Tips for restricting weight gain through strip grazing
1. Install a strip grazing system
Smaller paddocks are best to limit grass availability, but the fence should be moved daily.
2. Turn out at night
Overnight typically grass will contain less sugar and fructan (Water Soluble Carbohydrate).
3. Beware of restricting time at grass
Ponies in particular learn quickly that they need to maximise their time eating and can consume 40% of their daily intake in just 3 hours!
4. Use fewer rugs
Fewer rugs or no rugs at all will encourage a horse to burn off a few extra pounds keeping warm!
5. Try a grazing muzzle
A grazing muzzle can reduce intake by up to 80% but it must be properly fitted, allow for drinking and you must let the horse or pony get used to it before leaving it on for long periods although they should never be left on for 24 hours a day. Continue to monitor bodyweight as some horses and ponies can still gain weight while wearing a grazing muzzle.
6. Feed an alternative safe source of forage
For horses and ponies at very high risk consider removing them from pasture altogether and feeding them a suitable forage/ short chopped fibre, preferably one that has been approved by the Laminitis Trust.
7. Up the exercise