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Feeding a founder horse

1384 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MerlotDotOne
Hey everyone I?m looking information on what to feed my new horse that has founder in the past. Right now she is getting free choice of hay in the daytime, and at night time she gets one cup of equalizer. The more information the better :) I have been googling but just want to in void a founder when she come home to her new barn. Thanks
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Hoo-boi ---- She foundered because she has insulin issues.

The indicators I immediately see are the cresty neck, she is over weight enough to give her a "water channel" down her back. She looks to have excessive fat pads in the shoulder area which are also typical.

When you say "next time you see her" so that means she is in a boarding situation? If so, I hope the BO is willing to help.

You're in Canada so you are probably already having pretty cold weather.

I have an insulin resistant horse that has foundered but I am in the south east United States where it is still "suntan" weather as far as you are concerned:). @Smilie also deals with an insulin resistant horse that has foundered. She is in Canada and will be a lot more help in terms of what to feed.

What I can say is to keep the NSC's (non-structural carbohydrates) as low as possible. That means you need to watch what goes into her feed pan, grazing time and whether she needs a grazing muzzle.

If the barn owner buys hay by the season, ask permission to pay to have it tested for value for horses NOT cattle. If the hay tests high in NSC value that means soaking the hay where I live --- I don't know how that gets resolved somewhere the hay freezes the minute it's dunked in water:(

Your mare looks like she would benefit from her hay being in several slow feed hay bags, hung in several places so she has to move. Something that is difficult if she is in with other horses. I wouldn't be surprised if she eats like every bite is her last meal --- that is typical of a horse with elevated insulin, which is why slow feed hay nets are a huge benefit for them.

She needs frequent and quality hoof care since she foundered in the past. Were there x-rays and if so, did you get copies? Several of us wouldn't mind looking at her hooves, including clear sole shots in good light:). Many times Hooves tell a lot more of the story than the person can:)

The bottom line is that less is more in the feed pan. IMHO,mane is teetering on the edge of possible founder again, if the pics you posted are fairly current.
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1. Your second cousin isn't doing you any favors if you are paying the price of a healthy horse for a horse that has developed a disease that never goes away but MIGHT stay in remission with strict and proper management.

Proper management of an insulin resistant horse (and she is) means micro-managing a low NSC diet and added expense.

1.1. At the least, I hope your cousin only asked a couple hundred dollars for the horse and the horse has an exceptionally sweet disposition and willingness to do right.

1.2. If she is a show horse, her career has been made limited by the disease. These horses start out with whatever their normal energy level is and after about 15-30 minutes of work its like they have hit a brick wall and either slow down or go down because they are suddenly worn out for no apparent reason.

2. Unless the mare doesn't grow a lot of hoof (foundered horses do tend to grow too much heel too fast) six weeks is too long between trims. She should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks to keep the foundered hooves from flaring and the toes from stretching.

3. Please be prepared to have to spend extra money to properly care for her health needs. Insulin resistance cannot be swept under the rug and expect the horse to remain healthy. It takes work and it is going to take the full cooperation of the barn owner.

FWIW, the horse in my avatar is insulin resistant. He foundered really bad in 2012 (he was coming 17 years), He foundered again a few years ago and I thought I would lose him. The picture was taken late this Spring, he was 22. It took a lot of labor and $$$$ on my part to get him back to decent health.

4. Please read the article I posted in the Hoof Care section on "winter laminitis". I apologize for not remembering to get the link before I started this post --- I will lose the post if I try to go back, now:(

Also visit Dr. Eleanor Kellon's website on how to care for insulin resistant horses. Lots of good information as to managing these horses:)
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