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Friesian Stomach issues in our sport, in general

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  • Friesian Stomach issues in our sport, in general

    My Friesian in training has stomach and colic disturbances. One of my students told me that of the many Friesian horses they had, many had similar problems. Can this be true ? Can you all enlighten me or send me to a site where I can research and understand. Many thanks, Karin Offield

    btw, I love my Friesian !!!
    Karin Offield
    "Don't give up on anything that matters !"

  • #2
    Nothing specific, but out of 4 friesians at our barn 1 just spent nearly a month in the hospital dealing with hindgut ulcers. The owner does not want to feed any alfalfa now that the horse is home, claiming that she has read that friesians should not eat alfalfa. Horse is better but not 100%.


    • #3
      Page down to "About owning a Friesian"

      A Survey of the Health Issues of Friesian Horses.
      ... _. ._ .._. .._


      • #4
        I have known two others with ulcer issues. Same thing, the owner thought alfalfa caused it--though I thought usually alfalfa helps with ulcers. Both horses were very colic-prone.


        • #5
          Hmmm. My Friesian will be 20 this year, and has never had a colic problem requiring anything more than one dose of Banamine.

          Individual variations, I guess.


          • #6
            A friend of mine has a friesian and was concerned about his loose stools. She ended up putting him on Succeed and she has felt that he has improved.
            "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
            "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
            Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


            • #7
              Lost my 'heart Friesian' to gastric colic/impaction several years ago. Damn horse was so stoic no one noticed anything amiss until the situation was critical. Multiple misdiagnoses by vet didn't help the situation either.

              Never had any digestive issues prior to that (or lameness issues for that matter).


              • #8
                hmm, seen the opposite at our barn- multiple F's in and out for training over the past 5 years, no colic nor stomach, nor hindgut problems. F's outside for about 12 hours per day, sometimes muzzled due to richness of grass and fat horses


                • #9
                  Knock on wood, I breed Friesians and have a coming 16 year old stallion and two mares (out of five I originally had, sold the others). Not one case of colic, stomach upset, stool issues, nothing!

                  But I do know other people with Friesians they have lost to colic or otherwise. One of our boarders recently lost one to some 'issue' she did not really disclose at her home stable. The horse had colic surgery a few months prior, but that wasn't what did the horse in. Poor thing.
                  Horses don't lie.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mickeydoodle View Post
                    hmm, seen the opposite at our barn- multiple F's in and out for training over the past 5 years, no colic nor stomach, nor hindgut problems. F's outside for about 12 hours per day, sometimes muzzled due to richness of grass and fat horses
                    I think this is important for the Friesian. Continual grazing on good, moist grass. I have seen a couple colic, however, I feel their diet/climate was to blame. Dry grass, dry coastal hay, dry concentrates, and then hot weather was too much for them--but that's just my conclusion from my experience. I really feel that moisture in their diet is extremely important.

                    Good luck to you.
                    I LOVE my Chickens!


                    • #11
                      Hi Karin! My Friesain filly is coming 6, and is coming along well! The belly has not been an issue, however, I found my girl cannot tolerate the higher fat feeds (which are so much in vogue now). She gets loose stools on anything that is higher fat. I have her on goos grass hay and Omolene 100 and oats, making a 50/50 mix of the two. I asked a question about this on the Horse Care Forum, however, and it seemed it was not a common issue for the breed.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Megaladon View Post
                        I think this is important for the Friesian. Continual grazing on good, moist grass. I have seen a couple colic, however, I feel their diet/climate was to blame. Dry grass, dry coastal hay, dry concentrates, and then hot weather was too much for them--but that's just my conclusion from my experience. I really feel that moisture in their diet is extremely important.

                        Good luck to you.
                        My Friesian cross drinks a lot of water. More than other horses on our farm. Maybe that has something to do with it????


                        • #13
                          My friesian also drinks a lot of water. He has had colic surgery, as well (when he was 5, and hernia surgery, too, both long before I got him. I would classify him as healthy now, but he hasn't always been. I micro manage his feed and make sure he has a lot of turnout, though. That seems to help. He does have anhydrosis and PSSM, so perhaps my classification of "healthy" is a misnomer, but I suppose I don't really feel like he's UNHEALTHY, either. To me, that would be out of work, and he's not.


