Custom Search
Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Stanley - the first horse to officially join Movember to raise money

This is Stanley; barefoot of course, but more importantly a recruit for, and the first official horse to raise money for Movember. (Scroll to the bottom for photo of the Mo.)

Please support him in his efforts to beat the humans at their own game. Stanley's MOment of whiskery fame is to be found at, he's already been mentioned on the Queen Mary 2's breakfast tv show, and on his local radio station Wave 105!  

Stanley is a member of a team at the college where his owner works and is currently standing 2nd in the team ratings, but  of course we would  all love him to get to first place and maybe stay there.

When he is not concentrating on growing his Mo, Stanley can be found participating in a variety of horsey sports.  Or eating.  Every horse knows the importance of a healthy appetite when it comes to growing a healthy Mo. :-)

Stanley with his 'Mo'

Friday, 7 September 2012

Should I shoe my laminitic?

Way way back I deshod a laminitic that was due to be PTS that week. Shod by an award winning farrier there was apparently nothing more that could be done. The horse was lame and fed up having suffered conventional therapy and been box rested for months. The owner was naturally distraught.

It wasn't long before he was sound and even with a few dietary hiccups he has been sound since and is currently in work.

I want to walk you through a few pictures - some are gross so finish your dinner before you read any further.

This first picture shows 'Henry', one of my freeze dried legs.  You can see the lamellar wedge, imminent solar penetration and how the poor thing is forced to bear weight on the tip of his pedal bone.
'Henry' NB wedge, angle of the pedal bone & heel height
 These photos tell their own story.  I understand that some HCP are taught to maintain the toe wall between 45 and 55 degrees. 
Initially this is done by rasping out the outer hoof wall, then when this option is exhausted (no outer wall left), the heel is raised. 
This of course will invert the hoof capsule so the horse has to bear progressively more weight on the tip of the pedal bone.  This is both painful and injurous to the horse.

Red is pre trim angle, green post
NB heel height - pre trim, sole has been dechalked
With no more heel raising, but a complete diet change and lots of movement, the healing angle (HA) can grow down.
You can see the difference betwee the angle the horse was forced to maintain when he had shoes on, compared with the angle the hoof is meant to grow at. 
NB Wedge, red line denotes HA when fully grown in
You can see the history of trials and tribulations the horse went through during his rehab - dietary misadventures mostly.  But the last bit of wedge is nearly grown out.  Horse was sound throughout.
A few months later, not without hiccups and the wedge has
all but grown out.  Hoof in background has yet to be trimmed.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Navicular rehab at home...........

Is perfectly possible although perhaps harder if you are short on facilities. But so long as any pathology has not progressed too far* and you are sufficiently determined you may suprise yourself.

I quote extracts from a text received today:

The vet came today to look at [horse] so we could book another MRI..... He was impressed with his feet and said they look much better.... Vet said whatever we were doing it was clearly working!

This horse is out 24/7 in a less than ideal environment and is owned by someone who works full time. I've coached from the sidelines (and trimmed when needed) but the owner has done all the hard work herself.

*Some people sadly leave it far too late

Thursday, 5 July 2012

What a difference five weeks makes

First I've been off sick for about 3.5 weeks so am now so far behind I almost don't know where to start and it's a bit daunting.  I never was that hot for the admin side of any job and now I have a ton of stuff to do.

Second - it brings to the fore another, hidden benefit of barefoot.  Most hooves can, if necessary, on occasion, go that extra week or two in between trims.  They may get considerably more tatty than their carers prefer, a few may get a little wonky, but the earth continues to turn and the hooves continue to be able to function.  It's only with the rehabs that I really start to worry.  And this is one of those.

Immediately post deshoe, just started to clean up

Five weeks later, to the day, note how toe wall
has grown in, the proportions have improved,
with a wider heel, buttresses coming back,
and frog bulking up

There is still a long way to go, but the horse was considerably more comfortable after the trim and is positively bouncing in boots and pads.  Not bad for five weeks.  And yes there have been some modest dietary modifications and an exercise programme put in place.  A few socks may have bitten the dirt too..........

A traditional viewpoint is that shoes 'protect' hooves. The hooves in these photos are actually stronger and more capable without metal nailed to them. It is going to take time to grow out the damage and in the interim boots and pads are invaluable.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chunky Monkey defies the modern myths

Functional and pretty!

This foot is attached to one of those gentle giants that aren't supposed to be able to go barefoot - apparently they are too heavy for their feet etc etc I did mention him while waiting for the AA but I thought you'd like a picture and a bit more info.

