When we say that horses need to come completely off grass, we usually mean it as a temporary measure. Usually 1-3 months, with some head-shaking horses and founder cases taking longer.
It only sounds drastic until you wrap your head around it. It is, more often than not, the fastest way to get good results.
Only when the horse has come back to his normal self can he be SLOWLY reintroduced to more ‘suitable grass’.
A slow reintroduction is vital for two reasons.
One is the risk of colic going from all hay diet back onto grass - particularly if the grass is in any way green. The other reason is so that you can observe any signs of grass affected behaviours returning - if so, it is too soon to reintroduce him.
Hopefully over the time the horse has been off the grass has given it time to grow long and more mature. Then you can start by giving them access for ten minutes am & pm and increase the time accordingly.
Some people forget that horses can eat a colossal amount of grass in a short time, especially if they have not had any for awhile! If the horses has had laminitis for instance you have to be really careful.
Whether the grass is ‘suitable’ or not depends on what species it is and the stage of growth, time of the year and the weather. It rarely works to put them back out on pasture with ANY clover for instance so while they are in lock-up is a good time to eliminate it with a broad leaf spray.
Mature dried off grass (standing hay) is ideal .
Be observant for the return of any signs of a relapse and if there is any doubt then take them off the grass for a bit longer.