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There are only two kinds of horses.... those that have laminitis and those that could someday get it!
So what is laminitis and how do horses get it?
Put simply, laminits is the inflamation of the sensitive laminar corium in the hoof, causing a breakdown of the bond between the hoof wall and the coffin bone.
Severe cases are commonly known as founder and major causes are by eating sugar rich grasses, but it can also be caused by concussion of the hooves on hard surfaces, over-eating grain, infection from retaining afterbirth, excessive weight bearing on one leg, stress, vaccinations and medications.
There are many good texts giving much greater detail on the causes and treatments, so if you own a horse, you should be aware of how this condition occurs and how to keep your horse from suffering it.
One such book with an excellent chapter on laminitis is The Sound Hoof - Horse Health from the Ground up by Lisa Simons Lancaster (read a full review). You can purchase this book from www.tallgrasspublishers.com.
This book lists the early clinical signs of laminitis as:
  • Reluctance to move freely (especially on hard/rough surfaces).
  • Blood stains visible in the white line or hoof wall.
  • Pulse and respiration may be elevated due to pain.
  • When moving, prefers to canter rather than trot if given a choice.
  • Feet are off balance - may have long toes, high heels or both.
  • Moves forward soundly but takes slightly shorter than normal strides.
  • Sound on soft terrain but may limp or stumble on hard or rocky ground.
  • Sole bruising and a stretched white line (in some horses, by the time you see this they have been compromised for quite some time).

    If your horse's hooves have numerous stress rings like this one, it probably indicates repeated episodes of sub clinical laminitis.

    Late clinical signs: (Founder)
  • Lies down a lot
  • Standing but will not move
  • Bounding digital pulse
  • Sole hot to the touch
  • White line stretched
  • Will not allow you to pick up a foot
  • Stops eating
  • Sole bruise in the shape of a coffin bone
  • Shifting weigh tfrom foot to foot (swaying side to side).
  • Standing with front legs stretched out, back arched, trying to lean back to get weight off toes.
  • When asked to turn in a tight area like a stall or narrow barn aisle the horse rocks backwards onto haunches, lifts head up and lurches around because it hurts to turn the feet.

    Usually several of these signs will appear together or appear over the course of a few days.
    All of the signs need to be evaluated in context. No single indicator would be diagnostic for laminitis.
If you suspect your horse has laminitis or founder then do your research, ask many opinions from varied sources (natural hoof care practitioners, vets, farriers) and comminicate with others who have successfully rehabilitated a founderd horse or pony.
Then DO someting about it - just hoping that early signs will go away is leading to a severe case which is more painful for your horse and your pocket!
Better still, assess your horse's sitation before it occurs;
  • Do you have hooves trimmed regularly? (ie: every 4 weeks - not 8, 10 or 12) to maintain good hoof balance and health.
  • What is the diet? Grains, lucernes, rich grass or a fresh flush of grass all cause laminitic attacks.
  • What stresses does your horse endure? Travelling, competing, over training, illness, vaccinations, de-worming and medicating can all be triggers for laminitis.
Because laminitis is a "whole horse disorder" a holistic approach works well to identify and correct the root cause.
Be especially vigilant as spring grasses are starting to emerge. Restrict access to grass during the later part of the day and at night, and keep feeding plenty of hay so your horse doesn't feel the need to gorge on toxic grass.

For more detailed information on Laminitis and Founder go to articles at www.safergrass.org and www.naturalhorsetrim.com

An in-depth presentation on laminitis can be found here on the BarefootHoofsmith.com

More Excellent advice and articles can be found if you click here to read
Carola Adolf's articles on Laminits.

FABULOUS ONLINE VIDEOS ALL HORSE OWNERS NEED TO SEE – learn more about the dangers of over-feeding your horse and how to tell if they are overweight. Click this link to Fran Jurga’s Hoofblog to read more about how we inadvertently overfeed our horses and cases of laminitis are rising as a consequence – the videos are each about 7-9 minutes long.


