When horses graze on pastures with very short or little grass, they may end up digesting a lot of soil and sand. As long as this sand passes through the gut, it will pose no problem. However, too much sand may accumulate, especially in lower sections and bends of the intestines. This layer of sand reduces absorption capacity in the intestine as well as the absorption of nutrients and fluids. It also effects the intestinal mucous wall, leading to emaciation, debilitation, and decreased appetite. In large quantities, sand can lead to serious disturbances in the digestive system.