New Zealand:

Where graz­ing comes first

EQUUS - - Eq Tack & Gear -

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.”

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