Below is the story of Barb and her 3 babies. I was called after the vet diagnosed Phoebe as
foundered and recommended films be taken. Upon initial evaluation, I informed Barn that no
films would be needed, the coffin bone had already penetrated the sole and was clearly
visible without them. Phoebe went into boots immediately and the diet was addressed first.
Barb had horses for years (and fed only alfalfa hay/sweet feed for years as well!) but when
her Phoebe went down-her world came crashing to an end. I've kept this story in it's entirety
to make it known that early intervention can make the difference between a life barefoot vs. a
life of medications and corrective shoes. If you can PREVENT any more damage, there is a
much better prognosis for recovery in many cases. Phoebe is still running sound five years
later as I post her story once again in Jan. 2011. This story is about all three of her horses and
the troubles she's had...I'll let it speak for itself...
"Let's talk Dudley, a mini I brought home to be a companion. The moment he arrived it was
apparent he had problems-he could not walk. I was told be a vet and two farriers that it was
just his conformation because minis have certain issues.
So for two years I had him trimmed and would ask how does he look under there? Because I
trusted in their knowledge and years of experience, I believed he was good. Then one day he
stopped moving at all. Dudley became sad and withdrawn. His feet were hot and just began to
look "Not right". He would hide out away from the other horses. Again I'd ask the farrier
what's up? Maybe he has an abscess they'd say so I'd soak his feet trying anything to help him.
With no relief in sight I became quite concerned. Dudley, it turns out, did not have a
conformation defect as I was led to believe but had in fact become quite laminitic. He
developed slipper toe but I've never had any x-ray's taken of him. Nancy has been working on
him for 7 months and it's so good to see him free-roaming without shoes or drugs! He's happy
and healthy and moving again! (Dudley used to hide from Nancy but now he comes in by
choice and waits his turn when he needs a little trim...oh and of course his cookie when he's
Then there's Willie, my 23 yr. Old thoroughbred who's shoes I had pulled over 10 yrs. Ago.
Getting the farrier to pull them was like being at the dentist. I was told that because of his
breed his feet would fall apart. (In contrast Nancy says breeds don't matter-he has four feet
right?) Well they didn't fall apart but they did developed huge cracks -3 or 4 per hoof- and
split terribly. They were so bad-from the coronet all the way down to the toe and all around
the hoof. When I asked the farrier why I was told this was the way he wore his feet-his wear
pattern they called it stating each horse has his or her own unique wear. In other words-some
horses chip-some split and his was to crack. Some of his cracks were wide enough to put a
coin into. I really believed it was Willie's way of wearing his feet down. Oh yeah-let's not
forget his club foot. What the h*** was that foot trimmed as? A stilt?
But we are again on the right track with Nancy's natural hoofy hoof trim. After several months
of regaining correct balance and applying a mustang roll he looks better. The cracks have
begun to disappear and he moves more balanced-it's such a difference.
I saved the best for last; phoebe my beautiful 5 yr. Old sweet arab-cross who stole my heart at
birth. She came to me in bad shape but ended up a horse lovers dream.
One morning I found her in the field lame and unhappy. She was not the phoebe I was used to;
waiting at the gate with a whinny and a big kiss. After I cried and gathered myself, I made a
call to the vet. While waiting for him I examined her further and realized she had some type of
trauma to her body. Then I found three boards in her stall completely kicked off the wall.
Maybe she was cast-but her pain was of great concern. The vet arrived and gave me the news
that would change our lives forever. I remember him saying 12-18 months and feeling
heartbroken. He said my wonderful sweet girl was foundered. While I stood in shock and
tried to question how and why he proceeded to explain how we would fix her. Lots of drugs
and corrective shoeing, and lets not forget the stall rest! This was unacceptable to me as well
as phoebe. So after sitting in a dark stall, holding her and weeping uncontrollably, I knew i
had to find another opinion. Someone out there knows more and feels our pain...i cannot leave
this horse in nor can i drug and shoe her...i needed to find another way...
I made a few phone calls to friends and was told of someone who does a natural trim and is a
bit of an expert in the knowledge of healing hooves. I remember thinking does that mean
founder too, because you would think your vet knows all-what he says must be law!
But that first meeting with Nancy gave me such hope and I knew by the way she handled
Phoebe and talked to us both that we were gonna beat this. (By the way, Phoebe liked her
right away and that was important to me!)
It was not easy, walking buckets of water to her out in the pasture while she lay for hours at a
time. I kept trying to get to her to move, so she could heal as I was told. We struggled through
that first set back when I was told on her second trim that she had sole penetration. "Don't
pick it-don't even look at it...just love her" Nancy said so i did. What was the point in getting
an x-ray if you could see the bone sticking out at the point of the frog? But Nancy fitted her in
boots and that got her moving some. We prayed and prayed, calling Nancy every other day
with tears in my voice. After 7 months she is only getting better. She has a normal looking
sole now and her "healing angle" is 1/2 inch from the toe. She trots in the field and hangs out
with the guys...happy on her new feet. I've start to ride her lightly now and I hope our
nightmare is behind us. I've learned so very much from Nancy. We must all listen to our
horses, feed them differently, and keep them in a more natural way. We did this all without
drugs, shoes or stall rest. There is hope and it can be done...Phoebe is living proof. Please
pay attention to what your horses feet are telling you! If you listen...you will hear them.
Nancy, I am so impressed and grateful for all you have taught me. You stayed with me in some
really dark moments and helped me keep it together. I know Phoebe's pain was your pain: you
carried her in your heart and prayers. I called you every time the pain of watching her walk
or not walk got too unbearable and that call always helped! To look out the window checking
on Phoebe and seeing her having a bad day used to make me physically ill. How did these
horses ever get along without you? I have peace of mind now in knowing that when I call you
for help you'll be there. And the honesty when you didn't know-but would search for the
answer...my god, where would we be had we not found you? Thank you for your patience,
knowledge and determination to get us all fixed...god bless.
Barb-Phoebe-Willie & Dudley
All Natural Hoof Care
Sole penetration to
soundness in 9 mos.!
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