Beware - Snow & Ice Creates Sugary Grass!

Written by Wednesday, 07 March 2018 12:14

Be on your guard if you're putting your horse or pony out on grass that has been covered in snow, especially if they are prone to laminitis or other sugar related problems, as snow and ice cause sugars to build up in grass in the same way it does with frost. And don't think just because the snow has melted that you are ok because any night temperatures below 5° will keep the grass in high sugar mode.

Similarly, with frosty mornings, it's not simply ok to wait for the frost to melt before you put your horse out; to be safe the night time temperature needs to have risen to 5° because this is when the grass accumulates sugars.

It's also worth bearing this in mind if you have a horse who is in any way reactive to high sugar content, or if your horse experiences behavioural changes. Sometimes it's not just having been kept in, or lack of exercise after snow and ice that can make your horse overexcitable or resistant in some way. There are many horses who have never been diagnosed as laminitic who are in fact low-grade laminitic and reactive to too many sugars. This creates symptoms such as footiness and backache that are easily missed which means that the poor horse is treated as difficult!

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