Miniature mare with founder leading to

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Miniature mare with founder leading to

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    11-22-2009, 09:20 PM
Miniature mare with founder leading to

I just recently bought a miniature mare as a companion for our other two horses. When we went to look at her I knew her feet were in bad shape but really didnt look that close till we got her home. Im thinking they had her on bute when we went to look at her. She didnt say anything to me about her having bad feet. I did notice that she was wanting to knuckle over when she would walk fast. She told me that she had just trimmed her and that minis feet don't grow fast so she doesnt do them very often. I knew when she told me that that we would have to work on her feet. After we got her home I took a close look at her feet and they were VERY LONG and yes she did just trim them but did a very bad job of it. This poor mini was walking on her soles on top of being so strait up and down its no wonder she wanted to buckle over when she walked. So I went ahead and trimmed the sole down and her heals down slightly till the shoer could get out and work on her feet. The shoer came out the following week and worked on her feet to inform me that she had foundered at some point and did have laminitis in her front feet. She also has heat rings on her feet that are at the top and all the way down to the bottom. He informed me that this means she has been doing this for at least a year because a horses hoof takes a year to grow out. Unfortunatly I didnt know that she had the laminitis when I got her so I was feeding her sweet feed, tymothy/alfalfa mix hay and getting to eat grass all day long. Im sure that didnt help her any. I now have her on no grain, a grass hay and she goes out in a muzzle. I just purchased some easy boots for her but they are going to be to big so im going to have to fix them so they will fit her. I also bought pads to put in the boots as well. I looked up LaminaSaver and it looks to be a promising suppliment for her. I am wondering what everyone else has done? Do any of you have a mini that has this and what did you do. My farrier feels we can pull her through this with no problem. He feels she probably has a 5 to 7 degree rotation but wont really know without X rays. I have been putting her out in my yard to exersize instead of the field which is uneven on her feet. Plus the two horses want to run and play and she feels she needs to do the same so I don't want her aggrivate those feet running around so she isnt aloud out with them. Feel bad but know its for her own good. Any additional information would be great. You can also email me at
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    11-22-2009, 09:58 PM
There are two kinds of ponies, those that are foundered and those that will. If she isn't lame I would let her go with the other horses. No pony needs sweet feed ever. I would keep her on the grass hay and trim her properly and leave it at that. She won't have to have the same care as a full sized horse because she A. Doesn't get ridden and B. Supports much less wieght than a full sized horse. That's just my opinion having not seen the horse or how she moves.
    11-22-2009, 10:15 PM
She is lame and that is why she is not out with the horses. I quit on the sweet feed as soon as the shoer told me she had laminitis and had foundered. Im still leaning towards the boots and pads for her though. I already bought them so no reason not to use them. Just waiting for them to arrive in the mail!
    11-22-2009, 10:24 PM
GandRPaints, it sounds like you have done a whole lot to alleviate the situation with the grass muzzle, feeding hay, farrier work etc.

One of our minis got laminitis. The vet put her on stall rest for a week. We had to fill her stall very full of soft shavings. She got hay only and not a lot of it that week. She did spend a lot of time lying down on the soft shavings and was much better after that time. The farrier had us paint the bottom her feet with Venice Turpentine every day.

After a week, she was to go out on a dry paddock *no grass* and we could give her some Purina WellSolve LS which is low starch and low sugar and is formulated to help horses with laminitis and other problems which his helped by low sugar/starch diet.

As for minis feet not growing as fast as big horses - that is baloney. We have the farrier come every 8 weeks.

I think with the mini's history, you'll have to watch how you feed her for the rest of her life.
    11-22-2009, 11:29 PM
First, if you bought the Easyboots from a authorized dealer, you should be able to return them since you've not taken them out of the box. (just a tip from a dealer, herself).

Also, the pads are great comfort items, and duct tape can work really well on the little guys. Just be sure to remove pads or boots at least once a day, rinse and let dry for a couple of hours to keep thrush in control or prevented. WHile the pads are off, soaks with ACV ( see below) might be helpful, but let the hoof dry as much as possible before reapplying pads or boots. A hair dryer (if the mini is gentle) can help speed drying of the hooves, but DO NOT heat dry pads or boots-it can warp materials.