Originally shod Cytek and to be honest, style of shoe aside, the shoeing job was definitely one of the better ones. Horse is tubby, LGL prone and probably IR.

The carers who look after him worked really hard to clear thrush, help him lose weight and make his rehab as comfortable as possible. And it really didn't take that long.

Now they are reaping the benefits:
  • 'Lazy kick-along' has transformed into dynamic powerhouse
  • Previously painfully slow walk is now so powerful it makes their hips hurt when they ride him
  • No more slipping on the road
  • Loves to trot
  • Cheaper feed bills
  • Happier horse
  • and last and least important - cheaper foot care bills

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cruel Practical Jokes and other stupidities

You know the really dumb stuff that lads of about 12-15 start doing as their hormones surge and pimples start popping?

The tap on the opposite shoulder so when you look round noone is there.  Putting a foot on a scale to make someone appear heavier.  Drawing pins on chairs and gluing pennies to the pavement.

I used to think these were just dumb practical jokes, but I saw a reworking of the foot on the scale thing recently and it wasn't at all funny.

Mind you I doubt it was done on purpose, but the alternative isn't much better.

Have to keep this beyond anon, so sorry no photos, so let's draw a mental picture for you instead.  I've had to alter a few details but nothing substantive.

Hooves being x-rayed for lameness work up.

The experienced among you will know the drill.  Hooves are raised on blocks, sometimes very simply, other times much more complex, but remember the hoof on block bit.

One of the things x-rays are used for is to help vets determine side/side and front/back balance of the hoof and the pedal bone within it.

So I'm looking at this x-ray, you can clearly see the block under the hoof.

Except you can't; there is no block under the caudal hoof at all and the heel has been allowed to dip below the level of the rest of the hoof by a significant amount because it is falling off the block.

The horse gets diagnosed with negative palmar angle. (Simply put the pedal bone is too low at the back.)

I am a generally miserable old bag with a naturally inquisitive nature, so I feel pretty comfortable with questioning stuff and have a vet who is good enough to bear it in good humour (bless him).

But many horse owners are not like this.  They are nicer and don't want to upset people or ask 'dumb' questions.

To these nice people I put forward this - so long as you phrase your questions politely and with the best of intent no good vet is going to mind you asking about stuff.  If they do object then maybe you should find one that will let you learn. Because that is what it is all about - learning together so we can better take care of our horses to whom we owe so much.

Laminitis and Fructans

I was going to post this in 2010 - never quite got round to it.......

Did you know that if you ingested enough water it could kill you?  And I don't mean by drowning. There was a case in the UK not so long ago.  Yet few of us would declare water to be a bad thing, except maybe cats and the odd spotty youth.  Many materials, if eaten in sufficient quantity can have harmful effects.  For some substances; Yew Tree Seeds, Laburnanum Seeds, Deadly Nightshade (I think the clue is in the name......... ) it doesn't take very much.  So the question then is how much is too much?

The reason I mention this is because grass fructans have been getting a lot of bad press largely because of a study published by Dr. Pollitt in 2006.  Now don't get me wrong, this isn't out to demonise Pollitt, he is a fine researcher who no doubt seeks to help horses where he can.  But so far as I can tell, this particular study broke a few rules (basic stuff we were taught in 'O' level when I was a lass and yes that is practically pre history for those cheeky folk who know me).

Problem One
The fructans used didn't come from grass and they didn't even resemble grass fructans.  And here on earth not all fructans are created equal.  The fructans in the experiment were from chickory and these have a simple, mostly linear structure.  Grass fructans are more complex and have branching side chains.

It is unlikely that these different structures will be fermented in the same way, with the same speed and the same quick reduction in hind gut pH.  I am unaware of any study where the same results have been found with grass fructans.

Problem Two
A very high dose; 3.75kg of the pure chickory fructan was delivered by stomach tube, and unlike the lager louts of Europe, few horses would naturally ingest anything this way. It would take c.43kg of fresh grass to deliver that much fructan (and remember even then it would be a different type of fructan).  Grace is a a hoover, and eats far beyond her theoretical capacity but even at her greediest at c.500kg she struggles to put away more than 16kg.  Yes I am that sad that I measure everything.

Problem Three
The peak season for pasture associated laminitis is spring, when fructan levels are low.

So from my simple 'O' level point of view, the findings of this research are that if you hook a horse up to a stomach tube, force feed it an unnaturally and ridiculously large amount of the wrong sort of fructan you are going to disrupt hind gut fermentation and give a horse laminitis.

