I have a Shetland who lives out all the year round (ie no restricted grass intake) with our Welsh Cob, who needs to watch her waistline, so always in well grazed fields. He can live like this all through Spring, Summer and Autumn but the problems start in Winter, when he stiffens up and has laminitis symptoms. I've looked after so many laminitis ponies over the years, that I can see this is not straightforward. If I put him on 5 days' box rest, he comes out like a racehorse and is fine for a short while, but back to stage 1 in a couple of weeks. At the moment, he is very stiff, no heat in the feet and his sheath area is covered in black gunk, which I have washed off with a Hibiscrub solution. This may be cause by lack of movement as he walks slowly and he looks uncomfortable in his hind area. His problems seem to start with the first frosts although we have had very few this year, and I can hear all the laminitis 'experts' muttering about changes in the proteins in the grass, but I am convinced that this is not the real problem otherwise he would also succumb in Spring. I think that there may be an underlying reason, but we've had him blood tested for Cushings (he's only 12) and no problems there. I wondered if this rang any bells with anyone else out there and would be grateful to hear any advice.