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Cool spring weather brings in new green grass but what about the fall? Those cool weather days also bring in new green grass. So how does that relate to the horses’ diet?
Most horse owners know about the dangers of eating too much new spring grass, but have you thought much about the fall weather grass? Yes, horses can founder on both. With the abundance of rain and sunshine this year, you may find yourself mowing your lawn every 5 days. How about your pastures?
Fall is the time to fertilize and lime your pastures. If you do, keep your horses off for several weeks, not just days. We are thankful for all that good green grass, but with it comes limitation for horse grazing.
It has been known for many years that lush pastures can cause laminitis and founder in susceptible horses. According to a popular farrier publication editor, Fran Jurga, scientists have identified fructans as the culprit in grass that causes horses to founder.
During the day, plants carry on photosynthesis and produce sugar. In grasses, these sugars are stored as carbohydrates such as sucrose, fructose and fructans. During sunny days, horses can be grazing on pastures that are high in carbs. At night, the plants use the carbs to produce plant tissue. Therefore, carb levels are lowest at dawn. Fructans are a form of carbohydrate stored by grass. Seeds store energy as starch, grasses store energy as fructans.
Problems can arise when stress slows the growth of the grasses and the plants do not use the carbs produced during the day. This condition can develop during the SPRING (and FALL), when falling nighttime temps and frost can shut down the plants. If the frosty nights are followed by warm, sunny days, fructan levels can accumulate quickly in the grass blades. Grazing grasses high in fructan levels can trigger a situation in horses very similar to carb overload caused by overeating grain. Increased carb and fructan levels can set off a series of metabolic disturbances in the horses’ intestines, potentially resulting in colic and laminitis. Until more research is done, it appears that fructans are the likely cause of grass induced laminitis or founder in horses.
Courtesy of the Tribute Equine Nutrition:
Laminitis is the inflammation of the sensitive structures in the hoof called the “lamellae.” The lamellae hold the coffin bone tight within the hoof horn. This condition is extremely painful and can lead to rotation of the coffin bone known as founder. A common cause of laminitis is overconsumption of pasture grass, especially when the grass is actively growing, typically in the spring or after a good rain – AND IN THE FALL. Nutritional causes are related to high intake of sugar and starch also from grain mixes high in cereal grains and molasses.
Minimizing the horses’ sugar and starch per meal is the best way to prevent or manage laminitis. Once a horse has signs of laminitis, nutrition will always be an important factor in continuing a long healthy life.
Dr. Dan, the Natural Vet of Tennessee describes it this way:
Just so you also fully understand – molasses IS SUGAR. Both cause insulin spikes, subsequent insulin resistance from over-production by the body, hypothyroid, Cushing’s horses, etc. Sugar highs and sugar lows are the culprits. Feeding corn and sugar at the morning meal is like us eating donuts and candy for breakfast. These high sugar levels wear the pancreas out. The pancreas produces insulin to handle the sugar and then later in the day, the sugar low causes tremendous stress on the body because the body is starving to death. This hypoglycemia also wears out the adrenals (glands that handle stress) and eventually hypothyroidism, Cushing’s (from over production of adrenal glands), and laminitis, as well as metabolic issues of all types can results. Heck, the body is “just flat worn out” from the stress.
All commercial feeds are produced to “hit the middle of the road’ when it comes to vitamin and mineral fortification.
Buck McColl of Mobile Milling Bio-Zin:
Read your feed tag carefully. Have your pasture soil tested. Compare the quality of your pastures to what your horse really needs in a supplement. Ask your farrier about your personal horse’s hoof quality.
From the Farriers’ National Research Center
Some horses react to all the above, and some don’t. You need to watch out for those easy keepers who seem to always be heavier. Going back to helping the hooves stay dry, put your horses in a dry lot or stalled overnight, let out about noon till 9pm or dark and they will have better hooves and stay on a better-balanced diet as well.
We offer a Nutritional Information Class and DVD for our farrier students and horse owns are welcome. The information comes to us from many Professional Equine Nutritionists who study the subject for living. It is part of our daily business, helping horses stay healthy with healthier hooves to stand on.
After all…”A Healthy Horse = A Happy Owner”
www.farriersnationalresearchcenter.com Villanow, Georgia (706)397-8909 for appointments
Check out our other “Healthy Hoof Care Articles for Horse Owners”
Link Casey, Certified Master Farrier & Educator
This topic was selected due to the constant wet weather this summer in and around our area in Georgia.
Ironically, upon submitting this article, Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. Horses and Cattle are not always mentioned on the daily news, but we know they will be in need of care as the water recedes and the ground has a chance to dry up. As part of a farrier referral program, the BWFA, farrier association wants you to know that we are available to help. Contact their website at www.bwfa.net BWFarrier@gmail or call 706-397-8047.
Horse owners often think that losing a shoe or having a rotten foot is 100 percent the farrier’s fault.