NB - but why would you?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Haven't posted about Grace for a while

Especially not on her blog.  Sorry.

I'll have had her for 3 years in July and she is an example of how horses/hooves can have a roller coaster ride, but still generally improve over time. And many changes, both good and bad can be reversed.

Slightly gobsmacked that she is doing pretty well hoof wise despite laminitis rearing its head all around and despite a lack of work.  Although of course she could tip over the edge tomorrow.  Spring last year she didn't do so well.  This year the Spring grass is worse and going on for much longer, but she is foot wise suffering less.

Guts though are terrible with the sheer quantity of long, very wet, low fibre, high sugar,  low mineral grass.  Edible charcoal and Yea Sacc are helping me out.  I keep her in for the occasional whole day too, just to dry her tummy up.  Ideally I'd like her brought in at noon and for a while this worked really well, but there are 'technical' issues so this is what we are doing for now.
I'd like better concavity but not too bad. Nov 2011 and

Slightly longer toe than I'd like but okish for a pasture pet

Grace reinforces the notion that a lot of hoof troubles start in the hind gut.  I work my butt off/spend a fair bit to try and help her out with this and so far it seems to be paying off.  Still cheaper than shoes.  But of course this is not why she is barefoot which is entirely for her sake.

I can better identify any onset of laminitis and take remedial action.  Grace can develop and use her caudal hoof, essential for protecting her limbs from concussion (oh boy do I hate riding shod horses after years of bare).  Also an essential element of preventing navicular syndrome. 

While barefoot doesn't entirely prevent thrush (far from it) it is easier to treat and bare horses that are mineral balanced, healthy and in work seem to suffer much less.

Grip on roads is great and with correct conditioning, again especially of the caudal foot, they slip over most surfaces much less. 

Some bare horses seem to slip more on short wet grass, some less.  I can't judge that one as the feedback from clients is mixed.  I do think that unbalanced riders can bring a bare horse down more easily on wet grass. 

But the shod horse is staying upright at the expense of long term joint/ligament health - so if you are not balanced my advice is 'Don't jump short wet grass - period'. 

I know at the time it is hard, yes I was once a teenager, despite my Mum saying I was born aged 40.......  but there are more important things in life than ribbons.

Common Sense

Couldn't help but notice a horse with extraordinarily oval feet.  Extensive lamellar wedge (stretched white line) poking out over the toe of each shoe.  No outer hoof wall at distal point of hoof.  My big ears overheard the BHS Instructor who is the horse's owner commenting:

"The farrier says he's laminitic, but his feet have always been like that."

Well that's all right then.......................................  (not).

Contrasted with carer for this horse who was being reassured that all was ok - but who despite being a novice decided to to their own thinking and research.

RF Eggbar prescribed for heel shear.
NB contraction, prolapsed frog which
doesn't reach the floor.   Uneven heel

Tall foot had eggbar, other foot shod plain. Horse tripped
badly to point of falling

NB front leg stance.

Qualifications count for nought if they fly in the face of common sense.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Barefoot Dressage


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Say your prayers

for Nigel/la.
Slight departure but look who I found drowning in a bucket in the garden.

'Daddy' was calling from the shrubbery, so having checked for obvious wounds (there were none) I put her/him under a bush in relative saftey. There was a slight hitch in that she/he was reluctant to get off my hand.

Let's hope Nigel/la makes a full recovery and gets to adulthood with no more misadventures.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Heavy horses can go barefoot and blossom

Just remembered a happy incident from the other day. Must have been 5th (?) trim of Big Black Boy (BBB) who is about aged 18 I think and on the large side.

Always been labelled as 'lazy' and was hard work to ride.

Well we took his Cytek shoes off, the carers worked hard to clear the thrush and managed his rehab/new work load carefully.

Now he happily hacks for an hour plus - nearly all on the road and his feet are beautiful.

But the real upside? He now walks out with such power that his carers report:
He makes our hips ache his stride is so long and powerful. And he no longer slips on the road. The trot - amazing!

Big as he is I wonder what this boy could have achieved if he'd been iron free all his life. Anyway - he is now and he is blossoming :-) makes my day. Once again great people work hard to get the best for their horse. Good on them.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Getting the whole picture

I often feel exceptionally blessed. I get to work every day with great people who are determined to put their horse's welfare first. 

