Sand, or tiny rocks, caught in the large intestine, can cause irritation, colic, or complete obstruction. Horses feed on the ground in sandy or chat-covered dry lots or over grazed fields with sandy soils are at the most significant risk.
Use this quick method to test your manure for sand:
1. Gather a few nuggets of fresh manure into a clear glove or gallon size food storage bag. Be careful not to pick up dirt.
2. Add water to the glove, so the hand portion is 3/4 the way full, or fill the bag 2/3 full.
3. Squish up the manure and hang the bag, allowing it to sit for several minutes. The sand will accumulate in the fingers of the glove or at the bottom of the bag. Bag quick tip: Hang the bag askew so that one corner points towards the ground enabling the sand to collect in the point.
4.Give the sand time to settle, about 5 minutes and evaluate. If you discover more than a tablespoon of sand, your horse has a high sand load. You may also find tiny rocks. If either of these occurs, consider feeding with a hay bag, elevated feed trough, or slow feed barrel.