Lately I have been occupied with two things; staying out of the rain and eating the lush greens that sprout up after the ground has had a good soak.
Grasses in New Jersey pastures encompass a variety of species, and they are typically referred to as “cool-season grasses” because they thrive in spring and fall temperatures. Some of the varieties you can find in your pasture would probably be Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, smooth bromegrass, and orchardgrass. If you are looking for a hardy grass to seed your pastures, keep an eye out especially for mixes with Kentucky bluegrass, since this type can replenish despite your horse’s constant chomping.
Do you know what pasture greens are high in protein and calcium?
If you guessed clover and alfalfa then you are correct! These plant species are called legumes. While legumes are excellent sources of nutrients for horses, at this time of the year, horses that eat too much clover (especially the red clover) will begin to develop a frothy drool. This is a reaction from the tiny fungus that is found on all clover, and in higher amounts on the red type. See that horse in the picture to the right? She is slobbering all over the place! And that is exactly what this clover-eating effect is called – Slobbers!
You might feel like you have slobbers when you wake up in the morning after a good night sleep and your pillow is drenched in your drool; similarly, horses can’t control this frothy mess either. The best way to handle your horse having slobbers is to limit the amount of time it has access to clover rich areas. You can do this by leaving it in that pasture for a shortened amount of time, or you can try putting a grazing muzzle on it so that it can’t eat forage so fast. You should also make sure that horses with slobbers have free access to a source of fresh, clean water. You can’t imagine how much fluid a horse with slobbers may lose!
As always, a best practice for maintaining your horse’s health is to observe its habits and customize your routines to best suit each horse. The more you watch, the more you will learn – kind of like how people don’t leave unattended doughnut boxes around my stall anymore!
If you have any funny, frothy photos, post them below so we can see who has the worst slobbers! Happy August!