What you can do to try to keep your horse healthy and safe from laminitis…
1) Keep your horse at a healthy weight and fitness level by monitoring food and grass consumption.
Horses are naturally designed to be moving constantly. Their bodies require regular exercise, and you must provide that exercise.
Personally I believe horses should be exercised daily, especially if they are kept in stalls. Horses in larger turn-outs and pastures do not need to be exercised on a daily basis, however you should not think that they get enough exercise to be physically fit on their own.
Riding out on trails, working in the arena, or going for a sunset walk with my best equine friend, any one of these activities is sure to provide my horse and myself with inner peace and optimal health!
Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise and it is a problem for not only humans, but our companion animals as well.
Over-feeding domestic horses can happen all too easily, as we have a plethora of concentrated foods that we feed and as we restrict our horse’s ability to exercise freely by keeping them in stalls.
There are many varieties of hay, supplemental feeds, and nutritional supplements designed to aide in optimal health for domestic equines.
Watch our blog and website for informative discussions regarding varied equine health needs/concerns and healthy choices that you can make in your horses best interest and health.
Lastly, but VERY importantly, is the management of grass consumption, particularly in spring and fall.
We all know how much our horses love fresh green grass, but we must always remember that it can actually kill them! Grass is wonderfully good for horses, but within moderation as the consumption of grass causes a surge of sugars in the horse’s blood stream which can trigger a laminitis episode. The problem is that you may not even know your horse suffers from insulin resistance and then you find out the hard way when they are allowed to graze on fresh grass and they end up with laminitis. Personally I only allow my horses to graze on fresh grass for 30 minutes at a time and I make sure that I am supplementing them with Animed Remission and Animed Anigest.
2) Provide your horse with proper farrier care.
The old adage: “No Hoof, No Horse” could not be more true! The very slightest movement or rotation of any bone in the hoof and a horse will experience life long pain or possibly death. Making sure your horses hooves are maintained properly and regularly is not only a basic need, but an absolute must! Being that no two horses are alike, finding the right farrier and the right veterinarian can be tricky. The best recommendations come from friends. Ask around your equestrian circles to find out which farriers are in high demand. Ask as many people as you can, as horse people are very diverse on their experience, knowledge, and opinions. (Personal note: the vast majority of horse people you talk to will promote themselves to be “experts”. Everyone holds their own opinions and life experiences, but experts are few and far between, so it is wise to remember that those who speak the loudest are not necessarily the wisest.) Pay attention to your horse’s individual needs and work with your farrier to find the best fit for your horse. The typical time frame for having horses’ hooves done is about every 6 weeks, although some horses need to have their hooves trimmed every 4 weeks and others may be able to go 8 weeks between farrier visits. Many factors determine how often your horse’s hooves need to be done, but mostly it depends on your horse’s conformation and how often you ride your horse, as well as how strenuously.
3) Feed your horse natural supplements that promote optimal health.
By domesticating horses we have taken them out of a naturally roving environment, in which they obtained a variety of food sources and were constantly on the move. Since we now control what our horses eat, it is imperative that we invest time and effort in ensuring that we provide our beloved four legged friends with all the nutrition available. As for laminitis and insulin resistance, we can feed our horses natural, affordable and effective supplements which help promote metabolic balance, proper digestion and soft tissue support. By choosing the best foods for our horses, we can give their over-all system all the very best for a healthy, happy horse with healthy hooves!