Amazing Founder Rehabilitation through hoof trimming and wholistic care.
Most vets and horse owners consider a severe case of laminitis to be a death sentence. Some think it’s too much hard work and expense for them and too much pain for the horse or pony to endure. But why should we give up on those wonderful creatures who have given us so much? Previously it was thought that a foundered pony or horse couldn’t ever return to soundness and therefore usefulness – I was one of them. Since meeting Glynn and being involved in his rehabilitation, I’ve discovered otherwise.
With a good natural hoof trim on a regular basis and changes to a more natural diet free of rich grasses, a horse can grow a whole new hoof (or 4). This re-aligns the pedal bone and the horse becomes sound and able to perform again. In the process the owner learns how to care for the horse so laminitis doesn’t re-occur. Everyone is a winner!

Here is the story of Glynn and his recovery.
Glynn is a 22 year old Welsh Section A stallion and was a show ring champion in NSW in his younger days.
His move to Tasmania last year onto richer grass, and in-frequent hoof care caused laminitis which was so severe that most vets would have recommended euthanasia.
All four pedal bones had rotated through his soles causing open wounds and extreme lameness.

Glynn's founder stance prior to the first trim.

Cynthia was called for advice in February 2005 and fortunately, respected QLD Hoof Trimmer, Peter Laidley was in Tasmania for a workshop so was able to do the initial trim and prescribe a course of treatment. Trims were continued by Cynthia along with daily love and care from his owner, followed by another check up from Peter in May.

In the space of seven months he went from being barely able to move, to trotting and cantering freely on grass. He is now able to handle walking on gravel and his hooves will continue to improve and toughen up now that they are back in shape.

Treatment Summary:
*A natural trim every week for 8 weeks, then every fortnight for the next 6 weeks & now every 3 weeks.
* Initial bandaging of the front hoof wounds to keep honey in and dirt out until the wounds were healed (3 months).
* Painkillers to keep spirits up and encourage some movement (gradually phased out after 4 weeks).
* Confinement away from grass in a large stock yard on soft footing (wood chips & straw then some pea sized gravel was added in wet areas).
Free choice average quality grass hay plus oaten chaff with supplements and a small amount of pellets (Hygain Ice recommended) and a few vegetables for variety.
Once the hooves have regained a sound shape, a small amount of grass is allowed daily (1 hour of grazing with a muzzle on). Once the grass dries off, more grazing can be gradually offered.


Right after the first trim and padded hooves, Glynn was able to get relief and stand comfortably.

The front hooves prior to the first trim - extremely high heels contributed to rotated pedal bones through the sole.

The worst front hoof showing the pedal bone through the sole.

Polystyrene pads initially provided support and relief.

9 months later the worst front hoof has regained a sound structure.

The hind hoof also showing a wound from the rotated pedal bone and blood in the white line.

A hind hoof half way through treatment showing the new and old growth.

The hind hoof 9 months later.

The front hoof is getting closer to its ideal shape 9 months later.

Glynn looking and feeling great 9 months later.

Glynn was trimmed by Peter Laidley for his 1 year anniversary trim and shows his appreciation with a pony kiss.

His hinds are looking fantastic.

His front hooves still have some recovery to do but are so much better.

Glynn looking good (but still a bit cresty) in Feb. 2006 exactly 12 months after his first rehab trim.

