If the grass has not been managed correctly or if the horse has consumed too much grass, a horse can founder. Laminitis is an inflammation of the sensitive layers of tissue in the hoof and can lead to permanent lameness if not treated quickly. The condition is usually caused by the horse consuming too much grass or the grass being too rich in carbohydrates and other vitamins.
Within a few hours of consuming too much grass a founder can happen. Pain when walking and increased digital pulse in the feet are some of the most common signs of founder. The horse may show signs of being uncomfortable, such as not wanting to move or being reluctant to take weight on a foot.
There are a few factors that can affect the speed at which a horse can founder. The horse’s age, weight, and general health can all play a role in how quickly founder occurs. Younger, heavier horses are more prone to founder than older, lighter horses. The type of grass the horse is consuming can affect it. If the grass is high in sugars, such as grass that has been fertilized, it may cause founder more quickly than grass that is low in these sugars.
The horse’s diet should be managed well. It includes avoiding feeding too much grass, providing a balanced diet of hay and grain and avoiding overgrazing of pastures. The grass should be restricted or avoided if it is high in sugars. Hoof care, as well as trimming and shoeing, help keep the hooves healthy and prevent founder.
There is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition called founder for horses. If a horse is showing signs of founder, it’s important to get in touch with a vet as soon as possible. The horse can be assessed by a vet and treated to help it recover and prevent further problems.
A horse’s age, weight, and health, as well as the type of grass the horse is consuming, determine how quickly a horse can founder on grass. It is possible to reduce the risk of founder if the horse’s diet is managed properly and hoof care is provided.