ABDOMINAL PROBLEMS - Horses [Skip to Content]

Illinois Livestock Trail

Horses > Health & Disease

My elderly mare is in very good condition and very happy. Her appetite is perfectly fine and their is nothing wrong with her condition. The problem is that sometimes her droppings are too loose and sometimes they are hard. It rain here, so the grass is probably very fresh, but i'm worried that it may cause problems.

Thank you so much for your time, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely


I would suggest that you allow your old, happy, and healthy mare to stay on pasture and supplement her with only as much grain as needed to maintain her desirable body condition (if any is needed) and also provide her with a free choice salt, trace mineral, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A,D and E block designed for horses. The vitamins and minerals in the free choice block will help to compensate for changes in the pasture quality during times of draught.

Changes in fecal consistency during times of heavy forage growth are not uncommon or alarming as long as the feces are not the consistency of diarrhea. If the problem continues long term, then you might consider that the mare could have a problem with parasites such as encysted small strongyles that might be causing the loose stools. In this case, you should submit a fecal sample to your vet for determination of parasite eggs, and then treat with an appropriate de-worming medication if a parasite problem is identified. You should also have the teeth of the older horse examined by a vet or equine dentist a couple of times per year to be sure that there are no hooks or sharp edges that could be causing problems with processing feed.

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