So ponies are moving to their new home with paddocks in NJ that have not been grazed on before. It is Jan, some snow on the ground. Do they need to have limited turnout or wear grazing muzzles over the rest of the winter? Thanks!
Are they actually ponies? If the grass has been mowed( is fairly short) and dormant I wouldn’t worry. If they are easy keepers and prone to metabolic issues just watch for increasing weight or changes. My metabolic mare isn’t muzzled now and never is in Winter.
How big of an area are we talking about?
That “dormant” Winter grass can be sky high in sugar and starch.
If they are not acclimate to as much grass - quality, quantity - of grass they will be on, then yes, they need to be acclimated just as if it was lush Spring or Summer grass.
How long that takes depends on their tolerance, and how many hours you want them out there. If you want them out there full time, plan on 2-3 weeks.
My thought would be why not muzzle if there’s more grass than they’ve been eating? Why take that chance with laminitis? Have they been muzzled up to this point?
Sorry, I posted, thought I would get notifications, and didn’t. The grass what mowed, not like a lawn, but not ignored. The one pony is borderline metabolic, but the other is ok. I did hear from another farm owner locally that had a pony founder in January, so I have advised them to be cautious. The paddocks are nice size, Probably ballpark 400’ x 200’ish.
One is a small, and the other is a medium.
I did encourage them to muzzle and limit turnout so hopefully everything goes well.
I would muzzle the metabolic pony year round and make sure I had a nice dry lot to turn out on when they need to be out but grass is too much for them even with a muzzle. For the non-metabolic one, I would just be careful, watch weight and follow JB’s advice above.
I’ve noticed that what is ok for metabolic horses is not the same as what you can do in ponies. They seem to take a lot less to send them into laminitis land.