Betsy Greene
Extension Equine Specialist


Greene, B.*1,
1 Extension Equine Specialist, , Tucson, AZ, 85721

 Horses living in the desert environment are often housed in dry lots with shade and sand footing and/or turned out on sandy pasture. This can lead to a higher intake of sand due to feeding on the ground or horse grazing behaviors. Since ingested sand is heavier than the digesta passing through the gastrointestinal tract, it can settle to the bottom and accumulate, resulting in mild to severe colic. This publication is part of The Informed Arizona Equestrian Horse Health Series, intended for recreational to professional horse owners. It begins with a scenario, covers “Is my horse at risk”, signs, treatment and prevention of sand colic. The goal is to make horse owners aware of proactive management methods to decrease sand intake, notice signs of colic, and act before their horse resembles the front page picture (surgical). This publication ( is available for download at no charge. Currently, approximately 250 copies have been used and distributed by the author  at multiple workshops and seminars on equine health and nutrition across Arizona and other states. Several local veterinarians have downloaded and forwarded this publication to their equine clients. The author is the initiator of this publication and is responsible for 80% of the content, and 100% of the formatting and design concepts. The layout was completed by the Cooperative Extension graphic designer.