Your Horse is what it Eats - By Cynthia Cooper

Horses evolved to eat small amounts of grasses, herbs and minerals almost constantly throughout the day.
They covered many miles to reach water and lived in small herds of varied ages and sexes.
Does this sound like the modern horse?
Not really - their involvement with humans has necessitated their restriction and artificial feeding for ease of use as a working animal.
But today the majority of horses are used for pleasure and that pleasure need not be all ours. If we want a happy, healthy horse to provide many years of companionship then we can change our ways to suit their nature.
Many new ideas are replacing traditional methods of horsemanship and health care with hoof care and feeding now the focus. Natural Hoof Care practitioners and forage researchers have discovered that horses cannot be fed like cows – on high sugar grasses that maximise beef and milk production. To do so, compromises the health of our horses by causing laminitis as horses become more carbohydrate intolerant – commonly called ‘good doers’.
When horses eat high sugar grass it causes a toxic reaction in the hind gut which then affects the connection between hoof wall and laminae (sensitive internal structure). This causes common hoof ailments such as abscesses, seedy toe, white line disease and deformed, shallow, sensitive hooves.
With a little thought and planning, better management and feeding practices can change all of this.
Here are some changes you can make with feeding to improve health:
  • Ensure grass hay is fed as the main diet, along with free choice minerals and salt.
  • Try to feed as far from the water as possible to encourage movement.
  • Give your horse room to move by fencing a 10–30m wide track around your pasture which makes a long, thin paddock and restricts grass intake.
  • Restrict grass intake appropriately for each horse – most will need to be kept off grass during the evening when the grass sugars are highest. Some horses may only be able to tolerate a couple of hours in the very early morning, especially in spring.
  • Some ‘good doers’ will need to wear a grazing muzzle some of the time to remain with the herd. It’s not comfortable for them to wear a muzzle all the time and colic may result if they don't get enough bulk food (such as hay). It is reccommended to remove the muzzle and horse/pony from the grass and feed hay overnight.
  • Some good doers will need to have their ‘sugar rich’ hay soaked for a few hours to lower the sugar content. Rich hay is usually cut from rye grass & clover pastures designed for fattening cattle.
  • Avoid feeding grain unless your horse is receiving enough additional exercise to utilise the energy such as racehorses, endurance and performance horses. Broodmares, foals and young horses may need some grains and legumes (lucerne) to provide additional protein and calcium. All other horses will gain or maintain weight, safely on free choice hay.
  • Recommended Resources - BOOKS:
    The Natural Horse – Jaime Jackson
    Paddock Paradise – Jaime Jackson
    Founder: Prevention & Cure – Jaime Jackson
    Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You – Pete Ramey
    The Secret of Happy Horses by Sabine Kells
    A Lifetime of Soundness by Dr Strasser

Veterinary Advice for Treatment of Acute Laminitis/Founder

For Nutritional Advice on the Treatment of Chronic Laminitis
and for more great articles on feeding laminitic horses go to

Get these very helpful CD's by Kathryn Watts from the
Natural Horse World Store

Using homeopathics to help acute lamintis
- Pippin's story by Kaya.

I went away for a few days to visit a friend, so had to 'leave' my ponies in the paddock 24/7. Normally they are on 'their' PP Track 18 hours per day and 6 hours in the Candy Shop (green grass), to limit their green grass intake. I had no one to look after them, so thought 'Oh, they will be OK for three days on the grass'. How wrong I was on this, but had to find out later, 'the hard way'..
I came back home, checked the horses and all seemed OK.
Next morning I went to see the horses and my Highland pony 'Pippin'
was absolutely lame! I never had a lame horse in my whole life! I was shocked, freaked out and experienced every emotion under the
sun you can imagine...
I got Pippin out of the paddock and slowly walked him into the stable
to check out his leg/hoof.
After removing 1cm3 of mud and water from his leg and hoof, I could
finally see that he had developed a white line separation on the
medial side of his right front hoof. Cleaned that up, rasped the wall
flat and below the sole level, so there wouldn't be any active weight
bearing on that part of the wall, so no further white line separation
would occur.
I still don't know how the separation could develop, I keep my horses
hooves trimmed so tidy and nicely, every week I trim their hooves.
There was definitely NO flares at all on the medial wall of that hoof
which could have acted as a lever force...?!?!

Anyway, nothing was visible that could have caused the lameness, so I felt the hoof and it was a bit warm, but wasn't sure, with all the
water and mud and horrific weather condition around.

My sense was that it was an abscess. Pippin wasn't pointing the toe,
but how he walked, and I have seen tons of horses here with abscesses lately (my local vet said he treats 5 horses per day with abscesses at the moment), so I start to have a 'feeling' what an abscess looks like and how the horse moves with one.

