Avoiding the big C and the big F... - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 36 Old 09-10-2011, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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Soaking hay removes a lot of the sugars present - making it safer for laminitis prone horses/ponies.

Generally either soaked lucerne (Alfalfa) or grass hay with certain types of grass (Off the top of my head I think you want to avoid Rye Grass? But thats here in Aus so you may be different).

Lucerne is actually relatively low in sugars but is high in protein and can throw off your Calcium/Phosphorous ratio.


Agree with others though - Focus on buying a good, sound horse, then deal with what type of management it needs once you get it!

I would never, ever buy a horse with a known history of founder. Too much trouble and heartache. In my opinion it is easier to feed more to keep weight on than to try and keep weight off.

Again with a known history of colic - Once or twice, very mild colic would be ok, but any more than that I would pass.

In 10+ With probably 10 or so horses we have only ever had maybe three cases of very mild colic, all which passed without the need to call a vet. Colic is usually a management problem and shouldn't happen very often (Of course there are exceptions - But I wouldn't want to buy one!).

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post #32 of 36 Old 09-10-2011, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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We have always had a 'hard keeper' and bought a new house in SC with horse property and a pony came with the property. She is a Welsh/Arab. And she was very fat when we came here. The farrier was worried she may founder. I put her on a grazing muzzle and built a sacrifice pasture. In the sacrifice pasture, I rented (seriously) a herd of goats for a week and they ate the WHOLE area (it was like a swarm of locusts). If you need to build a sacrifice lot and you want the area cleared, seriously consider renting some goats!

She spends 8 hours on pasture with a grazing muzzle, another 8 in the sacrifice lot (which is about 1/2 acre), and 8 in a stall. When she goes in the stall, it is during the day time, and she is on the dry lot the rest of the day. She is allowed to go graze on the pasture at night when the sugar is lowest. You would think I would be running about managing her, but I am really not. It is an easy routine and not a pain at all. If you ever need a grazing muzzle, DON'T GO CHEAP. Buy a good one and take good care of it and it will be hard for your horse to get off. Your horse will never LOVE the grazing muzzle, but she can learn to like it if you feed her some carrot bits through the hole each time you put it on. She gets a flake of hay (up to 2) in the barn, and SmartPak EZ Keeper vitamins and 1 ounce of Remission (for horses prone to founder or who have foundered - I love this stuff). NO GRAIN. No treats but little carrot bits. She has lost 70 lbs in the 5 months we've had her. She needs to lose another 100, but she is doing so much better. Exercise daily, even if it is 30 minutes of round pen work.

Founder is scary but most times you can control it (obviously, if your horse is lame that will be harder). Spring time grasses, clovers and alfalfa can greatly increase the risk of founder. Ponies and draft horses are at a greater risk of founder, but ANY horse can founder if improperly managed.

Colic is scary, too, but keep close watch on your horses and check their condition daily, keep a good bolt clip on the feed room door, and you will be ahead of the game. Even if they do colic, as long as you are checking them relatively often, you will hopefully catch it. Always keep a lot of fresh, clean water wherever the horse is ... horses love very clean water! A mineral/salt bloc in wherever they are helps, too - good to keep up electrolytes, and mineral/salt blocs are cheap. If you get a bloc holder without holes, you can just drill some in it to drain out water so it doesn't become gross - my horse won't lick a 'swimming' bloc (he's so picky!).

Good luck! Can't wait to see pics of your new pal!!
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post #33 of 36 Old 09-11-2011, 06:55 AM
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One thing that hasn't been emphasised on this thread is the correlation between feeding horses lots of grain and colic. There was vet where I used to live who had done fairly extensive research on this subject and she used to go round the country giving talks on colic, and telling horse owners that grain wasn't *necessary* for even performance horses, that there were high energy feeds which were far safer. That's not saying that if you give your horse grain, it will colic. I gave mine grain for years and never had a problem, but it increases the risk. Their digestive system has evolved to deal with roughage, not grains.

I think I said this on another thread here, but the barn where I saw the most colics -- and the most frequently occurring severe colics -- was one where the horses were kept in stalls 22 hours per day and as it was a show barn, many of them were huge amounts of grain. You're just asking for trouble with that type of management.
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post #34 of 36 Old 09-11-2011, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I think it's a little bit like having children; there are risks to being alive and you cannot protect them from everything but they are worth the risks.
I just wanted to say something here as well...
I live in Southern California where land and grass is non existent. I bought my first horse and had him for a year. All of our horses are stalled 24 hours a day unless YOU get them out and ride. I read things here on the forum, books, trainers, friends, you name it... i got every bit of info i could on owning a horse. The consensus was that, my horse being stalled all day would likely colic, crib, weave, and ultimately die a terrible sad death. Well... none of that ever happened. He was a lovely boy, very well adjusted and kind.

At our last barn, the barn owner said something that stayed with me... "it's like someone whom has their very first child. If the baby drops the pacifier on the floor, mom is right there to drop it in a vat of boiling water to sterilize the darn thing. But by the time that second kid comes along, mom has learned to just wipe the pacifier off and stick it back in baby's mouth!"

They are relatively strong and resilient animals... don't worry yourself sick!

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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post #35 of 36 Old 09-11-2011, 02:00 PM
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Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
So basically too much grain,too much grass, grass with too high of a sugar content, too rich of a hay like alfalfa can cause founder or cause a horse to colic, or both?
I just wanted to touch on this a bit. Alfalfa is no more likely to cause colic/founder than any other form of prepared hay. It is often the base of a good diet plan for most horses. Our working horses get fed nothing but alfalfa hay and we haven't had a problem with colic since we quit feeding sweet feed when I was a child. We've never had a bout of founder on our property. Our horses that are retired or on a "maintenance" diet plan have 24/7 access to good quality bermuda grass hay and they are all staying fat and healthy.

IMHO, the simpler you can be with your diet plan, the better off the horse will be. Avoid any type of grains or "special feeds" if you can, the more hay and grass they eat, the better off they are. Free access to forage is the best way to go unless you are trying to keep weight off an obese horse. Horses evolved eating long stem fibers like dry grasses and even twigs and tree bark for nutrients, they are simply not designed to eat most grains and/or sugars and that's what causes many of the problems that are so prevalent with horses like colic, founder, and even ulcers.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #36 of 36 Old 09-11-2011, 05:56 PM
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All five horses are on 24/7 turnout and stall time as they please. Fed grain twice a day, two flakes of hay at night (most of the time), along with the full turnout. The barn has lanes that lead out to their pastures to they can be in their stall whenever, and in their pasture whenever. They need to be walking to keep their intestines moving and working.
That's where stalled horse run into problems. They eat hay standing still all day, in their cramped little stalls, and get no walking done to keep it all moving freely.

After a good rain, and the grass is rich and green, we'll cut out the hay. If all the grass is dead, we'll add extra hay, since their not getting the nutrients from the grass. The grain ration remains the same, except for my show horse who I regulate according to his exercise level.

In south Texas, we have tons of mesquite trees, so we have to rake out the mesquite beans weekly. My show horse coliced pretty badly, and after two vet trips, three gallons of oil, and three days passed he was fine. The mesquite beans are out fear. They eat them, then get a drink of water, the beans expand in their stomachs, and bam. Instant impaction.

Colic, can happen from feed changed too quickly, too much lush grass if they're not used to it, stress, and many other things. There are ways to prevent some cases, but you can't prevent everything. Like mesquite beans dropping from the trees. -_-

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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