April Showers Bring Green May Horse Pastures
It’s April! April is known to bring showers, although some are still witnessing snow. The showers bring flowers to gardens and lush, green grass to horse pastures.
The horses are anxious to get out in the pasture and start munching on the sweet grass. Horse owners are anxious for it, too. It means less hay to feed and savings in our pocketbooks.
But don’t be in a rush to keep the horses on pasture. Fresh spring grass has lots of sugar and can cause damage to the horses health. That’s right! Too much spring grass at once, when a horse is not used to eating it, can cause laminitis and founder in horses. Laminitis is when the horse’s foot swells inside a hoof, which tends to be extremely painful. To give you an idea how it would feel, try putting on a pair of shoes 3 sizes too small and stay on your feet all day. You can imagine how painful that would be. OUCH!! If laminitis in not taken care of quicklym the horse will founder. Founder is when the coffin bone (the last bone in the foot that looks like a hoof) will begin to rotate. It can rotate to the point where it goes through the sole, at which point there is no known recovery for it at this time.
Introduce the horses to the pasture a little at a time so that their digestive systems adjust to it. Begin by putting them out about 1 hour each day and progressively increase the time span until they are adjusted.