So here is the treatment plan for abscessing and laminitic horses
with HOMEOPATHY, for anyone who wants to use it, if it will ever
happen to your or your clients horses.
I took Pippin off the fresh grass immediately and started soaking his
hoof 2X per day with warm water and Epsom salts.
Also I gave him Homeopathics, the remedy is called 'Hepa Sulfuris
30c'. This remedy is the best for pushing the abscess OUT / breaking
through, to open it up. It is VERY strong stuff, but the best you can
do, to get the process going from the inside.
You give Hepa Sulfuris 3X per day. The best is to get it in liquid

You get a syringe, fill it with clean water and drip 7 drops of the
remedy into the syringe. Never ever touch the pippete of the little
bottle or the homeopathic liquid or pills, you will contaminate the
homeopathy and it won't work anymore.
Also you never give homeopathy while feeding the horse garlic, it is
You open the horses mouth (well, try that with a Highland pony, all
they do is want to eat the thing...) and syringe the liquid
over the tongue. Hold the mouth close and let the remedy 'sink in'.
The membranes of the horses mouth will take up the homeopathics and will go immediately into the blood stream and start working from there.
Most people who know a bit about homeopathy will tell you to
administer the remedy 'Silicea 30c'. This remedy helps with any
situation were inflammation and puss is happening.

BUT most people don't know that you only give 'Silicea' AFTER
the abscess had opened! So, get this remedy too, but please only
give it to the horse AFTER the abscess has found a vent out and the
puss is running.
Also you give the homeopathic remedy 'Arnica 200c', this is to help
the horse (or human!) with any physical injury. It is the BASIC
remedy for any hurt happening to any body, human or animal. You
should always carry it (in pillule form) with you in your handbag or
when riding out on a trail ride.
So I gave this Arnica to Pippin 2 X per day, 6 pills in a carrot.
'Arnica' is OK with 'Hepa Sulfuris', but don't give them together
at the same time, a few hours apart is best.
I also gave him 'Bachflower Rescue Remedy', for his emotional
distress he was in. It really calmed him down.

Anyway, so I treated him this way, homeopathics (Hepa Sulfuris,
Arnica and Rescue Remedy) and epsom salt soaks.
I only hand fed him, soaked Lucerne hay and straw for 1 hour in water
(pour the water off afterwards, wow, you see how much sugar is in
there because the water is just brown and smells of molasses!) and
gave him a mix of Speedi-Beet, Pryde's 'EasiFibre (soyhulls) and Copra.
I know grass hay would be much better, but there is NO grass hay
available in our area.
What is really important is that your abscessing horses need to eat
Did you know that it is very likely that horses who suffer from
abscesses are Copper deficient? And that paddocks which are highly fertilized with chemical fertilizers keep the Copper from being taken up in your horses body?

For that you give the horse 2 heaped tablespoons 'Rosehip' granules
over the day and 1 small heaped tea spoon seaweed meal (never
give more than 3gr seaweed meal per day, otherwise the horse gets too much iodine and that is toxic).
Rosehip and Seaweed Meal are full of Copper and help the horse heal from the inside.

OK, I thought at this point I had it all under control. I released
Pippin out into the paddock with his grazing muzzle, to encourage
movement, to encourage blood flow into the hooves, to encourage
healing the damaged tissues.
Pippin still didn't point the toe and he actually put weight onto his
sick hoof, he was 'just' limping clearly. So his healthy other foot
didn't have to massively work to compensate for the other hoof. Good, I thought.
When I got him back into the stable yesterday lunch time to soak his
hoof, I started to feel the hoof and it was really warm. 'Great' I
thought, the abscess is close to breaking out, yippiee!
Then I thought, well I should check the other hooves too....
And here is a lesson for you!!!!! Never check just one foot, the one
who is lame...

As I was feeling the other hooves I started to realize that the other
(healthy) front hoof was warm as well... (panic set in!)... and both
front hooves were warm at the coronet band... (more panic)... hind
feet were cold..
But then I started to feel the pulse on the inside of Pippins
fetlocks, and it was fast and throbbing... and worst: on ALL 4 feet,
even the 'cold' hind feet !
His look was glazy and he felt very stressed and in pain. Yes, I had to admit it to myself: my little Pippin pony must have Laminitis !!!!!

I locked him into the stables (with company) and raced to the
telephone. From all I have read, urgent action has to be taken, to
prevent the laminitis turning into founder, which can happen within hours!
So, called the vet, who advised not to panic (ha ha ha, how easy it
is to say that...) and he thought that the 'healthy hoof' was warm
from compensating for the abscessing hoof.
Not to worry, he would come next morning and check out my pony.
But the truth was that Pippin was actually still putting heaps of weight on the sick foot, even cantering up the hills, so the compensating foot couldn't be THAT sore from carrying all the weight. So, the vets theory went out the window for me.

