QUESTION: My older mare has Foundered a couple of times in the past. I keep her locked up in the corral but she wants to get out on pasture with the rest of the horses. Why can't I just turn her out but watch her for early signs of Foundering again and then bring her back in?

ANSWER: A horse that has Foundered (Laminitis) in the past should not have access to pasture as they will founder again on the lush green grass. Really there are no "Early Signs". Fine one minute to the human eye and in severe distress the next.

In order that she does not have to live continually in a dry lot (pen without grass), you can purchase a safe basket type muzzle for her so she can be turned out a few hours every day to roam around and enjoy life out of the pen. The best ones are made out of safe wire/plastic that attaches to the halter so they can drink easily and even a few blades of grass can poke through for them to nibble. They enjoy this very much but cannot eat enough to founder again. NOTE: They cannot eat enough to survive either so this is just for a few hours during the day.They must still be fed dry roughage when back in their pen with the muzzle off!!!

If her body weight is in good condition, feeding a TOP QUALITY Grass hay (not legume as in Alfalfa, just Timothy or Brome grass for instance) every day is all she needs as long as she has access to a salt block, water 24/7 and a mineral block for her to lick when her body says she requires additional minerals.

Pellets and/or grains on a restricted basis may need to be added if she is under weight.

I really like being able to turn them out for a few hours every day to have some freedom and enjoy life and the muzzle prevents them from foundering again. They get to be with the other horses yet cannot harm themselves on the lush pasture grass.

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