Sand in the horses intestinal tract can cause everything from irritation and diarrhea to a complete obstruction depending on how much sand the horse ingests over time. As grazing animals horses are always looking for something to graze. In the fall of the year many horses will consume falling leaves and if they are housed in sand or gravel paddocks there is a high probability of sand accumulation in the intestinal tract.
You can do a sand test on the horses manure on a regular basis as a check of how much sand he is ingesting.
Follow the slide show below to learn how to perform a sand test.
To begin take the equivalent of one horse apple of manure from the top of a pile of manure and place it in a clear glass jar with water.
Float off all of the food material and visualize the sand in the bottom of the jar.
If there is more than 1/4 of a teaspoon of sand in the bottom of the jar, the horse is ingesting too much sand and is at risk for sand colic.