SUNBURN & LAMINITIS:

Isn't it good to see the sun again - and to have those long, summer evenings.... ...Or is it?

The grass is jumping at last! Good news for those of us who wanted their mounts to liven up a bit, but what goes to most horses' heads goes to a laminitic's feet!

Do be careful. The most dangerous grass will follow a check in the growth - such as drought or frost. When warmth and rain return is the time you can be caught out, particularly with morning grass.

If you're rationing access to grass, afternoon is the safest time to allow grazing. And check his pasterns daily for the digital pulse. This can be felt half way up the inside of the pastern, and if you can feel it at all, you're in trouble, because it's almost impossible to find on a horse without inflamed feet.

Also, look at the way he puts his feet down as he walks. If he's walking "heel-to-toe", his toes are tender!

Besides the grass, the hogweed (cow parsley or Kaykoes) is shooting up. If you have a horse with pink skin on his muzzle or heels, eating this could give him sunburn. Avoid it if you can, but if he gets to some, "factor 30" is your safest option. You'll need to keep this up for about a fortnight after he's eaten it.