My gut feeling said that this was NOT OK, so called my Homeopath. She told me to immediately, which means NOW, get 2 remedies which should be administered ASAP to a laminitic horse:
- Belladonna 1 M (1M is the highest potency, something you take
when you survive a plane crash...)
- Aconitum 30c (also called Aconite)
You give these two remedies together (again, in a syringe, in liquid
from) over the horses tongue 6 X over 3 hours (so every 30 minutes).
This is a full on program, very challenging to say the least, but it
works, believe me!

Both remedies are a must for any kind of inflammation and feverish
conditions (in horses and humans). As homeopathy works, it always
first makes the symptoms worse, as the body starts to mobilize its
internal reserves, and then the body heals from the 'inside out'.
Homeopathy always brings the illness OUT in the open. Initially it
can be quiet shocking, but the healing happens fast after that and it
My vet said if my pony would suffer from laminitis he would give him
'Bute' (Phenylbutazone). Well, that is a pain killer and necessary in
some cases, but it 'drives' the illness 'inside' the body. And then
it will come out later somewhere else.
That is why I prefer homeopathy, because it supports the body's self
healing powers.

So, I gave Pippin these two remedies for his laminitis, and he
started shaking. His whole body was shaking, like a person who has
high fever. I rugged him and kept him out of the hailing rain. His
buddies always at his side. This poor little fella, he was riddled
with fever. It was hard for me stand by his side but I did.
After a few hours the shaking stopped, his eyes got clear and he
looked a different horse.
I called Cynthia, and she was so incredibly supportive. She said
everything I was doing was right, and that I shouldn't put the pony
out over night with a grazing muzzle on (he tends to strangle himself
with it) , but to lock him into his yard (which was (and still is) a
big pool of ankle deep water and brown mud, actually more of a
flowing river...). She said this is perfect.
Wow, at least something is 'perfect' in this awful situation!

So, Pippin and one of his companions were put into the mud bath yard over night, and guess what: Pippins feet were cool this morning, the cold water had drawn out all the heat (inflammation) from his hooves and he now is hardly lame anymore !!!!!
Pippin will be off grass for a while, and then only allowed grazing
for an hour or so. I don't want to risk anything like this ever again.
I hope he will keep going on his uphill curve and get better every
day. I know he will. He is a strong spirited horse.

I learned from Cynthia, that abscesses can actually be reabsorbed
into the hoof and never break out. All you will see after a few
months will be some rotten hoof horn, like Seedy Toe, where the
abscess has been. It will then grow out.
My vet also said this morning (I called him and said that Pippin was
much better and that he didn't have to come and check him out, I
didn't mention the homeopathy, because my vet always thinks I am a
bit crazy and 'left wing' and 'Hippi' and God knows what...), that an
abscess can come out without actually being visible. He said that no
big hole has to appear and no puss actually has to come out. It can
be a very small, invisible passage, where some thin liquid drains
out, never to be seen by the human eye.

OK, so that is mine and Pippin's story. I hope you can benefit from
our story, if you ever happen to have a horse with abscess and/ or
By the way, my vet said that often abscesses and laminitis go
together, and that the laminitis goes unnoticed, because everybody is
focusing on the abscess... (ahhh, really, that must have been me!).

So please always check ALL your horses 4 hooves for warmth/heat and the (throbbing) pulse, whenever any lameness is present. You never know, it might be that your horse is suffering from laminitis !

What’s the truth about laminitis? by Annemaree Woodward ©

When one of my donkeys, Sergeant Pepper, succumbed to laminitis in the spring of 2006, I was shocked. Although I’ve kept donkeys for 30 years, I’d always been told donkeys don’t get laminitis - fallacy number one.
I’ve spent time with horses since my early childhood. The Welsh pony that taught me to ride was a stock horse on one of the dairy farms of my extended family in north eastern Victoria. Shorty always went a little lame on his near-side-front after a couple of hour’s work. My cousin told me Shorty had foundered a few years ago and pretended to be lame so he wouldn’t have to work too hard – fallacy number two.

