Spring weather is (finally) upon us! The weather is finally starting to participate. I have feed on the ground, I am able to ride and my horses are happier than ever.
Spring grass is certainly in full force. Buddy has decided (again) that he can’t be caught. He hasn’t been ridden in weeks and is currently spending his days running around the paddock like a loony. Kicking his hooves up, rearing, playing and being evasive.
Just as you think you can give his wee nose a rub, he runs. Darts around the paddock with his tail up and I swear he is telling me to get stuffed. Buddy thinks he is extremely clever, till Sunday. Sunday Buddy decided he probably needed the ride after spending a week not being able to get near him, I walked straight up and haltered him, men right!?
First saddling up, Buddy just wanted to gallop, It took a lot of effort to just get it down to a jig jog. When we met our first big hill, I thought Buddy would take this hill like a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Half way up the hill Buddy resided to a trot, then a walk. He couldn’t even gallop the whole way up like we normally do.
During the ride, I was told Buddy looks like a pregnant mare with a saddle on ( I know, Poor Bud!) This did resonate with me, spring grass has a high sugar content ( which is why the horse’s seem to lose their marbles) .
I have never had a horse I had to worry about foundering so I have been keeping a close eye on Buddy!. (Also known as Laminitis)
Not sure what foundering is? Let me teach you!
As spring grass starts to grow, it could be the beginning of serious problems – laminitis. Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the horse’s foot. Laminae make up the delicate, accordion-like tissue that attaches the inner surface of the hoof wall to the coffin bone (the bone in the foot.)
Founder can occur in one or four limbs. A founded horse is reluctant to move, and often leans back to take weight off the front hooves or the horse will lay down to take the weight off.
As soon as you suspect your horse having founder, call a vet! There are many different treatment options available, The most important initially is to remove or treat the cause. This may involve dietary restrictions and removal of any other relevant factors. Common ongoing treatment often consists of Anti inflammatory medication. It is also vital that a corrective farrier be employed as specialised trimming and shoeing is often necessary.
Founder can be as simple as thinking you’re doing the right thing by allowing access to green pasture.
- Well balanced diet. Restrict access to excessive feed. Vitamin/mineral supplements and some hay should be fed even if strict feed restriction is necessary.
- Regular exercise, this can involve riding, lunging or leading.
- Monitoring of body condition and weight. An obvious sign of weight gain is increased fat cover and enlarged neck crest.
- If the risk of founder occurring (or recurring) is high, consider adding a founder preventative agent to the feed.
- Ensure regular farrier visits and hoof care.
- Prevent or restrict access to lush Spring pasture, particularly in the middle of the day when plant sugars are highest.
Now that the days are getting longer and it’s finally daylight savings, ( Every equestrians favorite time of year!) Buddy can finally come back into a healthy work routine, much to his dismay! I am so thrilled to see such a healthy coat coming through with Buddy, when he arrived in Feb, his coat was dull, and he was wormy, I have been so excited thinking about how his summer coat would turn out!
Thanks Charlie for the photo bomb!
Have you had a horse with founder? I would love your knowledge on the subject!