Living Options for a Founder-Prone Horse

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Deb R 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • live.love.lope. Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 5

    Hello!
    My horse has never foundered, but has come close, so I want to make sure it doesn’t happen. To do that, he has been taken off of green grass and just eaten hay (and grain) for the past year and a half or so. The problem is we are moving to where his only turnout opportunity would be in a pasture full of green grass. Right now he is turned out in kind of a dirt area, where he can run around without eating grass, which is great for him. What should I do? I don’t want to just keep him stalled all the time, he can get quite energetic. I could do a grazing muzzle, but I don’t know. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    How do you use your horse? For trail riding, or do you show? I would limit anything containing alfalfa hay, which will only make him more susceptible to laminitis. Same with the grain. Very rarely does a trail horse need grain. Having said that, you’re right–you don’t want to turn him out in a field where he can eat grass all day long. Are you available to turn him out for short periods of time to graze and then return him to his stall?

    live.love.lope. Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 5

    How do you use your horse? For trail riding, or do you show? I would limit anything containing alfalfa hay, which will only make him more susceptible to laminitis. Same with the grain. Very rarely does a trail horse need grain. Having said that, you’re right–you don’t want to turn him out in a field where he can eat grass all day long. Are you available to turn him out for short periods of time to graze and then return him to his stall?

    Yes. That is a possibility. I use my horse primarily for showing.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Good, because that’s what I would recommend. Start easy–maybe only ten or fifteen minutes of grazing, and then slowly extend the time. One barn I used to keep a horse at had an empty field next to it full of lush green grass in the spring. All the boarders called the Salad Bar, and after riding, we all walked our horse over to it and let them graze about ten minutes. I hope this helps.

    live.love.lope. Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 5

    Awesome! Thanks for all your help Joan!

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    You’re welcome! I bet you can find a knowledgeable person to ask how long you can safely allow him to eat grass, because I’ve never had that problem! But a vet could definitely tell you, and maybe somebody at the feed store could give you a guesstimate.

    kajoad
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have a question to help prevent my horses from the negative effects of the spring grasses. My horses have had access to grass all year long since June of last year. They don’t keep their heads down grazing all the time. This will be the first spring here in western Washington they have had so much access to grass. I don’t want founder or colic. The one I have had all her life and she has not had any problem before. The other I have only had for a year so I do not know is he has ever had problems with spring grass. My question is this, Since they have been eating grass all along this past year, do I need to limit their access with the spring grass? Again they have been eating grass since last June, and have access to it 24/7 but don’t seem to over eat.

    Deb R
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    My horse did founder after being on limited grass access to having too much grass available. The biggest thing is keeping his weight down and regular exercise. I also purchased a Green Guard muzzle. Best one I have ever used. You can find it on Amazon. It is definitely worth the money. He can go out for several hours a day with no problem. When he is in the stall or dry lot he eats his hay from a Freedom Feeder net.
    Prevention is key, it is a long rode back if your horse founders.
    A supplement I use to also help is Smart Packs Smart Lamina & SmartMetabo-Lean.
    I also use Remission.

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