Where grazing comes first
abundant, and the plies living Zealand Grass “The economy. sheep the in permits temperate the bulk in supporting that New island Likewise, of form the Zealand horses climate nation. nutrition the the fresh to cornerstones is dairy be of lush grass New kept for cows and horses at sup- of pasture Riley, “Even regular BVSc, in turnout all riding year PhD, stables, onto round,” at Massey pasture horses says University. Chris every get day.” developed Riley and adds maintained that those pastures with equine are nutrition All that in grass mind. means that supplementation with hay or grain isn’t common, especially among pleasure horses who have lower energy needs, explains Riley. “Sport horses are generally managed at pasture but may have up to half of their digestible energy requirements (60 of 116 MJ/day) provided as concentrate and supplementary hay. Leisure/ pleasure horses and pony club ponies are usually kept at pasture for the whole time. Although broodmares may be supplemented with hay during the winter months, most pleasure horses are not.” Of course, too much grass can be a
Fresh grass supplies the bulk of the nutrition for horses in New Zealand.
bad thing. “Sometimes during the year there may be some restriction of access to pasture for heavier horses or ponies due to the risk of over ingestion and laminitis,” says Riley. As for concentrates, Riley says the few owners who feed them typically opt for premixed commercial feeds formulated for the horse’s stage of life or activity, rather than straight grains. “There is a moderate degree of choice among premixed commercial feeds, but nowhere near the level of choice available in North America.”