That being said, there are some things that the farrier might miss to cause these things to happen, but with good farrier work it then comes down to the responsibility of the horse owner to maintain the condition of the horse’s feet in between the farrier’s visits.
In many parts of the country this year, there has been an abundance of rain and moisture, causing the feet to swell. What this translates into is that the hoof absorbs the moisture and it will swell like a sponge. With the swelling, the hoof expands more than normal. Being that the foot is expanding more due to the moisture, the clinches move outward with the foot. Then when the foot dries the hoof condenses down to the original size. The clinches do not move back in with the foot. This in turn causes the clinches to have a popped-up appearance. Once the clinches become loose, this means that the shoe is now loose and will shift on the foot. As the shoe continues to move on the foot, the clinches continue to become loser and the shoe will fall off. As shown in this photo with the popped-up clinches. This is never ending day in and day out occurrence.
The horse owner is responsible for regulating the environment that the horse stays in. With more exposure to moisture, not only does it swell the foot and pop up the clinches, it spreads the most common bacteria in horses’ hooves known as thrush. As the thrush becomes worse this also causes the hoof walls to become weaker than they are supposed to be and causes shoes to fall off. They are simply not strong enough to hold nails.
Bottom (sole) of this foot is rotten with black thrush around the white line and nail placement areas.
To translate farther; when wet outside, keep your horse inside. When dry outside, your horse can remain outside. Now, I know what you are thinking; my horse does not stay outside 100 percent and my clinches are still popped up and I am still losing shoes. This is due to the 10-12 hours of standing in dewy wet grass overnight. They are constantly standing in wetness, therefor the clinches will pop up. Bathing a horse to often provides too much moisture in the hooves, cleaning out the hooves more often with a hoof pick and a simple wire brush will help greatly between visits. If standing in tall grass allowing the hair to remain wet, then "scratches" will sometimes show up which is the scabby and scaly, fungus mess that you see on the fetlock.
So, if your farrier has been having an unusual problem keeping shoes on your horses, do them a favor and regulate the time your horse stands in moisture of any kind. That being said, you also don’t want the hooves too dry. It is best to consult your farrier in order to determine a good moisture balance for your horse. They see more hooves than any other equine professional in a day so yours are probably not the worst, so let’s try to make them the best.
Short courses are available for Horse Owners and Riders, Trainers, novice & professionals: to learn more about healthy hoof care.
Afterall….. “A Happy Horse = A Happy Owner!”
Link Casey, Certified Master Farrier & Educator
Casey & Son Horseshoeing School, Farriers’ National Research Center, La Fayette, Georgia
More “Healthy Horse & Hoof Care Maintenance Articles by Farriers” can be obtained at
We welcome your questions for future feature articles 706-397-8909
Rae Johnson of South Georgia. Veteran, 12 week professionally certified student.
Serge Godard from Ontario, Canada came for the 2 week Horseshoeing Course to learn to trim, shoe and maintain his own herd.
A great looking bunch with owner and head instructor Link Casey.
Bring your horse(s) for a “free evaluation and trim” during our Open House Saturdays (a $40.00 value)
Watch, listen and learn while our Instructor is teaching owners/students just like you to become professional farriers to serve you, the public.
If you are really energetic to learn more with hands on:
Attempting to trim and shoe on your own from books or videos shows you are interested but is no substitute than actual hands-on in an educational surrounding. Everyone wants to learn the right way.
We offer a 1 and 2 day “A Healthy Trim Your Own Horse Class” and a 10-day Trim and Shoe Introductory Course.” The perfect opportunity for beginners with one horse, or a herd; when riding is your lifestyle, or you operate a horse business. Know more about what you ride, buy, sell, trade, breed, etc.
As farriers, we would like to see more people interested in Healthy Horse & Hoof Care Maintenance.
Put it at the top of your horse priority to-do list. Maybe it’s on YOUR Bucket List !
Here is a comment from a recent student:
I attended the two day trim course and the amount of knowledge I left there with, in just 48 hours, wow! I will never look at farriers the same. I was very impressed with the instructor, Link, his willingness to educate, the amount of knowledge he has, and his professionalism. I would highly recommend any horse owner, to take the time to educate yourselves on the most important part of our four legged creatures. I just wish I would have done this a long time ago! Well worth the travel, time and money!!!!!!!
We Are Proud To Accept Veterans Of All Military Branches And Have Worked Hard With The VA To Offer This All Inclusive Package:
Our 12 week
Option 2 course
- Clean Lodging
- Two Home Cooked Meals On School Days
- Farrier Tools Package & EFT Hand Tools
Plus: Anvil of your choice
Forge of your choice
(or) FLIR Themal Image Camera
Within an $815.00 Budget
Plus: Membership Trade Dues into a Farrier Association to achieve your Farrier Certification upon successful completion/graduation.
Also VA Approved is our 6 Week Advanced Course!
All Inclusive: Tuition, Lodging, Meals & $1,300 worth of Tools for $8,300!
