How to keep your horse from foundering
I live in Alberta with snowy winters and sunny springs. It seems that it can be easy for a horse to founder and just as easy to keep it from happening. I was hopeing to get advice on how to prevent founder.
I hear that spring grass can be a cause, but what if your horse is out all winter then 'here comes spring' with all that sweet grass.
You can use a grazing muzzle. You can keep the grass mowed down if the pasture isn't too large. You can keep the horse in a small "dry-lot" paddock with restricted grazing in the pasture.
Other ways to help include more exercise, adding magnesium to the diet (helps process sugar/starch better), and reducing or eliminating grain/feed products.
Any animal can founder.
But, certain genetic lines are very predisposed to founder! These horses can just look at a sack of 16% mare and foal feed and founder. So, when buying your next horse, inquire a little about the bloodlines on its papers and look out for the troubled lines.
Unrelated i know,,but i used to live in Grande Cache in cananda,
wish i still did,instead the uk
IMO, most horses who are pastured throughout the winter do fine when the spring grass comes in as they have to work for it. Mine have always done fine this way. However, often as they hit the teen years an easykeeper will begin to show signs of getting fat as a toad. ;) That's the one you have to worry about. What I did when my dil's mare became a FT was shut her off the grass for 12-16 hours a day. I did provide her with hay of course. I also do not feed any grain at all. My horses do not come anywhere near working hard enough to need grain. I do feed Beet Pulp, Alfalfa pellets, and BOSS. My old appy must have more than hay/grass and the others like a treat. ;) They think it's a treat.
So to prevent, watch for any horse who may show signs of getting too fat and take action. Be sure you provide ample hay during spring grass tho once it's all up good they probably won't touch the hay.
Hi, I'm guessing you mean laminitis(inflammation & damage to laminae due usually to metabolic probs) rather than founder(mechanical changes in the foot, such as 'sinking' or 'rotation', generally initially due to laminitis)?
I would add to other's good advice that a horse doesn't have to get, or be fat to become laminitic. Along with diet, *good* hoofcare and exercise is important. While keeping a horse's feet *well* trimmed won't prevent or treat the laminitis, it will generally help avoid & help treat founder, and will keep the feet from further damage & pain when in their weakened state.
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