How to Avoid Founder

[Articles on Horseshoeing]   [Horseshoeing Questions & Answers]   [Horse Training]

This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Bayard Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved.  Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.

 

Q: Just purchased a 5yr. old appaloosa. She's never grazed and I have 5 acres of nice green grass here. I've been told different things about letting her out of pen. How much can I leave her out, Can she founder ? She's healthy and built nice. Need some info on foundering. Can you help me?


A: Congratulations on your new five year old. Be careful about that nice green grass. Let me start out by saying, read everything I have published on this web site on founder. Both in the Q&As and in the articles. FOUNDER is the second leading cause of death to horses.

There are some old horseman's beliefs such as that horses that are worked do not founder, horses that are slim do not founder, horses that are fed balanced diets do not founder, and so on. Keep these in mind but do not rely on them one hundred percent. ANY horse can founder, given the right combination of circumstances.

Any change in diet should be done gradually. The horse should not be allowed to graze over a couple hours per day for the first week, not over 3 to 4 hours per day for the second week, etc.

Your horse should be checked daily for a thickening and a hardening of the crest of its neck. Should the neck thicken and harden, the horse should be gotten off the grass immediately--not in a day of two, but IMMEDIATELY. A neck showing these characteristics is a warning signal that this horse is about to founder; that it cannot digest or absorb these high levels of proteins and carbohydrates. Such high levels of protein and carbohydrates will cause physical trauma to your horse.

Horses can develop laminitis and founder from any physical or emotional trauma, not just from excessive green grass. However, grass founder is very common and is easily preventable. Don't kill your horse with kindness just because that nice green grass is beckoning.

Once again, be sure to read all my Q&As and Articles concerning laminitis and founder.

Sincerely,

Geronimo Bayard
The American Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon

Hit Counter

 

[Articles]  [American Blacksmith
[The Forge]  [Geronimo Bayard]
[Index of Horseshoeing Questions & Answers]   [Horse Training]

This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved. Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.