Warning (again) about spring grass for newbies

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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Once again CMHR is seeing way too many foundered horses. Seems like every other one we have foundered, is foundering, or has the potential to founder.

Spring grass is loaded with sugars. After being without grass during the winter, sudden exposure to

new grass growth can cause a laminitis attack, which can lead to founder.

My horses have been eased carefully on the new grass starting with a smaller field that was

pretty much still in the "nubs" stage. From there they went into the larger fields first for an hour a day or so, then it was built up for longer periods of time, 2 hours, then 3 and so forth, until now they are back on pasture for half a day presently and then to dry lot.

Although I was very careful about easing them back into the grass, low and behold, here came my sweet baby Brite Star on Saturday all dumpy with a belly ache and big runny green poo shooting out of her. The next day, she was joined by her sister Noelle, same thing. I had two belly aches going on. over the weekend Then it occurred to me that last summer, they never really experienced grass at all because we were victims of the draught and our grass never really came in as good as it usually does. So this was their very first real experience on grass ever. They couldn't tolerate it like the others. They both had some probios, and we had to start over with them again, and back into the smaller field where the grass is not growing lush or plush at this time. I also took them off of Jr food which was super loaded with sugar. You just can't be too careful.

Also don't forget that in the fall, same thing. There is grass dying out but still in many areas they have new growth in the fall too.

This has been a public service announcement.
Thanks Marty. This is a great reminder for everyone. Since I have been on vacation and Melody hasn't been turned out in the big pasture for 10 days I have to start all over again. Before I left I had her up to being turned out all day long and locked in her paddock at night. But now I am starting her off at just an hour a day and will move up from there. I agree completely, you never can be too careful! And Lord only knows we don't need anymore issues going on around here :DOH!

I will add that even nubbins is not good to just turn out. I had my 11 year old come up with a belly ache and hot feet off the first green stuff this spring last Friday after rain on Thursday.

Be careful everyone!

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