|What do you do if your horse founders?
read these 4 Simple Steps to a common
Step 1: Pull the Shoes! The hoof can often times heal in remarkable
ways, but it cannot grow new tissues if the angles are altered with
corrective shoeing. Below are photos of Tevya who foundered in April
'07. The second figure in each sequence are taken a year later in
June '08. As you can see, rotation CAN be reversed, if caught in time
Step 2: Change the diet! Dry lot the horse if possible and feed only first
cutting hay such as orchard grass or timothy. Safergrass.org gives a nice list
of safe hay and Step 2: Change the diet! Dry lot the horse if possible and
requirements and NSC LEVELS before you feed any feed only first cutting
hay such as orchard grass or grains. Go to http://www.ecirhorse.com to
learn about the latest on the topic of feeding requirements for the laminitic
and PPID (Cushings) horse. Talk to your vet and farrier/trimmer about
timothy. Safergrass.org gives a nice list of safe hay and supplements and
come up with a safe plan for your forage. Check the links on this site for
feeding particular situation. Remember, less is more, and HAY ANALYSIS
before you add anything! Have the hooves trimmed as soon as the horse is
able. If they look like these hooves to the right, YOU'VE WAITED TOO
LONG! Make sure the heels are not lowered too quickly, and get the hoof
into a reasonable shape as soon as possible!
Step 3: Change the environment and boot if necessary! Healing CANNOT occur if the horse
is confined to a stall; daily turn out or hand walking (at a minimum) is necessary to facilitate
the healing process. Please see Paddock Paradise for alternative horse keeping ideas and
get your horse moving at any cost. Booting the horse can offer comfort and protection during
this process; I recommend having your hoof professional measure the hoof to ensure a
proper fit. There are many boots to choose from, but my personal experience is that the
horse is often times too sore to lift the hoof very high, or for very long, and many owners put
themselves in frustrating, dangerous situations trying to get them on and off. It is for this
reason that I HIGHLY recommend Cavello Simple Boots and Easycare Back Country and Rx
for all horses. They are the EASIEST to use, by far, and the simple designs allow them to
transition from a necessary protective healing boot into a riding boot for returning to work
after the illness.
Step 4: Be Patient! Did you ever see anyone that was real sick
that looked good? Why then would you expect your horse to
recover overnight? Founder/laminitis is very similar to Type II
diabetes, and you can expect to have a strict feeding regime for
the rest of the horses life, but that DOES NOT mean they cannot
return to some sense of normalcy. The hoof will look ugly for
months, but be assured that if you have a healing angle, you're on
the right track. Remember, Form Follows Function (Ann Corso)
and 'soundness' is much more important than aesthetics...
LOOK! THEY COME IN PINK!
(Click boot for Cavello link)
This simple approach is not a means to an end, but it will get you,
as well as your beloved horse, back on the right track. Remember,
less is more, keep it simple, and love with an open heart and mind.
Best of luck to you and your horses...
All Natural Hoof Care
|Three examples of booting options for laminitic/foundered horses...all three
are easy to apply and will last for years at about the same cost as one set of