Reduced Pasture Size Can Help Your Horse Lose Weight
Beverly Gartland, graduate student at Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green, aimed to find out. She presented her findings at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina.
In her study, Gartland evaluated eight adult horses with maintenance-level nutrient requirements and similar body condition scores. She randomly placed four in a continuous grazing group (six weeks on a 2.2-acre tall fescue field) and four in a space-restricted rotational grazing group. Every seven days, she’d move the latter group into a new 1/3- to 1/10-acre grazing cell with only enough grass to meet 80% of their daily nutrient requirements.
Each week Gartland would bring all horses inside, fast them overnight, and take their weights. Three times a week, she observed and recorded how much time each horse spent grazing, standing, or performing other
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