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How cautious do I need to be about my 9 month old Shetland pony eating too much new grass this spring? If I keep her in a semi-dry lot with the gelding horses during the day and only let her out to graze at night will that be OK?
Hi! No! She is one of the most vulnerable to founder, and laminitis! I would only let her out on the grass for an hour a day for at least two weeks. Then let her out on the grass for half an hour 4 times per day (half an hour ONLY!!! every 6 hours, if that is possible) throughout the summer....only for half an hour!!! Not until later in the fall, would I leave her out for any longer periods of time. Putting her out the 4 or 5 times per day, is all the food that she should need throughout the summer. No matter though, keep monitoring her weight, and keep watch of her behaviour that she does not founder. As soon as you notice the crest of her neck thickening, and becoming cresty, then cut her back at least 100% immediately! Then after three days, start her back up, with only half an hour per day for the first two weeks. She is so small, that she will founder very, very quickly and will not provide much notice....you will be able to tell though. Please read in Tips the Tips for founder and laminitis, as with a little body such as this, you must be careful! Laminitis causes permanent damage, even if the process only gets started, so it is well worth preventing before it happens. Don't hurt her from too much kindness! Bye, Best, Mary @ Horse Tips Stop by my home site at http://communities.msn.com/goodgofarm