The term grass affected is often used by horse owners and equine professionals - but is “grass affected” based in science, or just a catch-all to explain our horse’s behaviour? The truth is, it’s a bit of both. Here's specific list based on science and expert knowledge of what is in grass that can affect our horses.
Often, the first thing equestrians will recommend for a horse with hot, unpredictable, spooky or fizzy behaviour is a toxin binder. Sometimes they are right - your horse may be reacting to grass toxins. Other times, the culprit might actually be grass sugars. Find out why understanding the different causes of 'grass affected horses' are important.
There are so many different types of hay and it can get confusing when you start to try figuring out which hay to use and why. Or which hay to avoid and why.
Overweight horses are more prone to serious health issues, including potentially life-threatening problems such as laminitis. Excess weight also places increased pressure on your horse’s bones and joints. And if your horse is too fat, they are much more likely to suffer from heat stress in hot weather. So what can you do if your horse is getting a little rotund?
Unlike many countries, most horses in New Zealand do spend most of their life out in the pasture, eating relatively lush grass, all year around. This has benefits and risks, and the more you know about grazing your horse on grass, the better you can care for their health (and gut health).
Horses grazing on Kikuyu and Paspallum may need extra calcium to meet their nutritional needs. Find out why!
One of the most difficult things to find in a drought is forage. The problem is, forage is the most important, and therefore the least negotiable item in a horse’s diet. Their gut needs forage. Without it, the risk of gastric ulcers, colic, sand or dirt accumulation and other hindgut disturbances like dysbiosis (imbalance of the hindgut bacteria) is high!
Gut health can greatly influence the overall health, performance and behaviour of your horse. There are some very simple changes to make in your horses' diet in drought or flood conditions to make sure your horse maintains its gut health. We've listed them here.
Taking a look at the change in grass with the change in seasons, and what effect this can have on your horses behaviour.