When I worked weekends at a racing stable in my early teens I heard of the dreaded founder. Horses were said to never recover – fallacy number three.
The six months after Pepper was diagnosed were a long road back to health for him and a steep learning curve of discovery for me.
Pepper was always a bit touchy about his feet. He often seemed a bit lame after a trim and at other times. I couldn’t find anything obviously wrong and put it down to his change from the rock-free, deep, basaltic soil east of Devonport to his new home on a rocky dolerite hill in Reedy Marsh.

The first sign that he had a serious problem was in August 2006 when he played up while I trimmed his hooves. I persisted for a couple of months until he just wouldn’t stand still for me. By this time [October 2006] his feet were overgrown and he seemed to be lame on both front feet.
I called on a natural hoof care practitioner who was recommended to me. He came the next day and gave me the bad news. He gave Pepper a “laminitis trim” and me some advice about feeding and wished us both luck. He said with natural hoof care and correct feeding he would recover but might need some anti-inflammatory drugs from the vet for his pain.
A few days later Pepper was very bad. He lay down and wouldn’t get up. Of course it was the weekend. I went to see the vet on Monday. He provided some anti-inflammatory drugs, some aspirin to thin his blood and sedative that assists with the vein/artery blood transfer at the coronary band. He was emphatic that I must get the donkey on his feet but was not optimistic about his recovery.
Pepper (left) and Bliss a year ago. Photo by Annemaree Woodward.

Both the equine practitioners I’ve just mentioned played an important part in Pepper’s recovery and I have no criticism of the approach of either, even though they differed. This article is not meant to disparage anyone who offers advice or treatment for laminitis. Rather it’s meant to point out how much conflicting information there is and encourage all equine carers to do their own research to become as informed as possible on this vital subject of equine health.

In the hard work and worry of the months of Pepper’s recuperation I asked experienced people and read everything I could find about laminitis. I was astonished at the great discrepancies in what I discovered.
Here is some of the advice I received first hand or in books:-

  • Provide forced exercise to increase blood flow to the hooves. Put food and water a long distance apart to enforce movement
  • The blood flow to the hoof is so slow that exercise has little effect on it
  • Rest on soft bedding with food and water within reach
  • Forced exercise of any kind while the animal is in pain is completely contra-indicated
  • Fit polystyrene pads to the feet.
  • Don’t fit polystyrene pads to the feet
  • Remove shoes and adopt barefoot hoof care
  • Special shoeing may be necessary
  • Laminitis causes chronic, severe lameness
  • Laminitis is a death sentence
  • Laminitis can be cured by diet and proper natural hoof care
  • Hoof testers can be used to determine the degree to which the hooves are affected
  • Hoof testers are cruel and unnecessary for diagnosis of laminitis
  • Shoeing causes laminitis
  • Shoeing can prevent laminitis in horses working on hard ground
  • Regular doses of an anti-biotic [Virginiamycin] can prevent further outbreaks
  • Anti-biotic treatment is useless or even harmful.

    There were two points on which there was complete consensus. Firstly that laminitis is extremely painful. I have no doubt about this: Pepper lay down and cried for several days. The second point of agreement is that laminitis has a dietary cause. While not everyone has the same opinion about how rich grasses cause the disease, all seem to agree that this the most common cause of laminitis.

    Everyone providing advice says that the animal should have very limited access to grass and no grain feed or tid-bits until full recovery. Most recommend grass hay but few consider what nutrients are contained in the hay. The sugar content of grass and the hay made from grass has only recently come under consideration. It seems that much research is still required before equine owners can find out just how they can provide their animals with a diet close to what nature intended for them.

    I’m no expert on treating laminitis but this is the approach I ultimately followed.
    I didn’t have to adopt barefoot hoof care as my donkeys have never been shod but I did learn better ways to trim their feet following natural hoof care principles. Reducing their heel length has significantly improved both their stance and movement.
    I’m of the opinion that pain is the body’s way of saying it needs a break so I provided Pepper with a deep bed of triticale straw in his shed with a large bucket of water in easy reach. I limited his access to grazing, providing only a small area of grass that had already been heavily grazed.

