Measuring grass intake

Doodle92

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Robin is getting soaked hay just now so I am weighing so that he dosnt have much left in the morning to waste. I am giving him 14kg. 2% of his weight is 13kg and this works well with him not finishing but only a tiny amount left. When he starts getting turnout how do I account for this? Short but good and lush grass that hasn’t been grazed for 4 weeks. Small pens so this will be eaten quickly but going to alternate the 2 pens every few days with the idea that he will keep head down and eat rather than be excited. I know it will vary hugely but a rough guess will hopefully stop yo getting upset.
 

carthorse

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It really is a guess. If you want him to keep quiet and graze then have him slightly short on hay to begin with so that he's wanting to eat when he goes out. Not so short that you're worrying about ulcers, but it won't hurt him to run out an hour or so before you turn out - he'd go without hay that long if you took him for a ride. For the first couple of days I'd consider a couple of m of Sedalin half an hour before he goes out, just enough to take the edge off not sedate him.

Don't be surprised if he goes off the soaked hay for a few days when there's grass on offer.
 

Jessey

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On poor grazing they’ll eat about 4-5kg in 8 hours (I remember that from a study I read many years ago but can’t remember the name of it) but you have to remember that hay is 90% dry matter and grass only 60%. For a pen I would expect the grass intake to be pretty negligible, maybe cut back by a kilo or two.
 

Doodle92

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Thanks.

For some reason sedalin does not work with him. Dormosedan sends him to fairy land very easily. I wouldn’t want to give any tho to a horse going out. He will be fine. He will eat.

He has been grazing in hand twice a day. I’ll drop a couple of kg to start and see how he gets on.
 
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carthorse

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If Sedalin truly does nothing then I'd give a tiny amount of Domesedan, nothing like the full dose you'd give to sedate just enough that he's chilled. The last thing you want is for him to go out and have a buck or a strut around and turn too tight undoing all the work. I don't know what his normal dose is, but maybe give him a quarter of that the first few times out, I've seen too many normally sensible horses undo months of box rest in 5 minutes.
 
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Doodle92

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Sedalin truly does nothing! He was getting 7mls a day on box rest. I presumed it didn’t work due to him being upset. I have since tried 3 times for clipping. Being given when totally calm and again it didn’t work.

Thanks for your advice tho. It is very much appreciated. I understand what you are saying but I would rather he had full control over his feet. I am already anxious about the proximity of the fences and I have lost one horse to a fence accident.
 

Mary Poppins

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One thing I learnt about box rest was that it turned my normally very sensible horse into a lunatic. After 7 months we were allowed to do ‘light hacking’. I had lost my nerve by that point so one of the yard girls was riding him for me. After 5 minutes Ben had thrown her off and galloped round the yard. This potentially is why he never became sound again, his crazy gallop undid all the good work.

When it came to turnout I knew he would be an absolute nutter. My vet came and gave him an injected sedative which meant he could eat but remained calm. It was magic stuff. For our inhand walking I gave him sedalin but it made him quite unsteady of his feet.

I would be very hesitant to box rest a horse in future.
 
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Doodle92

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Tha is for all the advice. No box rest is not ideal and I wouldn’t be getting on a horse that had been in for 7months. He has been in for 4 weeks and is now out grazing in his pen. I have included a picture to try and show size of pen. He also has 2 buddies just out of sight of the photo. And yes I am about to put water in, the trough is just refilling after I cleaned it. I will leave him out for a couple of hours and bring back in again not as he has done anything but put head done because he has done nothing but head down!

C3CD46DB-7B03-4F51-984E-540DE49B3DE4.jpeg D7C40E85-F84A-4DC0-8C86-615B09A30511.jpeg
 
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Doodle92

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He is such a good boy. I went up about 12.30 to come in. He was mutual grooming his buddy over the fence. I waited till
They were done and he came to me when I got him. Walked in very politely.

He then found new season hay waiting for him so he was inhaling that. Yo declared I should not soak the hay anymore. Having told me I must soak hay for him a couple of days go. That said this hay is amazing. Really really lovely and not a spec of dust. I may soak it anyway to try and slow down the inhaling of it.

Judging by the amount of loose hair, scratch marks and a little grass stain he had had a very lovely morning rolling, scratching and getting grooms from his buddy 😍

He has physio tonight and I have ordered more fence posts so I can make another pen in field as he was so good out there. He will still come in at night until next vet check in 2.5 weeks.
 
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