The hoof below tells a familiar story, the owner was concerned that something wasn't quite right, but literally couldn't see the foot for the shoes.
Note: event lines upper hoof wall, rasped out lower hoof
wall, crumbling toe edge, dorsal wall is flat at 12 o'clock
from coronary band to floor

Note stretched white line and absence of hoof wall
at toe. Sole is flat and thin.  Hoof proportions are out
the foot has run forward.

This scenario is often seen in cases of undiagnosed laminitis in the shod horse, or perhaps where shoeing has been used to 'treat' a laminitic case, or where the horse has had laminitis in the past which had been treated and then gets it again, but the shoes mask the symptoms.

The owner of this horse couldn't see quite how extensive the damage was, because the shoes were doing a splendid job of covering it up.  So good on them for following their instincts and getting the shoes pulled.  And please send them your best wishes for a speedy recovery for this horse.

It is going to take a while to grow down a decent, healthy foot that has this much damage. In the meantime the horse can be kept comfortable with boots and pads which provide all the support and protection a damaged hoof needs, but which allow easy access for regular inspection and treatment. And when we know the foot is sufficiently comfortable the horse will be able to work in the boots and pads too.

Friday, 25 May 2012

still waiting for AA

Tbe AA being the Automobile Association by the way :-) Car has a major flat. So big question of the day. Why would an HCP put a horse in Natural Balance on one fore and an eggbar on the other? The eggbar foot was a good inch plus taller than the NB foot and the frog nowhere near the ground. Medial lateral balance off by a finger's width. Horse moved terribly and couldn't turn corners properly as well as tripping. Shoes off, no trimming and horse already going better. Text today and he is ok. Second big question why put on wraps on a hoof in such a way that the foot is in one county and the rest of the leg another. Plus the frogs have rotted through where they've been covered up. And question for myself. Why do I not get tougher with owners? If a horse needs solar protection they need it and no excuses. Wish me well!

waiting for the AA

and time to collect my thoughts.

Hooves really are a window to your horses health.  As mere humans we may not always be that savvy about interpreting the signs, but that is hardly Nature's fault.

Chunky Chap (CC) who is dearly loved and treasured by his carer who has looked for answers to his problems for a very long time.  CC had flat, desicated coconut feet with really bad cracks.
Dietary adjustments did much to resolve peripheral issues, but CC's feet were still showing signs of ill health.  Very savvy vet (I think I love you! :-) ) identified a problem with blood supply to hind gut.  Since that has been treated hooves have blossomed.  No longer pancake flat, they are now glossy, hard, fabulous.  CC is going well too.

Then there is the Ebony Princess (EP) hooves also signalling problems. The attending is more sceptical and thinks shoes will sort. Attending treats the 'secondary' issues. EP is no better and from a hoof point of view somewhat worse. Attending who really does have EP's best interest at heart, agrees to owners request for Cushings test. Despite her youth EP does have Cushings, but now the attending and owner have a chance to treat. Thank goodness owner listened to what EPs hooves were telling her. I'm sad for EP and owner, but now we have a chance to make progress. Let's see how it goes - timewise we have lost best part of a year. Learn to read your hooves - please - it isn't easy and interpretation is still in its infancy, but if you know just one thing know this. 'If the hooves aren't right than neither is the horse.' And personally - I think we owe it to our horses to find the problem, and if we can, to fix it. Covering it up or ignoring it shouldn't be an option. (And I really need to learn how to use my phone properly to post blog entries.)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Performance barefoot

We've posted about this pair several times on this blog as we have plotted their journey.  One of the more difficult rehabs.  Not just 'navicular' but also as we discovered later, very sensitive to diet.
Anyway to cut a very long story short - look!

Hunter Trial April 2012

This is their second Hunter Trial both run early April 2012.   Apparently horse didn't slip at all, despite the rather horrible weather we have been having in the UK. 

Yes horse is still sound. But the original vet will never know because the owner reports that they refuse to come and see her unless she is shod.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hooves are like

Financial investments..........  they can go down as well as up.

Your job as a horse owner will never be finished - not while you have a horse.  It doesn't take long; a brief holiday and you can come back to chronic thrush, contracted heels or worse.

But the joy of it is if you get the hoof structure healthy in the first place then hooves can take a lot and small set backs are just that.  Small and easily resolved.

If you have the good hoof structure in the first place.

Which is what sooooooo many peeps seem to fail to understand including, but not exclusively; horse owners, vets, farriers, yard managers, instructors............

And good  structure as always is a product of good management/facilitating a healthy lifestyle for the horse.

