Top Tips for Managing Horses on Spring Pastures

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The arrival of spring brings lush green grass to your pastures. While your horse may be excited to graze, eating too much fresh pasture can lead to serious problems. If you’re stressing about letting your horse graze on spring grass, fear not. SmartPak’s got you covered with everything you need to help your horse stay happy and healthy this spring.

“There are many ways to help prepare your horse for spring pasture turnout,” said Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak staff veterinarian. “Three of the biggest things you can do to help prepare your horse include managing their grass intake, increasing other sources of forage in their diet, and supplementing for their unique needs.”

Managing Grass Intake

While lush grass is beautiful to look at, it can cause numerous health challenges for horses. The first step in helping to prevent potential health problems is to keep your horse from grazing too much too quickly. While it’s important to introduce horses to grass slowly--just 10-15 minutes a day at first--many horse owners have also found success throughout the season using a grazing muzzle. A great tool when it comes to weight management for the easy keeper, a grazing muzzle provides a comfortable way to limit your horse’s intake of grass without obstructing his ability to drink, breathe, or socialize. Your horse can still have fun in the field and you don’t have to worry about him gorging on grass!

Increasing Other Forage

“Another method to reduce spring grass consumption is to ‘fill your horse’s tank’ with hay before pasture turnout,” said Gray. “Better yet, keep his digestive tract full at all times with long-stem forage.” Tools such as a small hole hay net allow restricted access to hay so your horse will slow down and enjoy his food longer. A small hole hay net is also a great option for horses who need their amount of daily hay limited because of problems such as obesity or who need a small, constant supply of roughage because of problems such as gastric lesions or digestive upset.

Providing Supplement Support

The right supplemental support is the final step in preparing your horse for spring pasture. Too much spring grass can bring concerns for your horse’s laminar health. The laminae are the tiny, interlocking “fingers” that attach the coffin bone to the rest of the hoof. If the laminae become inflamed, they may separate and cause serious health concerns. If you’re concerned about your horse’s laminar health, adding a specialized supplement like SmartPak’s new SmartLamina Pellets is a smart way to support healthy laminae and a normal inflammatory response.

If your horse is an easy keeper, a supplement designed to support healthy metabolic function, like SmartMetabo-Lean Pellets, may help your horse achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This formula is can be paired with SmartLamina Pellets for the ultimate in comprehensive support.

Be Prepared

For all of your pasture management tools this season, plus free shipping on all orders over $75, visit www.SmartPak.com.

From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 60 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is now the largest retailer of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award as well as an “Elite” rating from STELLAService. A nine-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree, SmartPak is the only equine company ever named to the Inc. 500 list.