Advice on grazing now autumns nearly here please

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Hogan has started his snarky "I'm starving here, and you don't even care" attitude - he did it last year too round this time. My question is, looking at the quality of the grass in our spare field, am I taking a massive risk if he were in there during the day, then back to present field overnight (barely anything in it)? There's a lot of crummy stuff in the lower field, but there are pockets that are quite lush too. I've attached pics that might give an idea of what he'd be let loose on. I'm really twitchy about it, as I've never had quite such a good do-er before! Thanks. (It's about 2 acres) Screenshot_20190924-212530_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190924-212536_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190924-212558_Gallery.jpg
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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Mine are singing the same song all day every day :rolleyes:. That looks pretty much like the middle of my field. I am only going to let the boys have it a patch at a time - I bought a pile of new fence posts specifically for the purpose. Otherwise they will strip it bare and have nothing left in winter.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I wouldn't put mine on all that. It will just get wasted. But that's me trying to eek grazing out to last all winter. I would strip graze it. If the horse is on nothing then introduce to a small area for a few hours at a time for a few days. Then leave in all day.
It has rained here alot since Sunday so that's also alot of wet grass going in after limited nothing so I would introduce after a couple of dry days if possible. I just moved my two on Saturday to a fresh new fenced area so they had 24 hours on dry grass before the heavens opened.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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We have finally had a bit of rain the last few days, my rested field was topped 3 weeks ago and just looked brown but since the rain there is a lot of new growth (field looks more green than brown in the last 48 hours), so I'd be very cautious.

Mine always start the starving act this time of year, it's not because they are, it's because their bodies are telling them to stock up for the coming winter which they really don't need to do as we will ensure there is food for them unlike in the wild.
 

Huggy

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I wouldn't.

If he's being horrible to live with then I'd give him a slice or two of very well soaked hay a day just to up his fibre intake and fill his tummy up. If he turns his nose up at it then he isn't hungry!
Funnily enough, today for the first time after summer, I gave him a very tiny bit of soaked hay when I brought him in (Hogan being Hogan, it was wolfed down) and he did cheer up a bit! I think that's what prompted me to seek opinions. I think I'm too nervous to let him down there - he'll gorge himself!
 

Huggy

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I agree with everyone - I'd have to strip some off, and the other horse, who's really thin atm, really needs as much as he can get (he's already going down there every day). We've had the rain too, so the field he's in should green up a bit. Hopefully, in a few weeks, when the temperatures drop, he can go down - like Chunky, I'm hoping to stretch the grazing for as long as possible!
Thanks - I needed to confirm what I think I already thought!
 

Ruskii

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Jun 21, 2000
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I'm trying frantically to get the remainder of my field topped! Fat pony is massive a few weeks ago I would have said I was mad to get it topped, but thinking on it I don't need all the grass that is in there and the grass will steep keep growing over the winter, she'll have the whole field if necessary but the patch she's on is pretty bare but I'm eeking out as much of the last bit of strip grazing that I have in here, before it I take it all down. She keeps breaking out so she's claiming she is starting but she has enough on her to last for the next two winters, so I figure if I get it topped then I won't have the worry of her breaking in and getting laminitis. I'm happy to pay for the extra hay when it gets cold(ish), I'm in the New Forest so right on the south coast and we don't get that cold her much, I do also clip for weight loss.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I'm in the NF too! I'd get the other 3 fields topped, but it's not my yard. They'd be ideal for winter grazing - just wasted now. I only started giving Hogan hay last Christmas, but he's sharing now, so there's not as much. Just got some extra hay today, so he'll get a little net each time he's in.
 

Ruskii

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Small world! I'm right in the southern parts of the Forest - but used to keep previous horses up near Frogham/Ogdens area so familiar with it up there. Beautiful riding up that side, the southern parts are bit flat :D
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I feel very privileged to have a horse here - to have almost literally unlimited open countryside to hack out in is just lovely. I occasionally get it in my head to move elsewhere, and then realise I'd struggle with bridlepaths and lanes etc. Spoiled brat that I am!
 
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