5 ways to help prevent laminitis
By Your Horse
13 April 2012 11:12
Take a look at our advice to help your horse from developing laminitis:
1. Control your horse’s weight. Don’t think of any particular type of food as bad, but rather consider your horse’s calorie intake overall. As a rough guide, fat and oil are the highest in calories, followed by starch, grass, hay and straw, so obviously you can feed more of the low calorie feeds. Be vigilant all year round and remember that horses are the original yo-yo dieters. They should be thin-ish coming out of winter as they’ve evolved to put weight on in spring.
2. Weightape him regularly to monitor his condition, and aim for a condition score of 2.5-3 on a scale of 1-5 (O being emaciated and 5 obese).
As a guide, a score of 2 is the thin side of acceptable – where you can just see the ribs – and 3 is the plump side of acceptable, so you can feel the ribs but not see them.
3. Exercise your horse regularly. Turn out doesn’t count as adequate exercise – there needs to be a commitment to active exercise – that means riding, driving, lungeing or long-reining.
4. According to nutritionists, 24-hour turnout on a paddock with little access to grass is best. Grass may well be full of calories, but if you keep your horse in, he won’t be moving around as much and his metabolism
will slow, so use a grazing muzzle or get your lawn mower out, cut the grass – then make sure you rake it up.
5. Consider the conformation of your horse’s feet and work with
a good farrier to keep his hooves in the best possible shape to maintain the pedal bone’s correct position within the hoof capsule.