Many people find themselves in difficult situations with their horses and ponies because of their grazing. Here in NZ, with weeks of warm rain, not only is the grass exploding but so are all the equine health and behaviour problems that go along with it! Some issues are relatively easily manageable but some are very serious such laminitis, head flicking or uncharacteristic behaviour. They are particularly serious when owners don’t have any grass free options available at their grazing or where there IS a yard or a grass-free option but it means the horse will be stressed because they are now separated from the other horses, or this is just a yard.
Of course CHH would advocate that grass-free options (not just yards or stables) need to be standard facilities when charging for grazing. We are contacted by many people who find they are paying for grazing that is causing problems for their horses/ponies. This includes Pony Club or other 'one-size fits all' agistment.
When horses and ponies go down with acute laminitis (or other serious issues) the problem becomes an emergency because access to grass needs to be eliminated as a priority.
If your horse is not coping with the grass and you don’t own the property, ask the owner or the grazing manager if you can tape off an area or a strip, preferably close to water supply and which includes some sort of shade and shelter, that you can make grass free.
This will both kill the grass underneath and stop things churning up into mud – you can then put a load of sawdust or bark on top without it disappearing into the substrate. It is very easy to cut the carpet from the back with a box cutter.
Then, once it’s no longer required you can roll it up and take it to the dump.
This is a good option if finances are limited and is potentially acceptable to the land owner because it isn’t permanent and the grass soon grows back once removed.
For temporary fencing, because in these cases it is imperative that these horses or ponies do not escape back out onto the grass you need to make it ‘Fort Knox’.
Another great use for the carpet is to cut it into metre wide strips and lay under the fence-lines – stops grass and weeds growing along there.
At such times it is very important that horses get the right nutrition in their daily feed. Premium MVA is formulated accordingly and added to the feed, along with salt, supply essential daily nutrients including selenium and boosted levels of Vit E.