Spring Grass Grazing Dangers


With all of the fresh spring, green grass available, there are a few cautions you should take before turning your horses out.

It is tempting to turn horses out into spring pastures at the first sight of green grass, especially after a long winter. However, spring grazing should be introduced slowly and delayed until grasses reach 6 to 8” to optimize both the health of the horse and pasture.

The University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program states, “When horse pastures reach 6 to 8”, begin grazing for 15 minutes, increasing the grazing time each day by 15 minutes until 5 hours of consecutive grazing is reached. After that, unrestricted grazing can occur. Grazing should cease when forages have been grazed down to 3 to 4 inches. At this time, move horses to another paddock or a dry lot. Grazing can resume when grasses regrow to 6 to 8.”

Credit: University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program F.B. page.