Spring Challenges: Weight and Condition

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Worrying about spring pastures' We all are! Even though at the moment I have three horses who are low risk, it's always on my mind. But, since grass founder can occur for seemingly no reason whatsoever, I'm cutting back on grazing time between now and mid June (depending on weather and grass).

Certainly some horses are more at risk for springtime founder than others. Those more at risk include fat horses and/or easy keepers, horses battling Cushing?s and/or insulin-resistance are highly susceptible, as are ponies and Morgan horses.

No need to get wacky about it all. What it really comes down to is common-sense horsemanship.? Did the grass seem to really get green quickly' Cut back on your horse's grazing time, drastically if your field is particularly lush.

Is your horse getting fat quickly' You?re not likely to just ride that weight off of him. You have to restrict calories, too. that's not too difficult when it comes to grain (if you even need to feed it) and hay, but it can be tough with turnout. you'll need to either change to a less-yummy field or putting on good muzzle on your horse. Weight really does matter. I'm watching my own level of fitness, as always, and being very careful that my horses remain fit. (Actually, there are days I wish someone would muzzle me. Why do so many people think they're cruel')

Exercise is so important, and I take great care not to fall into that ?weekend warrior? rut. I know I ride more Wednesday through Sunday than I do Monday and Tuesday, so I've developed a plan to gradually build and maintain condition. Neither my mare nor I could be classified as young anymore, but we have just as much fun as anyone else, sometimes more. And I plan on both of us being able to do that for a very long time.