There are only two kinds of horses.... those that have laminitis and those that could someday get it!
An in-depth presentation on laminitis can be found here on the BarefootHoofsmith.com
More Excellent advice and articles can be found if you click here to read
Carola Adolf's articles on Laminits.
FABULOUS ONLINE VIDEOS ALL HORSE OWNERS NEED TO SEE – learn more about the dangers of over-feeding your horse and how to tell if they are overweight. Click this link to Fran Jurga’s Hoofblog to read more about how we inadvertently overfeed our horses and cases of laminitis are rising as a consequence – the videos are each about 7-9 minutes long.
Amazing Founder Rehabilitation through hoof trimming and wholistic care.
Most vets and horse owners consider a severe case of laminitis to be a death sentence. Some think it’s too much hard work and expense for them and too much pain for the horse or pony to endure. But why should we give up on those wonderful creatures who have given us so much? Previously it was thought that a foundered pony or horse couldn’t ever return to soundness and therefore usefulness – I was one of them. Since meeting Glynn and being involved in his rehabilitation, I’ve discovered otherwise.
With a good natural hoof trim on a regular basis and changes to a more natural diet free of rich grasses, a horse can grow a whole new hoof (or 4). This re-aligns the pedal bone and the horse becomes sound and able to perform again. In the process the owner learns how to care for the horse so laminitis doesn’t re-occur. Everyone is a winner!
Here is the story of Glynn and his recovery.
Glynn is a 22 year old Welsh Section A stallion and was a show ring champion in NSW in his younger days.
His move to Tasmania last year onto richer grass, and in-frequent hoof care caused laminitis which was so severe that most vets would have recommended euthanasia.
All four pedal bones had rotated through his soles causing open wounds and extreme lameness.
Glynn's founder stance prior to the first trim.Cynthia was called for advice in February 2005 and fortunately, respected QLD Hoof Trimmer, Peter Laidley was in Tasmania for a workshop so was able to do the initial trim and prescribe a course of treatment. Trims were continued by Cynthia along with daily love and care from his owner, followed by another check up from Peter in May.
In the space of seven months he went from being barely able to move, to trotting and cantering freely on grass. He is now able to handle walking on gravel and his hooves will continue to improve and toughen up now that they are back in shape.
*A natural trim every week for 8 weeks, then every fortnight for the next 6 weeks & now every 3 weeks.
* Initial bandaging of the front hoof wounds to keep honey in and dirt out until the wounds were healed (3 months).
* Painkillers to keep spirits up and encourage some movement (gradually phased out after 4 weeks).
* Confinement away from grass in a large stock yard on soft footing (wood chips & straw then some pea sized gravel was added in wet areas).
Free choice average quality grass hay plus oaten chaff with supplements and a small amount of pellets (Hygain Ice recommended) and a few vegetables for variety.
Once the hooves have regained a sound shape, a small amount of grass is allowed daily (1 hour of grazing with a muzzle on). Once the grass dries off, more grazing can be gradually offered.
Right after the first trim and padded hooves, Glynn was able to get relief and stand comfortably.
The front hooves prior to the first trim - extremely high heels contributed to rotated pedal bones through the sole.
The worst front hoof showing the pedal bone through the sole
Polystyrene pads initially provided support and relief.
9 months later the worst front hoof has regained a sound structure.
The hind hoof also showing a wound from the rotated pedal bone and blood in the white line.
A hind hoof half way through treatment showing the new and old growth.
The hind hoof 9 months later.
The front hoof is getting closer to its ideal shape 9 months later.
Glynn looking and feeling great 9 months later.
Glynn was trimmed by Peter Laidley for his 1 year anniversary trim and shows his appreciation with a pony kiss.
His hinds are looking fantastic.
His front hooves still have some recovery to do but are so much better.
Glynn looking good (but still a bit cresty) in Feb. 2006 exactly 12 months after his first rehab trim.
Horses evolved to eat small amounts of grasses, herbs and minerals almost constantly throughout the day.
They covered many miles to reach water and lived in small herds of varied ages and sexes.
Does this sound like the modern horse?
Not really - their involvement with humans has necessitated their restriction and artificial feeding for ease of use as a working animal.
But today the majority of horses are used for pleasure and that pleasure need not be all ours. If we want a happy, healthy horse to provide many years of companionship then we can change our ways to suit their nature.Many new ideas are replacing traditional methods of horsemanship and health care with hoof care and feeding now the focus. Natural Hoof Care practitioners and forage researchers have discovered that horses cannot be fed like cows – on high sugar grasses that maximise beef and milk production. To do so, compromises the health of our horses by causing laminitis as horses become more carbohydrate intolerant – commonly called ‘good doers’.When horses eat high sugar grass it causes a toxic reaction in the hind gut which then affects the connection between hoof wall and laminae (sensitive internal structure). This causes common hoof ailments such as abscesses, seedy toe, white line disease and deformed, shallow, sensitive hooves.With a little thought and planning, better management and feeding practices can change all of this.
Here are some changes you can make with feeding to improve health:
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