Founder in Horses. Symptoms and Causes

“Founder” is a term frequently thrown around in the equestrian world.  Phrases like, “that horse foundered,” are often said and always dreaded.  Founder in horses, also called laminitis, can affect all horses and is important for all horse owners and horse people to understand.


What is Founder in Horses?

Founder, or laminitis is an infection of tissues between a horse’s hoof and pedal bone.  It is an extremely painful condition that causes horses great discomfort in their feet. 

What Causes Founder in Horses

Similar to diabetes in people, founder in horses can be caused by eating too much or eating lots of rich foods. 

Symptoms of Founder

Signs of Founder in Horses: Horses will also turn up lame, meaning that they move with a noticeable limp in one or more of their legs.

Treating of Founder Horse

Horses that have foundered should also be walked on harder surfaces such as sand or dirt footing, which will give their feet more support while the tendons heal.

Preventing Founder

Founder can seriously affect a horse’s health, comfort, and well-being. So, it would be preferable if it could be prevented before it wasn’t even an issue. 

Founder can be a scary thing and can cause a horse a great amount of pain.  But, it can be prevented and treated. It is important for horse people to be able to recognize the signs of founder and to know the causes of founder, so that it can be dealt with properly.


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