Improving pony’s hooves (thrush, laminitis, founder)

For about the last five years I’ve been battling with Pandora’s hooves. I’m pretty sure she has foundered and most likely the coffin bone has rotated. We would get her hooves starting to improve and then they would go right back downhill.

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Part of the problem has been due to the many moves and all the stress that has happened in my life which means I haven’t been as careful with her diet as I’ve should have been. Or we were pressed to keep her on more grass then was really safe for an “easy keeper” pony.

However, for the last three months I have cracked down. We have moved her up near the loafing shed and taped off (electric tape) an area that I knew she and the other pony (Dulce) would eat down quickly to a drylot. This has restricted her from summer grass which is practically the #1 problem for these easy keeper, easily foundered ponies and horses.

DEALING WITH CHRONIC THRUSH

Last summer, her white line really got infected with thrush and we did do one treatment with White Lightning. If you are having founder/laminitis issues with an infection that never seems to go away, I highly recommend this product. It is expensive and does take care in using (see this video – our pony is barefoot, no shoes):

A product for daily use I highly recommend is Pure Hard Surface Cleanser. I bought mine from Office Depot – they didn’t have it in the store, but I placed my order in the store and they shipped it for free!

This stuff kills on contact but is 100% safe to use, doesn’t sting or stain like other thrush killing products. Whenever, we get rain and I know we’ll have thrush conditions, I spray this on a clean hoof and it takes it right out.

DEALING WITH FOUNDER, NUTRITION

I’m not going to go into the need to restrict grass or why – you can read that info at Safergrass.org. What I would rather address is supplements to feed the hoof (in terms of feed, the ponies get Grostrong 13 in very limited quantities).

About two months ago I put her on Remission which was recommended and can easily be found at a local Tractor Supply and many feed stores. This gave us some improvement seen within the first week: she seemed less tender and started moving easier. We got a little more shedding on the hoof sole.

She is not keen on the taste, so I use a squirt (a clean ketchup bottle is an ideal container) of Cocosoya to blend; but not too much oil as she doesn’t like that either.

I’ve been wanting to try this Heiro supplemental product for founder recovery but it’s expensive. So Heiro will have to wait for now until after Dante’s dental.

On June 28th, we added California Trace as a supplement to increase the zinc and copper in her diet. This is a pellet form that she takes easily, top dressed on her regular ration. The CaTrace seems to be giving us a great improvement! For the first time in years she is starting to really shed off sole and the white line has tightened.

DEALING WITH FOUNDER, SORENESS

Although we are seeing improvement, she remains sore. Pete Ramey recommends trying boots, but finding boots that would fit a mini-horse would be expensive if even possible in the first place. So we’ve bought supplies to put on a hoof cast (details here and more Equicast info here).

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This was a method that a trainer (who is also a natural barefoot trimmer but not the one in this video) used on a horse of mine that had thin soles (so thin she got a ski tip on her coffin bone and showed lameness when worked). The before and after x-rays were amazing in terms of sole growth and so this is the next step we are trying to make her comfortable.

This is a product for a natural or barefoot farrier expert to apply. Husband has been doing my horses for over five years and is working under my veterinarian.

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