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Grass foundered horse.

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        04-25-2013, 07:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by hberrie    
    I am just glad that all of you came out of our mothers womb knowing all of the answers to all of lifes questions. Thank GOD for that!
    I can easily see how things get taken out of context when there is no voice inflection on a keyboard. Sometimes it is very difficult for any of us to type politically correct when we are passionate about an issue.

    I "got" (at least I think I did) what Speed Racer was trying to say.

    I can be taken so far off the mark that somebody on another forum accused of having a "nasty little attitude"

    Horse management is a lot more complicated than when I started being responsible for my own horses 54 years ago. Back then my horses ran 24/7 on 100 acres and got called to the barn twice a day with a handful of home grown oats as a reward. Mine was an old cow barn with a big open ex-machine shed attached. Meaning they came and went as they pleased and nobody got sick on grass --- ever.

    Fast forward to today's world where I am now fully retired and my second group of Keeper Horses roam on 22 acres of native grass on steep hills. They can't go anywhere to graze without walking up and down hills.

    Wouldn't ya think that, alone, would keep them healthy?

    One horse became metabolic in 2007 - luckily he has never had even a mild laminitis attack. I put all four horses on a low starch metabolic diet at that time.

    Lo n Behold, a second horse was formally diagnosed with IR in 2010. He had light bouts of laminitis every Spring and finally went into a grazing muzzle for 9 months out of the year.

    For all my caution, he still grass foundered in the first week of March, 2012.

    He's coming around nicely but my point is, I have 54 years of serious horse-keeping experience. I did everything I could think of, at the time, to keep these horses healthy and I still had one founder on very early Spring grass.

    You did the right thing by building up your horse's grazing time but it sounds as if your horse is predisposed to metabolic issues. You probably could have wired his jaw shut and he still would have found a way to founder, as my thought is he has become that sensitive thru the years.

    Metabolic issues are the same as Type II diabetes in humans. Some people need to be on meds as children, others don't develop the disease until a later point in adulthood.

    If your horse can graze at night and be put up in the daytime, that would be best.

    If the boarding barn can't do that, hopefully they are willing to put a grazing muzzle on him daily and take it off when he comes in at night. If he doesn't come in at night, the muzzle still needs to come off at dusk as they are not meant to be left on 24/7.

    Someone also needs to make sure he is drinking water thru the muzzle. My IR horse went on strike for three solid WEEKS. I had to bring him in every afternoon and lock him up with hay, water, and WHITE salt until he figured out the muzzle wasn't going away.

    Also, if you look thru the threads in "Hoof Care", you will see a few current threads discussing this very issue. There might be some more helpful information for you

    I hope this helps some
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        04-25-2013, 07:58 PM
    Trying to learn here, so don't take this the wrong way.....

    If you knew you had a horse that had foundered in the past with frequent bouts of laminitis, why wouldn't you keep him completely off the spring grass? Forego the muzzle and dry lot him?

    Isn't that kind of like letting the kid with a peanut allergy eat just one peanut? Doesn't matter how little he eats, he is still going to have the reaction?
        04-25-2013, 08:29 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Sahara    
    Trying to learn here, so don't take this the wrong way.....

    If you knew you had a horse that had foundered in the past with frequent bouts of laminitis, why wouldn't you keep him completely off the spring grass? Forego the muzzle and dry lot him?

    Isn't that kind of like letting the kid with a peanut allergy eat just one peanut? Doesn't matter how little he eats, he is still going to have the reaction?
    I think that's for me? That's a good question and the peanut allergy is a good analogy.

    There is no such thing as a dry lot on this property. The way we are set up, it's impossible to build one without having to build a shelter for the horse because it would have to be far away from the house -- which is in the far east edge of the property, the wind always comes out of due west or SW and the house gets eaten alive with dust/debris as it is. I can get away with quite a bit but, I think Hypertensive Type A Mr. WTW would have the Hissy Fit of all Hissy Fits, if I announced I wanted to build a dry lot in any of the places that MIGHT make sense

    I had thought about fencing off part of the pet cemetary but he could still eat tree leaves, and just when I think I've found all the barbed wire from when this was a cow farm, I find more buried under the surface.

    I can't keep him shut in the barn during the day because the barn is metal, only 24X40, and an oven in the summer. The tub fans do nothing but push sickening hot air around from 1:00 PM until dusk.

    At the time, I didn't realize I was dealing with mild laminitis because he got sore every time he was trimmed and would get better just about the time he was due for another trim. While the trimmer was partly to blame, looking back, I can see grass was another part of the problem.

    The best I can do in my situation, is to limit grazing time for everyone which really *isses me off because it means more hay, more shavings and more time cleaning stalls.

    The foundered horse feels fine these days, so there is no turning the others out ahead of him unless I want him to tear the stall down or possbily re-injure himself while trying to tear the stall down. He's good about being alone unless he's in the barn.

    This year, he went into the muzzle March 1st and has been on the herbal compound since December. The herbal compound is keeping his insulin in check --so far and his hooves are staying cool -- so far.

    Short of sending him down the road (which will never happen), those are my options.

    I have discussed this at length with my vet, who sees my horses at least twice yearly for physicals. He has a mare that becomes laminitic every spring and she is in a dry lot. I don't know if it's because of her hormones go into overdrive in the spring (he swears there's a connection where mares are concerned), or if somebody isn't feeding her the way they're supposed to but, she is in a dry lot and still has issues.

    Sometimes these things are not as black and white as we would like them to be and sometimes a fix that is easy for one person is next-to-impossible for somebody else
        04-25-2013, 08:45 PM
    Thanks for the explanation.
        04-25-2013, 09:13 PM
    Grass is, and will remain, THE best and most natural type of feed for horses. Drylotted horses have to be supplemented with omega's, ( ask me how I know), to get what grass provides. Plus, pasture is best for mind, attitude.
    The biggest problem is what we, as people, have taken out of the soil, then add the eradication of weeds, beneficial or not, then the way of modern feeding( processed to the max, clean, sterile, uniform), IMO that all contributes to " junk food" for horses, with all the side effects we see in people.
    Magnesium for Horses | Natural Health for Equines is an interesting read about latest findings re supplementing magnesium to IR horses. Definitely worth a try.
    aforred likes this.
        04-25-2013, 11:43 PM
    Walkinthewalk - just wanted to say thanks. Your posts have been very very helpful. You are right - sometimes we are just limited by the available options.
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        04-26-2013, 04:24 PM
    Thanks to all who have responded to my thread. What a learning experience!!
    I have taken him off oats now and just feeding hay, with a mineral sup. Need to look into mag, and talk to the farrier. He is running around the barn now and still tries to reach over the fence to get at that grass. I guess its like candy to a kid!

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