                          • #14
                            Another one knocking on wood, but I have had my Friesian mare for 10 years now and all has been quiet on the digestive front.

                            A couple of things to consider. I've been told ulcers are common, especially in the Friesians shipped overseas. (maybe stress from quarantine/flying/new diet/water/etc) My mare was born here.

                            My mare lives outside 24/7. She is on TC Lo Starch, TC 30% (a vitamin supplement) and beet pulp shreds all soaked together in a sloppy soup.

                            Her hay is whatever is seasonally available, from local spring first cutting grass to Canadian Tim/grass that's trucked in.

                            This Friesian foxhunts, so she's working quite hard from May to August fitting up for hunting and then even harder August to November, chasing the hounds.

                            I think the soupy feed, relaxed lifestyle and 24/7 turnout are good for any horse.

                            I know all too many people that have lost these great horses to colic though. I think some of them are predisposed to it.....


                            • #15
                              I don't know. We have two (one is five and the other 8 an have owned both most of their lives) and I have never had a vet bill on either (knock on wood).

                              At the same time, I think management plays a much bigger role than breed. Most horses are not managed to prevent ulcers, colic ect. Horses are designed to eat basically 24/7.

                              "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                              • #16
                                I don't know either - have heard they have a higher incidence of torsion colic, but I've got two purebreds and several crosses, two friends who are small breeders who always have at least 2 or 3, and know a few other owners, and so far, KNOCK ON WOOD, they've been healthy and sound. In my band of horses, the only semi-serious colic I've dealt with has been one of my Warmblood mares, and that was a one time, six years ago event. I do believe turnout at the very least is necessary - not just for Friesians but more most horses. Of my friends, the only two who have dealt with serious colic was one Hanoverian (who has had surgery twice now) and a Dutch WB who had two surgeries, then subsequently died because the owner decided twice was enough So, that is a pretty limited population, but I don't think of it is a major problem with the breed. I do think some horses (irregardless of breed) are more prone to colic - hence the two horses who had multiple colics.

                                At UC Davis, they tell me the one breed they see with surgical colic more then ANY other is Arabians.

                                Having said all that - my horses are on grass pasture, grass hay, and my working stallion gets dry COB. No rich alfalfa...


                                • #17
                                  It's pretty much known in the nutrition industry

                                  that colics and impactions are usually management related and tend to run in barns, regardless of breed.

                                  If a barn or farm is having problems with multiple horses colicing or having loose stools, it's time to check the management.

                                  Karin, PM me if you need specific suggestions on what to do in your particular case.

                                  Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                                  Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                                  New edition of book is out:
                                  Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                                  • Original Poster

                                    I think the answers here indicate a certain caution ...

                                    Thanks everyone for sharing your Friesian stories and heading me in directions not available to me, public and PM. I have been warned. Our 11 year old Friesian lives all day outside in the winter, eating grassy hay, and it feels to me that he is more of a one or two person horse, as he is still being trained to ride from being a driving horse. He is super sensitive and from here forward I will handle him more carefully because of these stories. Thank you for responding. Karin Offield
                                    Karin Offield
                                    "Don't give up on anything that matters !"


                                    • #19
                                      have a friesian stallion...4 years..colicked last week...it was awful and he was stumbling aroudn literally with a weird 104.5 degree fever as well...gave banamine and bute, cold hose....next day he was fine..it was really bizaare.


                                      • #20
                                        When I added our latest horse to our insurance, I found that a couple of companies charge more for Arabs and Friesians than other breeds. Mine does not and so I stayed with them. I'm sorry but I don't remember what the names of the other companies were, this was about 3 years ago when we bought our last horse. But it is interesting that some insurance companies consider them to be a higher medical risk. When I asked mine why they didn't charge more, they said that there are no stats that prove that Arabs or Fries actually are 'sicker' than other breeds. Buuut.... there are some insurance companies who seem to think so..