Hoof Boots save Foundered Mare
We wanted to share a wonderful story that was sent to us by Marianne Allen, a barefoot practitioner in the Southern Florida area. Nothing has been changed or edited. This is a great example of how a lot of love, a good barefoot trim, and Cavallo hoof boots can save a special horse. Please share your fabulous stories regarding your barefoot trimming experiences. Other barefoot advocates, Cavallo fans and horses will benefit from the information!
I started trimming this mare on September 6, 2010. Her name is Lilla Gumman (Swedish for little darling). She is a 14 year old Kentucky Mountain Saddle horse. She foundered badly around the end of May 2010 after her blacksmith told her owner to put her on straight alfalfa as she was losing weight. She was on sweet feed as well. She had been laying down most of the time for 4 months prior to me seeing her. The vet had said to keep her in a small stall in deep sand. Within 2 days she developed terrible sores all over her body from lying in the sand. Her owner, Margarhetta put her in a larger stall with deep shavings and the mare did not develop any more sores, but she was still laying down most of the time. Her friend told her about me and that I was an accomplished barefoot trimmer with experience with foundered horses.
The veterinarian met me there and took x-rays of all 4 feet. She had foundered on all 4 but the back feet were the worst. The right hind had a 25 degree rotation and the left hind was a horrible 30 degree rotation with imminent coffin bone penetration. You could put a ruler on p1-2 and 3 and draw a straight line down all the bones to the bottom of the hoof, that is how sever the rotation was in the left hind. The mare was very bony and her eyes were dull and lackluster. She had horizontal lines across her abdomen from the pain. This brave, wonderful mare wanted badly to live and wouldn’t give up. She helped me all she could to stand and give me her feet, even if it was only for a few seconds at a time. Thank goodness for power tools, the grinder was amazing for working on foundered feet where the poor horse can’t hold the feet up for very long. Sometimes you only get a few seconds.
After her trim I immediately put her back feet in the Cavallo Simple boots. We cut out rubber pads for her and I instructed Margarhetta to leave her stall door open so she could have 24 hour access to her large pasture. The mare went right out and walked into the pasture for the first time in months. I then made her custom rubber/silicone pads. The mare progressively walked more and more, laying down less and less. All with no bute or medications! She wore the Cavallo hoof boots 24/7 for 3 months while she grew enough sole under the toe of the coffin bone. She rarely lies down now, has put her weight back on, and has the joy of life back in her eyes.
Her diet was the second thing I changed after doing the first trim. We put her on molasses free beet pulp, sunflower seeds, whole flax seed, probiotics, and tested low sugar timothy hay. She has not suffered another laminitic attack since I started with her. Margarhetta has been so diligent in following all my instructions. She cleans the feet daily, does the white lightning soaks to keep them disease free, puts socks on her feet before she puts them in the Cavallo hoof boots, this really helps to prevent chaffing as she was in the boots for so long. She loves this mare and is thrilled that Lilla Gumman is going to make a full recovery.
Margarhetta is now taking her on long walks and the mare marches right along side of her totally pain free. I was thrilled how the Cavallo hoof boots stayed on the feet and gave the mare the ability to walk while her feet healed. They were easy for Margarhetta to take on and off and did not torque the hoof in any way, no pressure pulling or yanking with these boots! They gave her stability and comfort while she healed. Today, after 3 months we finally took them off and the mare walked out to her pasture comfortably.
Thank you Cavallo!
Marianne Allen (Know Hoof, Know Horse Barefoot Practitioner)