This condition is realized when the horse is allowed to ingest a large amount of grain. This has been referred to a “grain founder”. The intake of the grain can happen over a period to time ~ that is to say that the daily feeding ration or the horse did get loose and out of its contained area and find the grain storage area and was like a kid in a candy store. They ate way too much feed for what its body requirements were now there is going to be a reaction. The feeds that are the worst for the horse to take in large quantities are wheat, corn and barley. A large feeding of oats does not have the same effect as the previous mentioned cereal grains. For some reason the oats do not seem to be as damaging as the other cereal feeds. That does not mean that an adverse reaction will not happen always use caution and good common sense.
The second factor on our list is the introductions to a lush pasture feed when the horse’s digestive system is not accustomed to that type of feed. Pastures that have this effect on horses usually have a high content of alfalfa or clover. It has also been noticed that the new and very young tender shoots of a field that is just turning green and replenishing itself is also high in the necessary “legume” to initiate the start of this stage. Horses that are affected by this are usually over-weight and then put onto the pasture when they are not properly conditioned for this change in their diet. This also seems to be happening more in the spring of the year and involve horses that have been stabled for the previous winter. The pastures that these horses are put on are lush and green and the horses are allowed to graze for a period of four to five hours on the first day that they are introduced to the change in their diet. When they have not been allowed to graze in a similar situation for the past four to five months; this has been referred to a “killing the horse with kindness”.
It is unsure as to how all of this happens within the workings of the horse. It is known that the new grass that is in the pasture is not high in carbohydrates and does not cause the increase in bacterial increase that occurs with the increase of cereal feeds. It has been thought to be more of a hormonal factor that starts this stage of the condition.
What have you experienced?...
Until next time, “Ride for the Brand”.