Founder related with Thick Crest?

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Founder related with Thick Crest?

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  • What is indicated by a thick or fat crest on a horse
  • Thick neck mean horse founder

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    09-22-2010, 01:48 AM
Founder related with Thick Crest?

My friend told me that a horse with a thick crest is most likely going to founder, because they are really overweight?
Is that true?

I am interested in getting a little 12hh or so pony, has really bad leg conformation, I mean really bad! Just for a companion for my horse, when I move her to a place by herself.
He is really friendly, rests his head on my shoulder and wiggles his lip, gives me kisses. :)
He is trained to shake a paw(hoof), I just hold out my hand and say "shake a paw" and he lifts it up and stretches it out front for me to grab. It's adorable!
He is also trained to bow.
He has an extremely thick crest, and I was wondering if it is related to founder, how do you get rid of it? Is it just excess fat that comes off with exercise, or is it part of his conformation?

Thanks a bundle!
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    09-22-2010, 01:53 AM
A thick crest can be a sign to check to see if the horse has foundered, but it doesn't mean for sure one way or the other. A horse with a huge thick crest might have been overweight and thus more prone to founder; the crest is from fat buildup.
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    09-22-2010, 01:53 AM
Look up Equine Metabolic Syndrome and you will find a wealth of information (I recommend starting at Ponies are prone to being fat and to foundering but you can certainly do things to reduce the risk such as keeping them on a low sugar diet and getting some of that weight off! He sounds absolutely charming, good luck!
    09-22-2010, 01:58 AM
Thanks to both of you! This little pony is on grass 24/7 and some hay as well, no exercise, because his legs are too messed up. Someone really light can ride, but only walk and trot.
Would his crest go away with light exercise everyday, and low sugar diet, not on grass?
    09-22-2010, 02:09 AM
It would likely go down if you got him to a more optimal weight overall but as Charis said, it doesn't mean that they have or will founder, it is an indicator that they may be predisposed to it. There is a lot of interplay involved with the crest, being overweight, being prone to laminitis, being insulin resistant, etc. If I hadn't just fried my brain studying all night for an equine medicine exam I'd be more articulate (sorry about that) but I know I have found great info on all the connections on
    09-22-2010, 02:21 AM
^^ thanks so much! If I get him, I will definetly be watching his weight and trying to keep it down more.
    09-22-2010, 05:21 AM
Yes, a thick crest does have realations to the hose or pony being over weight. Pumpkin did have a thick crest, but it has 'thinned' from excercise and a healthier diet. :) Good luck with your little pony if you get him, he sounds so cute!
    09-22-2010, 06:22 AM
I think the other posters have explained that a thickening crest can be a *sign* of overweight and tendency to to founder, not a conformation flaw that indicates a propensity to founder.

Also, if you're managing a pony prone to founder, it's a good idea to monitor the crest of their neck on a daily basis, as well as their stance and the condition of their feet.

With my 10 hand pony, I palpate the top of his neck for the size of the fat deposits; and wiggle it back and forth to see how tense and rigid it is. I then look at his back and rump to see how much of a negative crease there is along the spine, and if there are fat deposits at the tail head.

This "exam" is cleverly disguised as petting and fussing over him, and can be done in seconds.

Finally, I look at his stance - if he has his front legs out in front of him and is rocked back, avoiding putting weight on his heels, that's a very late and serious sign of imminent founder. Ditto if his hooves are warm to the touch, or if he has a throbbing digital pulse.

As soon as his neck gets tense, he starts wearing a grazing muzzle. If that doesn't bring him in line within a few days, he spends some time in a stall or dry lot or we add some forced exercise - lunging or driving or trotting beside the golf cart. If you're doing a good job managing him, you should never see the founder stance or have warm hooves or palpable pulses.

HTH, enjoy your little guy.

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