Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter May 2015

May 2015

5 Steps to Avoid Laminitis From Spring Grass

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 20, Number 5

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In This Issue:

1. 5 Steps to Avoid Laminitis From Spring Grass
2. Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping

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1. 5 Steps to Avoid Laminitis From Spring Grass
Madalyn with horseSpring is here and pastures are finally getting green and lush. Unfortunately, the spring grass your horse loves so much could tip him into the devastating condition of laminitis. Lameness, pain and possible permanent hoof damage are all part of the laminitis picture. There are 5 steps you can take to avoid laminitis from spring grass.

Step 1. Keep your horse at the correct weight. Extra fat will cause more strain on your horse’s hooves. Extra fat can also produce inflammatory hormones that contribute to insulin resistance. You may need to get a weight tape and check your horse once a week so his weight does not sneak up on you. A horse that goes on to spring grass a little bit underweight will not be as likely to have trouble as one who is already fat. If you are not sure if your horse is the correct weight you can look at a body scoring system and see where your horse fits.

Step 2. Introduce spring grass gradually. The good bacteria in your horse’s gut need time to adapt from winter hay to fresh grass. It is a good idea to give your horse his full serving of hay before turning him out on grass so he eats more slowly. Limit initial grazing to less than 1 hour and gradually work up. Horses will get less sugar from grass on cloudy days because the sugar builds up with sunlight. Be sure and cut back on any concentrate feed once your horse is getting nutrition from grass. If your horse is overweight you will want to limit his overall feed intake to 1.5% of his total body weight. It is hard to know how much a horse on pasture eats, but if grass is plentiful he can probably meet his daily needs in just a few hours of grazing. Feeding extra probiotics plus blue green algae will help support a healthy transition from hay to grass and provide extra minerals that may be lacking in fresh grass.

Step 3. Exercise your horse. One hour a day of steady exercise, even walking, will help your horse burn calories and keep his insulin system working.

Step 4. Muzzle your horse. Many horses will overeat pasture but they are miserable if kept up in a dry lot. You can allow horses to be with their friends and still limit their grass intake by fitting them with a muzzle. You can get a very comfortable muzzle that attaches to a halter at www.harmonyequine.com. Make sure your halter has a breakaway feature in case your horse catches it on something.

Step 5. Feed extra magnesium when grass is lush. Lush pasture grass is high in sugar and low in magnesium. Magnesium is needed for many body functions, including carbohydrate metabolism. You can get a good magnesium supplement at www.performanceequineusa.com

So with a few simple steps to avoid laminitis from spring grass you can have a happy and healthy horse.

2. Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping
Ever wished you could have the opportunity to pick Madalyn’s brain and get all the answers you’ve ever wanted to your holistic horse health questions? Now you can! With the Mentoring Program you can stick to studying one area or a combination of several. It’s your time with Dr. Ward and your program geared to meet your needs.

Through her websites at www.holistichorsekeeping.com and www.horseharmony.com, Dr. Ward has presented lots of information on holistic horse care, nutrition, and five element temperament typing over the years to educate horse owners and those who work with horses. Now you have the opportunity to take this education to a whole new level with the Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping. This program offers a six month intensive training on a one on one basis with Madalyn Ward, DVM. in one of the following areas or a combination of the three.
•    Homeopathy Mentoring Course – Beyond Arnica
•    Horse Nutrition Mentoring Course – Using foods to heal
•    Horse Temperament Mentoring Course – Know your horse

For more information on this unique educational opportunity, see the Mentoring Program on our website.

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Please also enjoy all of Dr. Ward’s web resources:
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http://www.horseharmonytest.com
http://blog.horseharmony.com
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