A great supplement that is a little easier on the wallet is Carb-X, available from United Vet Equine .com (just remove the spaces and paste in your browser). THey sell lamisaver, as well.

In most chronically foundered horses, they have thrush to some degree and in many cases, abscesses, esp after poor trimming. A few soaks in apple cider vinegar and water can help draw out the abscesses and kill the thrush. Use acv mixed about 75/25% with warm water, then soak just up to , but still below, the hairline for 20 minutes or more, if possible. If not, even just spraying a mix (50/50%) on the sole will help with the thrush.

Also, just FYI for other readers, Minis and ponies need regular hoof care the same as horses-their lighter bodies don't wear enough hoof horn off, which is why they rarely look cracked and chipped, but seem to have tiny little stilts.
    11-23-2009, 01:05 AM
^^^ agreed, they seem to need trims MORE often that big horses
    11-24-2009, 09:35 PM
Thanks Guys that helps alot!
    11-25-2009, 03:55 AM

I hope that was an error in the description on your part that you trimmed her soles. I'd also go further than Kevin's comment & say no horse ever needs sweet feed & it's junk food for them... But otherwise, sounds like she's in good hands.

Send us some hoof pics if you want further specific comments on what may need doing. Read up at & among other great resources. I too would suggest using pads, Vettec Sole Guard or such, to get her able to exercise & use her feet *comfortably* & get her exercising as much as possible. Ensure whoever the hoofcare provider is, that they have a lot of *successful* experience in *rehabilitating*(not just palliative management) of founder.
    11-26-2009, 12:00 AM
It wasnt in error that I trimmed her soles. When I bought her the lady that trimmed her trimmed the outside of her feet and she was walking on her soles. She could not walk because of this. I only trimmed it enough that she was walking on the hoof itself instead of the soles. She was much more comfortable when I did this. She had also not trimmed them correctly and had her sitting strait up and down and she was knuckling over when she walked. So I trimmed them slightly so she wasnt buckling over. My shoer came out 5 days later to trim her feet and do it the right way. What I did didnt hurt her. She was much more comfortable after we did it and my shoer wasnt yelling at me so I know I couldnt have done to bad. He's one that isnt shy and will willing tell you his opinion. He is also very good with founder in horses. He has alot of people that he has helped them get their horses back to normal or darn close. I fully trust him. And he works with my vet so if my vet trusts him how can I not!
    11-26-2009, 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by GandRPaints    
When I bought her the lady that trimmed her trimmed the outside of her feet and she was walking on her soles. She could not walk because of this. I only trimmed it enough that she was walking on the hoof itself instead of the soles. She was much more comfortable when I did this. She had also not trimmed them correctly and had her sitting strait up and down
Please learn all you can about hoof function. There is a lot of recent research & findings that have changed the way many think about horse's feet.

If she was more comfortable after the trim, then you likely didn't do anything too bad, but her comfort was probably more about taking her heels down to a better angle than the soles. The walls of the horse's feet are not meant to support the whole horse at all. The soles are on the bottom of the foot for a reason - to support the horse along with the walls & prevent the horse effectively being hung from her laminae, as she will be if peripherally loaded.

In addition to the above being a problem for a healthy horse, this is a foundered one, which means her laminae are already disconnected & in no fit state to support anything. Her pedal bones are likely pointing into the ground at the toe and her soles are probably already over thin, especially around the edges. Peripheral loading will likely cause further descent of the coffin bone. So thinning sole is not at all advisable in this case. Instead, ensuring the walls are relieved of pressure, to allow them to be able to grow down strongly, and padding her soles to provide more protection while they're thin & the primary support is the way I'd handle it.

He is also very good with founder in horses. He has alot of people that he has helped them get their horses back to normal or darn close. I fully trust him. And he works with my vet so if my vet trusts him how can I not!
Great if he & your vet are indeed as knowledgeable & deserving of your trust as you believe, but how do you know your vet knows what they're on about, without learning the principles yourself?? As mentioned, there is a lot of recent information come to light to change people's approaches & it's not a given that your vet or farrier is up with it all. Not saying they're not either, but speaking from personal(& clients, & heaps of people I know) experiences, there are many out there who are way out, so it pays to do your own research & not trust anyone blindly, no matter what kind of 'expert' they claim to be. Best wishes!

founder, hoof problems, hooves, laminitis, miniature

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