Laminitis and frost

Joined
21 June 2021
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13
I know it’s a topic that gets talked about a lot but a lot of the information I have read is for horses with laminitis. What about horses who aren’t prone but we don’t want to let them get it?

So I have 2. One is a Shetland (technically a Dartmoor hill pony). He is a little overweight but not terribly so. Not clipped and not rugged. He’s in at night and out in the day (over winter). He is on soaked hay when he’s in to help him get a little weight off.

It’s him I worry about more than my other who is a healthy Andalusian in work.

I have read the frost causes NSCs to be higher. I have also read a few conflicting things about what temperature it should be before turnout.

I’m interested in what people do in practice when it comes to frost. Thank you
 

meleeka

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14 September 2001
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7,433
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Hants, England
I’m of the opinion that they shouldn’t be that close to laminitis that frost will tip them over the edge. Mine live out on a bare field so I don’t worry about frost. If they didn’t I’d probably give hay first thing, so they are less likely to stuff their faces until it’s thawed.
 
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JackFrost

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27 October 2020
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465
My ponies have always been out whatever the weather and don't suddenly get laminitis when it's frosty. Current thinking is that there will be underlying issues like ems or cushings which will predispose to lami in the wrong circumstances.
If Shetland-technically-dartmoorhillpony 🤣 hasn't shown signs before, I wouldn't be worrying.
 

HappyHollyDays

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2 November 2013
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On the edge of the Cotswolds
I have one laminitic prone pony who can go for ages without it and then even when he is slim and in work will succumb as he did last summer due to concussion so if it is frosty I feed him a much larger chaff breakfast and put hay out in the field. Touching wood, so far it has worked. More of an issue is the one with EMS because it’s been so mild and the grass is growing his insulin has taken a bit more managing this winter.
 

Melandmary

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26 January 2021
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274
My mare got lami last spring after we had alot of frosty mornings and my hay supplier had run out. There was plenty of grass in the field so i wrongly didn't worry about no hay as on previous yards ahe had regularly been turned out onto frosty grass. Never again. This winter i atarted turning her out at night and then bringing her in during the day because that is the worst time to eat frosty grass. Now that they are out 24/7 but on hardstanding and sand paddock with shelter being fed hay so i don't have that worry now thankfully.
 

holeymoley

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18 November 2012
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3,763
Mine (ems) always gets some hay and turned out late morning when it’s began to thaw. I don’t know, I’m slightly skeptical of the risks of it, I think i’d probably be more concerned with colic.
 

laura_nash

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17 July 2008
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2,357
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Ireland
I've had one laminitic pony who was very sensitive to cold, it didn't seem to relate to eating frosty grass just that cold hooves would trigger it. He had to be kept in on a deep bed or wear hoof boots on cold nights.

Others weren't impacted by cold directly. High sugar in grass from sun and cold weather would have an impact but whether the grass was frosted or not didn't seem to matter.

I would keep mine off grass altogether in that type of weather for any that might be at risk.

If I'm turning out on frosty grass I will give a bit of hay or straw chaff just before turnout, just to make sure they don't have an empty stomach. No idea if it's necessary, but it makes sense to me. More for comfort and avoiding colic than laminitis though.
 

Sprogladite01

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11 September 2019
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124
I have two who are at risk and when it's frosty they stay in the yard with hay. I'm very lucky that they are at home with me so when it's warmed up I can then turn them out. The last few days they have both stayed in with hay (their little stable yard connects to a lunge pen and a small area with mud control mats on it) so it's been a double bonus of keeping them off the frosty grass plus having their legs and feet nice and dry for a few days. I appreciate how lucky I am to have that flexibility though!
 
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