My husband, Reed Remley, passed away last month. I am selling his rig as an entire unit, or will sell the topper separately. 2008 Ford F 250 Super Duty XLT, 6.4L twin turbo engine. Over 300,000 miles but new engine with less than 70,000. Brand new tires, new fuel pump, brakes, etc… (have paperwork on all repairs). Truck is in excellent running condition.
Topper is a Stonewell Bodies unit, fits 6 ¾ bed. Comes complete with all power tools and a ton of inventory.
UPDATE: Mrs. Remsley is not stripping down the truck and will be selling the tools individually.
Located in Evansville, Wisconsin
Contact Mindy Remley at 608-774-0420 or email@example.com
Stephen Crenshaw of Dawsonville, Georgia with Owner and Instructor; Link Casey.
New Farrier, Chris Lambeth of South Georgia is another proud graduate of Casey and Son Horseshoeing School as well an Equine Flexion Therapy Graduate of the Farriers National Research Center.
For August 7, 14 & 28 !!!
Sign up now and reserve your spot today!
Clean housing WIFI and two HOT meals a day are included at no extra charge!!!!
Full time operating trade school Tuesday-Saturday year round.
Full-time, part-time & Saturday only conveniently available.
You will receive daily:
50% Trimming & shoeing live horses
40% Forgework (Hot, Cold, Corrective)
10% Classroom Discussions & Business Lectures
Horses are provided by the public, different daily & delivered to the school saving valuable time & in a educational atmosphere. This allows you to work at "your own pace". Small classes of 8 are preferred.
Our 12 week & 6 advanced courses includes the Equine Flexion Therapy Class; not available at any other school!
The ONLY Horseshoeing School who is affiliated with the
Farriers' National Research Center, only facility of its' kind that can offer you a: Legal Farrier Science Associate Degree!
2017 Graduate Ben Young returned for a 2-week refresher course in 2018 to upgrade to BWFA Journeyman I status. Proudly wearing his BWFA belt buckle here with Link Casey, BWFA President & Tester. Ben has a rather excellent success story of his 1st year working as a Farrier and we are all so proud of him!
We have another wonderful student graduate!
Our Farrier Education includes clinics on "How To Better Serve Your Customers" and improve your overall horse knowledge. Link Casey, offered a "Saddle Fit Class" for a ladies riding club. Enjoyed by all who were already experienced riders with good horses. One needed an all new saddle & pad to fit properly and others just needed an adjustment or two. The infrared FLIR camera used showed the 'inside' of the story. What might be blamed on shoeing could actually be a saddle fit problem and vica-versa.
Click here to check out slideshows of the course!
Reserve your space today!
Good morning! My name is Shannon Hess, I'm the social media manager and executive assistant for Bravo Whisky Charlie Films you to the big-screen debut of our indie western that we filmed up at Casey & Son Horseshoeing School. I should note, this is only a Short film version, not the feature-length film on which we are still working.
The film will be shown at 7pm on Wednesday June 27th at the historic Strand Theater on Marietta Square in Marietta, Georgia. If you would like to attend, there is a Facebook event at this link: https://facebook.com/events/525844877788657/
The address for the theater is 117 N Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060. I've attached maps of the square so you can find it more easily.
Thank you for your support.
Shannon @ BWC Films
In Association With 40 Something Cowgirls: Dallas, Georgia Chapter
By popular request from our customer Judy Carroll, we will be hosting a saddle fit class on Saturday, July 7th. We will have two sessions 9-12 & 1-4 . Judy is a member of the 40 Something Cowgirls, Dallas, Georgia Chapter. This is an International Association with chapters all over the United States and now in Australia. We would like to invite members of ALL the Georgia Chapters. Open attendance to all of our school customers & visitors with their horses as well.
Link Casey; Master Educator, Master Farrier, will be the instructor on his campus in Villanow, Ga.
- Step by step evaluations of YOUR horse, YOUR tack & YOU as the rider.
- Using our Thermal Imaging as visual proof.
- Equine Flexion Therapy techniques
- Indicating stress points
- Farrier knowledge and advise.
- Refreshments & Lunch $10.00 each
- RSVP for attendance, it is a priority!
Happy Horse Makes A Happy Owner!
Sign up now, only 2 people per date!
July 17 & 18
July 20 & 21
July 31 & Aug 1
Aug 10 & 11
Sign up NOW for our next EFT course: October 10, 11, 12.
Jack is a "Draft Man" who plans on specializing in ALL work horses;
Belgian's, Percheron's, Shires, Clydesdale's, etc.
Riding, pulling, plows, carriages, as well as all other breeds!
Reserve yours by June 15th!
Just in time for FATHERS DAY!!!!!!
(Pass this along to your Wife & Kids)
Flir ONE PRO is handy and easy to use, attaches to Android or I-Phone.
The C-3 has WIFI capability.
Both Great tools for Smart Farriers!
Give yourself and edge in the Farrier Business. By a FLIR today!
For More Information about FLIR and it's products please click HERE