So sadly some of these will, quite unintentionally I am sure, promote poor hoof structure because they don't know how to achieve something better, or even believe that structure is determined before birth and a bad hoof will always be a bad hoof.

But you only have to look at a few rehab photos to realise that this isn't so.  But what the rehab pictures don't show is the sheer hard work some of these transformations have taken.  Which is why some people think that is then just a matter of taking the shoes off and are horribly disappointed to find that they have to change......

And to continue this theme - I've seen some very nice hooves damaged by inappropriate riding techniques.  This is perhaps the most awkward conversation of all to have.  It is hard enough to say to someone 'your horse is overweight' or 'your horse has thrush' etc, but 'please can you change how you ride your horse' is a whole other matter.  If anyone has any constructive and polite suggestions...........

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Use your head as well as your nose.

To continue on the theme of hay.  Had demonstrable proof that you can't judge hay by look or smell.  Except for a broad and rather vague indication of mouldiness.  Very experienced farmer x 3 all declared that a sample of mouldy, sugary hay which is very low in minerals was ok, based on the poke it and sniff it test........

One, completely shocked at how inaccurate this time served method was, is now going to have a forage test done on his hay stock.  Great bloke wants to make sure he is feeding his animals properly.

And - just had the results back on some hay that looks and smells beautiful.  Still too high in sugar and really low in minerals. 

Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder......  tis in the performance of the feet! 

And feet need a species suitable diet, which for neds in the UK, may well mean a bit of detective work. :-)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Orange Ears

Just promise you won't tell Grace........

See here for the background

Enjoy the journey

Sometime in the spring/early summer of last year I got a call about a navicular horse, lame in shoes, lamer still with wedges.

Fronts came off June, hinds a bit later (don't ask).

Regular readers of the blog will have seen how they looked straight out of shoes.

Left Fore side view June 2011.  Clipped for nerve blocks et al
Horse could not stand 'bare' on concrete, hence the straw

And then

Left Fore Oct 2011.  Note event line almost half way down

And yesterday

Left Fore March 2012.  Event line almost grown out

The horse* has passed a vetting including trotting a 10m circle on concrete. Hacks out sound over stones (shod companion couldn't do it and had to use the verge), schools and lunges happily.

I watched the horse trot up yesterday - the movement has changed from 'sewing machine' when shod (carer's words not mine) to positively floating.

And the behavioural changes are for me equally significant.  Used to have to be cross tied for tacking up etc.  Now will stand loose in the yard dozing while groomed, tacked up or trimmed.

Enjoy the journey?  Another client has asked that I blog about 'The Finish'.  Only there never is one, not until we pass over anyway.

The horses I attend prove to me time and again that give the right opportunities their hooves will continue to improve, regardless of age. 

Some will decline, from uncontrolled Cushings, Insulin Resistance or other metabolic disorder, but sort those out, feed the horse properly, work them appropriately and it is truly amazing how the hooves respond, even with horses in their twenties.

Age doesn't have to be a barrier to a healthy hoof and the journey never finishes.  So learn to enjoy it and appreciate the ride for whatever it brings.

* Note I am now excluding gender because too many people are starting to play the 'guess the horse' game and that is not fair on the carer's of the horses who have so generously agreed to their cases being put on the blog.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hay and sugar beet

As I described here I have a problem with hay that is high in iron.  1092mg per kilo to be precise.
So as well as pursuing careful supplementation to mitigate some of the problems this causes I thought I'd take a bit more of a look at the other source of iron that Grace eats in any quantity.
Sugar Beet
150g unmolassed sugar beet to be precise.  And it's important to get the unmolassed product which I know can be tricky in some countries such as the US. 
Raw unprocessed beet typically yields between 17% and 22%  sugar, in some circumstances it may peak at 25%.  The processed, unmolassed beet is 5% or less.  But add molasses and you can be looking at much higher levels. 
The breakdown for the umolassed sugar beet I use is this:
Copper 10mg/kg (twice my hay)
Zinc 20 mg/kg
Iron 450 mg/kg (less than half my hay)
Calcium 1%
Sugar 5% (slightly more than half my hay)

So the beet has a better nutritional profile than my hay. 
I know the company I buy it from test their beet at least twice a month.  I have it in writing.  And for completeness I have checked with another company and they check every batch too.

So what am I going to do now?
I knew Grace was getting too much iron and not enough copper.  But until I had continuity of hay supply testing it was pointless.  I always worried it was the beet.  How wrong could I be!
So now I am going to rejig her ration a little.  I won't worry about feedng a bit more beet and a little less hay and I will mineral balance the lot.  It's relatively easy when you know how.
Grace is really looking forward to her new ears.

