Spring Grass and Hay for Horses

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Credit: Thinkstock It's a good idea to feed horses hay before turning them out on lush spring grass.

Credit: Thinkstock It's a good idea to feed horses hay before turning them out on lush spring grass.

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Following is a question and answer from our Ask the Expert: Nutrition featuring nutritionist Dr. Tania Cubitt from Standlee Premium Western Forage.

Q: How do you let your horses out on pasture with new spring grass while still feeding enough hay to keep them from overgrazing? 

A: If given the choice most horses will select fresh spring grass over hay. I would suggest feeding the horses before turning them out. The best way to avoid overgrazing is to limit turnout time. If possible you can use electric fence in your fields to set up a rotational grazing scheme--let horses graze grasses when they are 6 to 12 inches tall and remove horses from pastures when the grass is 3 to 4 inches tall.