Miniature Horses CAN eat grass.
Anytime you see someone new to Miniature Horses asking for advice, it is guaranteed that someone (probably more than one someone) will tell them emphatically to NOT let them eat grass EVER.
It’s quite possible that the well meaning advice givers have a horse with a metabolic issue that means that their horse really can’t eat grass, or only in very restricted quantities. What they’re saying is true for them – but that doesn’t mean it’s true for every Miniature Horse.
The vast majority of my herd eats grass as their entire diet through the months that it’s available in my wintery part of the world. And that’s been the case for the entire 40+ years that we’ve had Miniature Horses.
Most Miniature Horses absolutely can eat grass.
Does that mean your Miniature Horse can be kicked out on a forty acre pasture of lush grass all to themselves 24/7 without any issues? No, probably not.
But it also doesn’t mean that your horse can never graze for longer than 10 minutes at a time or they’ll automatically founder and colic and die, either.
There is nothing like green grass to help them shed their coats and get nice and shiny, to get plenty of healthy nutrients, to keep their GI tract healthy as they’re grazing as nature intended them to do. Also, if you have pasture available for them to eat, it’s a lot cheaper than hay.
But it does have to be managed pasture – depending on the time of year and the horse, mine might get anywhere between four hours daily grazing, to full time 24/7 pasture. And a few with PPID or IR or not many teeth left to graze anyway, who never get any significant amount of grass, just handgrazing for a treat from time to time.
Depending on your individual horse and the pasture they’re eating, you’ll have to find the sweet spot that works for you. Which is why I always recommend that people learn first about how to Body Condition Score their horse, instead of worrying about what everyone else is feeding.
You only need to figure out what’s right for your horse – it doesn’t mean anyone else is wrong, they’re just not feeding the same horse you are.