the same lines. This one struck me as an affirmation that all the kids you worked with and all the kids any of us ever were needed to hear and incorporate into our beings. I also love the hope and potential shown when you talk about this was my past but need not be my future.Such courage! You are made of tough stuff! May 2012 bring you joy and peace.


  12. Coucou Miss!Juste pour te souhaiter bcp de courage, à toi, à Alexi, ms aussi à Dan…Mon cousin est rentré de là-bas jeudi après 6 mois aussi… Humainement très riche dit-il, ms aussi très dur physiquement et émotionnellement… Ms aussi bcp de chouettes moments vécus là-bas!C'est vrai que l'absence est longue et difficile, ms les retrouvailles n'en seront que plus belles!Je vous admire, vous les femmes de militaires…Gros bisous à vous trois!Béné, Gaetan & co

  13. You can see the progress of this in plain at LGF. It’s a classic propaganda trick. Every now and then commentors would drop a hint here or an insinuation there about things, sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of the rest about Robert’s status. At some point the target becomes discredited enough that you can turn the baying mob on him without worrying whether they’ll baulk at attacking someone who was once considered friend.Sorry for the OT.

  14. (I'm also freaked out that my facebook profile appears in the comments. Didn't want that. Didn't realise I was signed in and didn't know it was going to happen. Stupid internet. Wish the comments came with instructions. Or a delete button.)

  15. Dr. corrigindo foram 37.733 pessoas no Pacaembu, infelizmente perdemos mais precisa ajustar o Sheik jogando de centroavante, fiquei Feliz pela estréia do garoto Elias, é sempre bom ver jogador da base no time de cima.

  16. Beau boulot, il faut bien l’admettre ! Je te suis du coin de l’Å“il depuis pas mal de temps, et tu vas toujours dans la bonne direction, même si ça n’est pas forcément la tendance

  17. Yo nunca pondría en duda la palabra de don Rafael. La del periódico el país y de muchos para los cuales es el catecismo, como para otros el mundo, SÍ.Dan asco, no tienen vergüenza, y lo que es peor es que no los podemos incendiar, porque nos tildarían de intransigentes.Ellos si que son demócratas.El Canuit

  18. ewww – snail slime!!Hmmm – one thing I don’t understand though is that you say that snail slime should be water soluble? If I touch a snail (I sometimes get slugs that come into my house and have to pick them off the floor – yuck!), I can’t seem to be able to wash the slime off my hands. It refuses to budge. How come?

  19. Esti Romanca si ma mindresc ca existi.FELICITARI.Daca ai putea sa ma scapi de ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, obraznicia lui goagle, yahoo, etc. ai fi fenomenala.Prea ne trateaza toti nespalatii si magarii lumii, drept infractori…..

  20. Yeah, the evidence shows that adult correction of a child's incorrect grammar doesn't do any good. They'll acquire the rules when they do, and you can't speed up the process – this is regardless of whether kids are bi- or monolingual. When adults learn a second language though, correction can be helpful, but for kids, it's pretty much useless, except, as Sabayon noted, when intelligibility/comprehension is compromised.

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