    I gave him anti-inflammatory drugs to ease his pain. I tended him four times a day to give him his sedative injections. I also gave him homeopathic remedies for inflammation, stress and abscess prevention. I got him to his feet every time I tended him. As he improved it got to the stage that as soon as he saw me he’d get to his feet. These days if I see him lying down, he’s up within seconds of seeing me! I put polystyrene pads on all his feet. I’m absolutely sure they helped him.
    I fed him a 1 in 4 mix of lucerne and oaten chaff with a tiny bit of oats for the taste. He wouldn’t eat chaff at all without oats then and would rather die than eat plain oaten chaff. I gave him a daily dose of Virginiamycin which I’ve continued as his hooves grow out. I gave him small quantities of grass hay four times a day.
    I also brushed him every day because he couldn’t roll. This seemed to make him feel more contented. I let his mate out into the paddock during the day but brought her back to keep him company every evening.
    Pepper in Dec. 07 - a bit fat again. Photo by Annemaree Woodward.

    Slowly Pepper recovered but succumbed to abscesses in both his front feet in February. The natural hoof care practitioner cut these out and applied Epsom salts compresses to draw out the infection. This was successful but his recovery was set back by the abscesses.
    Today more than fourteen months after I first noticed something was wrong Pepper still has some problems with his feet. This is not surprising given that it seems quite clear he had chronic laminitis when he first arrived here.
    I hope that reading this doesn’t confuse or discourage you. I know that you can cure your donkey, pony, mule or horse of laminitis but you will have to be dedicated to his or her recovery.
    I think that the conflicting information about laminitis is indicative that we are now seeing a threshold of change. This can be daunting but can also be seen as an opportunity for learning and adapting.
    I hope all equine owners will learn as much as they can about how to prevent and treat laminitis. If we all learn how to look after these animals properly laminitis doesn’t have to continue to be the main killer of our equine companions.

An idea for padding pony hooves
With founder in ponies being a real problem at this time of year, especially now we’ve had so much rain and spring growth, there will be many sore ponies out there needing some help to be comfortable so they can keep moving.
I recently had to help pad a little Shetland pony who could hardly put one foot in front of the other without a huge effort. We couldn’t find any boots small enough for her either.

Her owner wasn’t experienced with taping on pads and had no materials so I came up with a quick and easy solution that could be re-used.
A pair of rubber sandals can be cut down (mine were ladies size 9) so the back strap fits around the back of the heels and the front strap Velcro fastens around the top of the hoof.
The thick hard rubber of these $10 sandals lasted longer than the straps, and to keep it all in place properly, I duct taped it to the hoof (avoiding contact with the hair).
The pony was much more mobile with her new ‘pony pads’ and once her diet was changed to soaked hay and Speedibeet with minerals, and grass intake restricted by putting a track around her small pasture, she was on the road to recovery.


More Useful articles related to laminitis


Hoofcare - 'Dare to go Bare'

Autumn Flush Toxic Grass

Feed - Making it go Further and other feeding articles

Grass - Why do I need to Know about it?

Hoof Abscess - when being kind is cruel

Hoof care naturally
Hoof Handling
Hoof Stand - Make Your Own
Hoof Bath - Easy to Make

Hooves Neglected - Carla's Story

Laminitis Rehab Success Story

Natural habitat - My horse’s

Nutrition Articles

Paddock Paradise

Perfect Pastures by Dr. D. Moore DVM

horsemanshipnz.com Great info on all aspects of horse care and health problems associated with grass.

New Articles on www.safergrass.org:

Laminitis Attack: The First Line of Defense, by Dr. Don Walsh, DVM and K. Watts

Is Old Hay Better for Horses with Laminitis? by Kathryn Watts

Founder Fodder Weeds (PDF) by Kathryn Watts

Preventing Laminitis - Excellent advice from Jenny Patterson of www.horsemanshipnz.com



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Disclaimer: The information contained within this website is soley the expressed views and opinions of the author, unless otherwise stated, and the author accepts no responsability for the way this information is used by viewers. The information is provided to help PREVENT problems, not to replace veterinary advice.


Cynthia Cooper -
Natural Horse World

46 Wattle Lea Lane, Golden Valley. Tasmania, 7304. Australia.

Ph. 0419 372279

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