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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 7 June 2010

EPSM and barefoot with added sugar at livery

If you have an EPSM horse with sugar issues you may find yourself driven to distraction until you find the formula that works for your horse, especially if like me you keep it at livery with no grass free turnout.

My own horse Grace has been up and down like the proverbial yoyo. First it took an educated guess to realise that she may have EPSM. We already knew about the sugar problem. Several weeks on the EPSM diet and we were making progress. Now Grace only ties up when under extreme mental/emotional stress (until the next unexplained episode of course and touching lots of wood).

But her feet ....... they react just as badly as her muscles and take longer to recover. Every millimetre of concavity is hard won and very easily lost. We had a month or so in February when she could crunch rocks. Then a few things happened and we have been struggling. (Wormers, vaccinations, grass, stress, they all impact.) So I have recruited the EasyCare Gloves and only regret that I didn't get a pair sooner.

Look at the pictures below. If you imagine a steady switch between the two on a monthly or more frequent basis you might have some idea of life with an EPSM sugar sensitive ned.

In the first picture (old camera phone) the foot is completely flat and starting to scoot forward at the toe. In the second picture the foot is now wider than long (just) and has some concavity.

It has now come to a bit of a pause at this point. With extra Vitamin E we are holding steady for the moment. I am not planning to change anything until I know this current state is stable.

Of course I'd be so happy if we get a more concave foot, but right now I'd be grateful to hang on to the concavity that we have.

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Southern England, United Kingdom