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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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from field to lush green pasture

Hi, I have recently put up fence in a new area for my horses that has lush green grass. I can limit their time in it. They have been on pasture daily but not this long lush stuff. How long should I wait before I can open the gate and let them have all they want? I have been letting them in there about 30 minutes to about an hour for 4 days.
Thanks, Sunny

Where are you from? west virginia

How did you locate this forum?

Re: from field to lush green pasture

Hello Sunny,

It really depends on the horses and their history. If your horses are healthy, have never foundered, are not overweight, and are relatively young (say, younger than 16), then it may not be a problem at all to let them graze on lush pasture all day. But, if they do not meet these criteria, you can “test the waters” by gradually allowing them to graze longer each day. The grass is highest in sugar levels (fructans) during the late afternoon, so let them graze during the morning. Eventually, you’ll be able to let them stay through the afternoon, as long as they do not exhibit any problems. Each day, check their hoof temperature. The first sign of laminitis is very cold feet, followed by heat. So, any change from normal is a sign that you should be more careful.

I hope this is helpful!

Happy grazing!

Dr. Getty