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RE: [RC] Feeding hay on the ground - Mcgann, Barbara

Also, I think that sudden change is a big factor.   We were hauling 4 horses from Utah to Arizona - our Utah place had dirt in the feeding areas.   We stopped overnight in the low desert and put our horses up at a big, sandy arena and fed them off the ground.  3 out of the 4 had sand colic by the next day.  The vet was pulling great hunks of almost concreted manure out of them.   Maybe it was just a matter of their system not being used to that much sand at one time - the local horses didn't seem to have much problem with it!
Barb McGann

From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sherman
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 11:36
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] Feeding hay on the ground

There are probably more factors than just being fed off the ground that contribute to sand impactions. Just think how easy it is for a horse to leave a little tiny morsel of something they don’t like in their bucket. So we know that they are capable of sorting thru very tiny particles if they choose to. OTOH, some horses gulp or wolf down whatever is in front of them, don’t chew well, and are prone to choke. Probably the large amounts of fiber that the (our) horse takes in, helps them to eliminate any sand in their gut. Horses that are confined to a small area, no grazing, fed concentrates, not worked enough to be able to eat all the hay they want (this is why endurance is so good for them!), bored and eating copious amounts of dirt, probably have sand sitting for longer periods of time without fibers to help move it along and would be more prone to impactions or dying section of intestine or colon. Just some thoughts…
Maybe I've been lucky, maybe not.  I think it's not luck.  Remember, horses
do graze off the ground a lot, and in the dry west, they're eating right in
the dirt all the time when they're grazing the sparse pasture.  So do wild
horses, btw.  I think they can also get sand and grit from muddy water, too,
wouldn't you think?  I've seen horses drink from very muddy ponds, streams,
etc.  That's silt in the water.... they seem to like the taste, too! and
usually seem to prefer to drink out of an algae-rich, muddy pond than out of
a clean, chlorinated bucket.
Carla Richardson


[RC] Feeding hay on the ground, sherman