How do you manage your laminitis prone horse?

holeymoley

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I've had my boy for 9 years now. He's a 14hh 12year old coloured cob x welsh pony and has always been a good doer. When he was a youngster his weight was kept down as he was in regular varied work , but due to various things - and balancing work with horse etc we moved yard and unfortunately he got rather large in the first year. He then went on a strict diet and lost weight gradually . Unfortunately last year we had a sudden burst of grass in June and he showed signs of the start of laminitis. He recovered well and we're now back on first yard so I can ride him more often now (while baby sleeps that is!).

After last June, I reviewed all of his feed and his lifestyle and he is looking fab just now. Obviously I have a concern about new grass and I'm not too sure if I'm being over the top though! As hard feed goes, he is on fast fibre for breakfast and dinner with a general all round supplement. The turnout is my main worry though. We are at a large yard so the fields are all quite large. I managed to let my YO give me a small patch of field to put up electric fencing so he could have a restricted area. This was all going well but unfortunately we've had rather a lot of heavy rain (up in scotland!) and the fields are getting a mess, my little paddock even more so as it's at the lower gradient of the field and obviously it's being walked about in more. YO and I decided it'd be best to rest it to stop it getting a mess so my boy is now in a fenced off area at the back of the stables which is mainly hard surface but has an area with few sprouts of grass. He's out with hay and a play ball with pony nuts and gets brought in to his stable at lunchtime with a haynet waiting for him. He then gets his dinner later on and a 4kg soaked haynet over night.

I worry on one half that I'm being cruel with him getting hardly any grass (I walk him in hand along the verges too) but on the other hand I cannot risk him getting laminitis again, it's terrible to see. He has interaction with other horses over the fence, and spends a while grooming the others!

the other option my YO has given me is to turn him out for 1/2 hours per day in the big field (14acres) but I think he'll stuff his face as much as he can!

So, laminitis owners, what's your routine and do you think I'm being too harsh? :(
 

vieshot

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Sectioned off area. I feed straw to my fatties. Fill them up without the calories. Better if you can get another fatty to share pen with though. Not nice being alone and eating diet food.
 

dogatemysalad

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I think it depends on the grazing and set up on the yard. When my horse got laminitis the vet said that it was likely that he'd never able to eat grass again. I decided that if that was the case, he would be PTS.
I do not muzzle and don't use bare individual paddocks. He's clipped and when rugged, it's very minimal.
He goes out from 7pm to 7am with the herd on 12 acres. It's hilly and exposed in places, not overly lush, but not poor grazing either. He's stabled during the day with ad lib soaked hay. He is exercised very day which seems to be the most crucial part.
Bucket feed is a handful of chaff and Bailey's Co cal. I've tried all the barefoot suggestions over the last couple of years but have come back to the old favourite, which seems to work well for him. I feed before he goes back to the grass as hopefully, he'll be less likely to gorge and will enjoy a run around with his mates.

It's very much as case of seeing how they are each day and reviewing care to accommodate grass fluctuations and other factors. I wanted to give my boy the best quality of life without compromising his long term health and sanity.
 

amandap

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I worry on one half that I'm being cruel with him getting hardly any grass (I walk him in hand along the verges too) but on the other hand I cannot risk him getting laminitis again, it's terrible to see. He has interaction with other horses over the fence, and spends a while grooming the others!


So, laminitis owners, what's your routine and do you think I'm being too harsh? :(
No! I think your current option is a good one and I wish all yards would have grass free turnout areas! Ability to move aroud is also helpful.
I don't think the other option is a good idea myself, bit like playing with fire at this time of year.

My laminitis prone pony can't have grass at all so is yarded all the time. I don't feel bad one bit after seeing her with acute laminitis on two occasions and a couple of scares! It may not be perfect but it's the best I can do and provide.
I do have my place set up for restricted grazing though with large yards etc. so she lives in a herd 99% of the time
 
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holeymoley

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I forgot the main bit with turnout- he's in a herd normally over the winter in the smallest field we have (3acres) and he'll probably be going back out there soon in a small area, it is currently rested and about to be harrowed and rolled once we get a few nice days.

I think the fact I seen him sore last June and him being on box rest , makes his small area seem the best option, he can still get out and see friends. He's not the type to gallop round the fields , basically happy if he has food! I can't have him stuffing his face and getting sore :(
 

Nugget La Poneh

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Which is more cruel - restricting turnout and having a healthy, sound horse, or turning out and potentially subject your horse to a horrifically painful and debilitating disease?

I wish my yard would allow me to turn out on on what you have, would save me a lot of pre-planning and constant worry!
 

amandap

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I think the fact I seen him sore last June and him being on box rest , makes his small area seem the best option, he can still get out and see friends. He's not the type to gallop round the fields , basically happy if he has food! I can't have him stuffing his face and getting sore :(
Imho its always better to be safe than sorry (especially for the horse)and box rest is so stressful for many horses. Lots of yards must have waste areas they could turn into yards like yours.
When we came here there was one large yard and we made another wrapping round the back of the buildings so they can be opened up or closed off making two yards or one big yard on a sort of circuit round the buildings. The big yard has access to the fields so can be opened for those grazing at night for eg. but still have access to shelter and others in the back yard with access to a barn.
 

Follysmum

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I section mine off according to how the weather/grass is and feed soaked hay if needed. Small bucket feed of Fast fibre , Linseed, Mag Ox, Tumeric and lots of exercise. I have found they are better out and moving than stood in a stable.
 

Cazza525

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I go by eye now. I used to be a neurotic laminitis watch lunatic! Poor horses were generally pretty miserable at a)being secluded from others and b) hungry so caused behaviour problems.

I keep mine out as a herd as much as possible 24/7. I strip graze in big paddocks until bare. I also stable at night only when the grass is at its richest in spring and they have hay overnight (not soaked, cant be doing with the faffing!)

Mine are either old or youngstock, nothing in work here. Most laminitics need work to keep weight down.

I don't rug unless necessary, only in winter for the oldies. I like them to drop off in winter to prepare for the spring flush.
 

Cazza525

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I never bucket feed either. Only if the oldies drop off to much in the winter i give a scoop of fast fibre and the yearlings get stud mix over their first winter. Bare rations here and they all gleam :)
 

amandap

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Mine aren't hungry though, they all get free choice soaked hay. I would only restrict if serious weight loss was needed.
 
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