Foundered hard keeper - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Foundered hard keeper

A boarder has a 24 appy mare that is a very hard keeper. She's also foundered and her feet were like elf shoes when she arrived. This mare also chokes. She is on pasture 24/7.

I feed my pasture horses horseman's edge 12:6 once daily. She is getting 5 lbs soaked a day. Definitely NOT what she should be eating... We will be going to twice a day feedings but I'm not sure what to feed her that will help her gain weight. I need an energy dense low starch feed... any suggestions?

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post #2 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 07:50 AM
Green Broke
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Timothy hay pellets or Alfalfa/Bermuda mixed hay pellets, 2 cups of milled/ground flax, a vitamin supplement, and a digestive aid (pro/pre-biotic w/yeast cultures). That will give her all the nutrition she needs, fat for weight gain, and help her system absorb it all. Hard keepers (IME) do better on NO grain or grain-products. You'll see better weight gain and you remove almost all risk of founder. Add water to the hay pellets to prevent choke. You can feed up to 5 lbs per-feeding of hay pellets. Alfalfa mixed pellets will be higher in calorie and protein, but you don't want to give a founder prone horse too much alfalfa.

Pasture can cause founder too, if the grass is too rich or has been stressed by drought or heat. She might need to be dry-lotted with free choice hay if the pasture grass is a problem.

A third cause of founder is mechanical. If the feet are left untrimmed or trimmed improperly a horse can founder. Keeping her feet in good condition will be very important. I would keep her on a 4 week trim schedule.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a dry lot and timothy pellets/cubes is hard to find here in Texas.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 01:42 PM
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Can you get Blue Seal feeds?

If so, try the Blue Seal Trotter pellets, along with some beet pulp.

High fiber, low starch, and low sugar.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 02:34 PM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
I don't have a dry lot and timothy pellets/cubes is hard to find here in Texas.
If any of the Tractor Supply stores near you carry Standlee hay pellets, then they can get Timothy pellets for you. Some TSC's and feed stores will have timothy/alfalfa cubes or bermuda/alfalfa cubes. You'll need to soak those longer, but they work very well.

If you don't have a dry lot, you could use electric fencing to section of an area and keep it mowed down.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-20-2010, 03:43 PM
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If her original founder issue was not caused by sugars/feed but more a mechanical issue then being out on pasture should not be too much of a concern (obviously as long as it is not causing her weight issues).

I too like the idea of adding beet pulp.
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