Re: No grass - But why?

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for asking those questions.  Everyone benefits here by reading them and the responses because obviously there's nothing some of us still want more for our horses (aside from keeping them healthy and sound) than to let them live on pasture.  We have to remember that pasture is not natural and the relatively small, enclosed, well-managed, predator-free pastures of improved grass strains are not what our horses' ancestors evolved on.  Nor can we keep our horses moving all day, every day, on the search for food, water, salt, etc.

There is a sweet spot after exercise for 1-2 hours where EMS horses can safely have pasture.  BUT, the exercise needs to be 'real' exercise (minimum 30 min brisk trotting, more if the horse is fit).  This is not something I would attempt before my horse was at a healthy insulin level (ie, <20 uIU/ml, but ideally <12 uIY/ml) and a healthy weight (BCS 4.5-5), and of course sound.  I'm really looking forward to hearing the new research on this at the No Laminitis conference because I'd love to give my horse an hour of grazing after exercise one day...

Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
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