Grazing horses at night can help keep them at a healthy weight and reduce their sugar intake. It allows horses to feed on grass for extended periods of time while reducing the risk of them becoming overweight.
The natural cycle of pasture plants is such that when the sun goes down the plants stop photosynthesizing and producing sugar. As the night progresses, the plants use the sugars they produced during the day to grow. Therefore, when feeding at night, horses can eat for longer periods of time whilst not ingesting as much sugar as they would during the day, therefore reducing the risks of unhealthy weight gains. However, once overnight temperatures drop below 10 °C, be wary of night grazing. When summer growing cycle of pastures is over, sugar levels will remain high through the night.
Another low-sugar alternative to night grazing is turning horses out on pasture in the early morning, around 6 a.m., and bringing them in around 10 a.m. when plant production of sugar becomes high again.
Pair this interesting tip about night grazing and sugar intake with whatever recommendations your veterinarian gives you to make the safest choices for you horses.