Remember folks, that this is over much of the world, north and south temperate zones mostly, the season for new grass growth in the northern half of the planet, and for fall sugar and starch storage in grasses in the south portion.
This means that many of our horses, more especially the hispanic, arabian, ponies, minis, and donkeys are at high risk of colic, laminitis, and deadly founder.
Those four categories of Equine I listed are prone to a metabolic anomaly called Insulin Resistance. It is similar to Type II diabetes in humans. Horses that evolved, I think, in sparcer forage seen to be the most likely victims of a metabolism set for survival in such harsh surroundings.
We need to keep these breeds and types more slender, and exercised (this is a biggie as idle equines of this type up their risk considerably).
We need also to keep sugary treats such as carrots and sweetened feeds away from them. As spring and fall approach we need to limit their time on grass, or the amount they can consume in a given amount of time more limited ... even if it means putting a grazing muzzle on them.
Many of you might remember Atlea's history and the struggles we had to get her through her first winter here without worsening her laminitis caused by her IR health status. She's well now but always on special diet and restrictions about access to grass, poor thing.
A major component, as it is for all equines, is to avoid any incidents of heavy feeding in a short period of time, and space smaller feedings throughout the day and night. All, not just IR horses, benefit by this schedule as many here know already.
We change their lives so, but not so much their metabolism for the better, when we breed them to type, and confine and manipulate their environment away from the norm for them, all day and night grazing and movement.
Thanks for reading and good health to all your equine friends.
And now it's time to go to the barn and reload Bonnie and Altea's 24/7 slow feeder for another day and night's load of hay.
Love is Trust, trust is All
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.