You are what you eat

Grace's ears have turned orange.  I kid you not.  If I hadn't broken my old phone I'd show you a photo (and Grace begged me not to - soooo embarrassing).  On a deep liver chestnut it is not a good look and it signals loudly my failure to address a copper shortage that I had a good idea was on the way.  So you can all slap my wrists now.  Only its a very useful scenario that I hope will help someone, somewhere, sometime.

So a bit of background.......
I live and livery in a very high iron area, even the water is loaded.  All the grass is ex dairy, mostly Rye and when I am really unlucky it gets nitrogen thrown at it too.
The livery yard has recently changed its modus operandi and I can now buy my own hay in.  Which is a huge relief as the previous hay was over 18% sugar and over 21% sugar/starch combined, low in minerals and rather mouldy.  So I am pleased I can get my own in and hugely grateful that the yard has allowed this departure from the norm.
As always though there is a hitch - the only alternative hay, while lower in sugar and much less mouldy, is mega high in iron.  I know because I've had it tested.  By an ISO accredited lab.  Twice.

So what's the problem?  Horses need iron right?

Yes they do, but diet related iron deficiency has never been described in the horse except in foals. Instead, because iron is so abundant in the equine diet, iron overload and iron interference with the absorption of the other trace minerals such as copper and zinc is much more likely.  Hence Grace's orange ears.

Excess iron has other unwanted side effects, including: predisposition to infection, predisposition to arthritis and increased risk of tendon/ligament problems, liver disease and altered glucose metabolism – including insulin resistance and overt diabetes.

So looks aside who would want to expose their horse to these risks unnecessarily?

Which leads me to my next post

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stunning barefoot trot beats the snow

Regular readers of my blog will have seen the feet attached to this horse in previous posts, but perhaps never the whole horse.

Here she is in action, on her way to completing her first 64km of the season.  Note it was snowing!

Vet commented on her "Stunning trot." on the pre-ride trot up.

Despite horrible conditions she completed 64km and trotted up sound at the end.  Well done to all! :-)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In the eye of the beholder

Or not.  I prefer to judge a foot by function over form. 

Horses should be sound - properly sound, rather than just 'serviceably sound'.
The hoof below belongs to a horse that is properly sound and working and  you have to admit - for a hoof it is kind of good looking too.  :-)

Many thanks to the owner of this horse for allowing me to share this with you and congratulations to them for what I know is a product of hard work and attention to detail.

Domestic hoof kept at livery in UK

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Thrush - Portia's Potion

For those of you who like to get really sticky this is quite an effective gloop for your equine friend's feet*.

By volume -

1/3 Manuka Honey 10+ (don't cheap out on this) most larger supermarkets stock this
2/3 Zinc and Castor Oil Cream - £2.05 for 250 ml from Boots The Chemist.

Don't try mixing the honey with Sudocrem instead of the Zinc and Castor Oil.

Because it CURDLES big time and you end up with a cottage cheese and honey mess.

Great for thrushy feet.  Not too bad for your hands - but you might just stick to the steering wheel on the drive home from the yard (barn).

Secondary entertainment value - quite fun to follow the trail of hoof prints left by equine pal and marvel at how pretty they are :-)

*Remember if in doubt get expert help and/or ask your vet before using.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Spreading the Love :-) ... Think Global - Act Local

A wardrobe full of catchphrases one of which is 'spreading the love' which is how he describes my tootling round the South East of England facilitating people in their efforts to achieve healthy, happy and sound barefoot performance horses.

Or maybe he is just referring to the Snogmeister who has now (cross fingers) found a new barefooting home.

Anyway back to 'Thinking Global'.  Got this in my inbox - made me smile all day - thank you!

"i am a caretaker of a throughbreed for the last two years this past summer he threw six shoes in five weeks his feet went from poor to horrible ! i found your web site and did alot of resarch and found [name of trimmer] **** came in auguest and removed orion shoes his feet were vert badley chip and one hoof side wall was blown out terrible frogs low hells well its been five months and his feet are just so improved we do lots of trail riding and he does not stumble and he does not go toe first he is so much happyier and movies great. i wish i took picks but you were right on that throughbreeds can go barefoot ! we live in mass. usa thanks ***** and orion"

Note names have been replaced with **** for confidentiality purposes

So it would seem that the myth that TB's can't go barefoot (as we all know) is just that :-)

About Me

My photo
Southern England, United Kingdom