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 Combating Colic And Impactions This Fall And All Year Long
Wellborn Quarter Horses

by Andrea Haller at Wellborn Quarter Horses Transportation

When one of our vets found out we fed coastal, and never have had a colic episode, he was amazed.  So I thought I would share the secrets of our success:

 I feed everyone on mats (flakes of hay and grain) so they do not ingest much sand. However,  the mats must be swept almost daily, or hosed off. 

Once or twice a year I use Sand-blast or Sand Clear.
 
I wet down the grain, especially in the winter, when the horses may not drink as much, and have no grass to eat.
 
I provide the 50 lb salt blocks in pasture and the smaller ones in stalls, to encourage more water drinking all year round
 
I try to limit stall time to a minimum, and most of ours are out 24/7 eating grass and/or hay.  When they are in a stall, they have loads of hay in there with them.   Our rescue TB has been eating coastal hay non-stop since we adopted her on August 1, with no colic, much to the surprise of the Miami ladies who sent her to us.
 
In the winter when there is no grass, we put out round bales (yes, coastal!!) so the horses have free choice hay, but again, wetting the grain helps avoid impactions caused by dehydration.
 
But I do not wait for the last minute, when the grass is totally gone.  I put the round bales out BEFORE the grass diminishes so the horses do not gorge themselves on the coastal.
 
Also, I "wean" the horses onto the hay by feeding a flake of coastal in the morning and another at dinnertime, approx.  2 weeks before the round bales go out.
 
We feed 12% Tiz Whiz pellets, which , when soaked, turn into a nice thick oatmeal consistency which the horses LOVE.  Wetting Strategy and other "heavy on the molasses" pellets results in a watery brown mess that the horses are reluctant  to eat.   CLUE:  if the feed is supposed to be made from oats and corn, then why would it be BROWN? 
 
Horse Dental WorkLast but not least, we use Dr. Graden twice a year, he comes and checks every horse's teeth.  Horses need a correct "bite" , so they can chew and grind as nature intended, even if it is coastal they are chewing (here is our 24 year old Dancer, has all his teeth, and chews every morsel).
 Improper dental work (or none at all) is a major culprit causing impactions as the horses must swallow their hay almost un-chewed.  And due to coastal's fine consistency  and sweet taste, this can easily be accomplished by the enterprising equine.  So don't forget your dental care, once or twice a year.

Taking care of horses.
If all of this sounds like a major ordeal, it is.  But in 11-12 years of boarding, training, and breeding horses (we average 25 - 30  per year in our care) we have never had one single colic. 

Contact: Andrea Haller and Joe Schomburg
Wellborn Quarter Horses
8660 CR 137
Wellborn, Florida 32094
Phone: 386-963-1555
Email:
AHFIND@aol.com
Website: www.WellbornQuarterHorses.com

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