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Chelseafar 08-19-2012 07:57 PM

Advice on a foundered mare.
So I recently was given this 21 year old Andalusian mare. She was being neglected in her current home and her feet were hideous and she was VERY overweight. Senior grain, no work, pasture and hay all day long for 10 years.

Being worried about taking on a lame horse I had a farrier come out and take a look at her feet before I ever took this mare on. He trimmed them said they were fine and did a VERY crappy job. I was not familiar with the area so he was the best I could do and she wasn't very cooperative since it was over 100 degrees out and her feet were obviously not even close to being in good shape.

Once back at my barn we waited a little before calling the farrier out, I knew she needed her feet done again and I had a bad feeling she had foundered. After the farrier got done with them the backs were beautiful! The fronts....well she foundered in both. Ever since she has been very stiff and sensitive on them, moping around and just overall not herself. He even said that she had most definitely foundered before we got her.

We're taking her in to get X-rays this week, but I have never dealt with this before and was wondering what to expect. Since she's 21 and if the cannon bone has rotated what would be the options?

I also know she needs to loose her weight. She's already on a strict diet but still goes out to pasture every day. She gets her hay, not a lot of grain, and pasture. No treats. Should I put her on a dry lot during the day and cut the grain out completely? As far as exercise what would be acceptable? Wait till we see the xrays?

She's such a sweet horse and it breaks my heart that someone could do this to her. The lady apparently bought her for $84,000 showed her in halter and hunt seat, had her pop out a couple of babies and let her ROT. Her excuse as to why she didn't get her feet done more often was because it was expensive. IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY THAT MUCH FOR A HORSE... *angry rant here*

Since rescuing her we've gotten her feet done, her teeth, up to date on everything. I'm just not sure what to expect. Do I expect the worst and hope for the best?

Before her feet were trimmed for the second time she'd still run around quiet a lot and didn't really show any signs of lameness. I know she's adjusting to the trim and it's going to take time, I just am so worried about her.

Thanks and sorry if this is ramble-y.

TristaJean 08-19-2012 08:31 PM

I have an easy keeper who has foundered in the past, (not currently foundering) and he's currently on dry lot with just grass hay and water at our farriers reccomendation.
I think you should cut out the grain from her diet, most horses don't actually need grain.

Good luck with her and it's great to hear that now she has a caring home! :)
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loosie 08-19-2012 08:34 PM

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Great that you've got a vet(hopefully a good equine vet experienced in *successful* rehab of founder) coming to xray her feet. It's helpful if you can get him to put markers on the hooves for the rads - eg. a strip down the dorsal wall, a tack at the frog apex, something to show how low the sole at the toe.

I would keep this horse on soft/yielding footing, somewhere she's comfortable enough to lie down when she feels the need, or boot/pad her, to provide protection/support to her sore feet, until she's comfortable without. She could have been at the point of lameness already, or it could have been that the farrier pared into sole & therefore removed more of her already too thin protection.

While yes, weight is definitely an issue - & I'd be having the vet test for IR & cushings - even dieting horses need near constant roughage going through their systems, so I'd be providing free choice soaked & drained hay, &/or putting it in a small holed haynet or other 'slow feeder' to ensure she can only get tiny amounts at a time. The 'rule' is that they need at least 1.5-2%bwt daily in roughage even when dieting.

Hopefully you can find a good hoof care practitioner who is also experienced with *successful* rehab, who can trim little & often & help advise you further on other matters of management & diet. In the meantime, as far as online sources go, I reckon is a pretty good, comprehensive one for your further info.

walkinthewalk 08-20-2012 08:14 AM

I really ditto, ditto, and ditto everything "Loosie" said.

My 17 yo TWH is insulin resistant and finally fell off the founder fence the second week of March because we had a few nights of frost, with sudden morning warmups and plenty of sunshine. I did not get the muzzle on him in time.

He rotated 8 - 9 degrees on the LF and 5 degrees on the RF.

While there is debate about my next comment, I will say it is working for this horse.

Boots --- trail riding boots with partial pads in them.

He WAS going out on 22 hilly acres every day, wearing his boots & pads, and a grazing muzzle. He was rehabbing fantastically.

Then the trimmer got chop happy and cut too much toe & heel off at once. The result was (the vet's words here) "severely strained flexor tendons".

I fired that barefoot trimmer and hired a very expensive and well schooled guy the vet gave his blessing on.

Once again, the first two trims were GREAT and the horse was on his way to healing. Thennnn, just like the barefoot trimmer this guy saw fit to REALLY chop my horse's toes off and take the heels too low.

A $208 dollar vet bill later, the ultrasound and x-rays confirmed a TORN ligament on the RF and sesamoiditis in both fetlock joints.

That was on July 21st. This horse is now relegated to the only flat place we have which is the half acre side yard by the barn. I don't know if he will ever heal up enough to go back out on the big hills with his herd mates.

My point is two-fold:

1. Trail riding boots with partial pads DO help ease the discomfort of the founder.

2. Educate YOURSELF a little bit on trimming procedures, pray you get a farrier that clearly takes the time to look at the entire horse and trims those hooves accordingly, so it doesn't suffer further damage.

My horse is one in a thousand that just cannot have his toes cut too short (the live sole is STILL exposed from the butcher job on July 19th) and due to his pre-existing fractured sacrum, he can't have his heels "lowered to spec" either.

When the equine chiro came on August 14th to work on this horse, she was really aghast at how he had regressed. I pulled Joker's boots so she could see the shreds of his toes. Her very quiet and emotional comment was "my poor Joker cannot take one more insult".

My only saving grace is that I know how to trim. Due to old age, plenty of arthritis and feeling like this horse needed a lot more expertise than mine, I trusted other, better schooled people than me to help him.

These folks are well-schooled/certified professionals but, they evidently didn't believe me or the vet when we said THIS horse cannot be trimmed to the standard short trim, you tend to do.

Evidently neither of them had ever run across a horse like Joker before, so they didn't listen and now I am left to pick up the pieces and pray this horse will at least heal enough for my niece to take a 15 minute ride whenever she comes to visit:-(

Sadly, the trimming is back on me; with Mr. WTW's help, I trimmed this horse, ever-so-little yesterday. He isn't trimmed like the pros would trim him but he is trimmed to how HE wants his hooves to be.

While I now have to trim all four horses instead of just two, I get another $120/month back in my checkbook to spend on the medical supplies I need to poultice/wrap this horse every-day-twice-a-day for Lord only knows how long.

While I did get off on a big vent here, my point is, especially since you don't know the entire health history of this horse, to please do some reading on founder. Be explicit that the farrier does not take too much toe/heel all at once.

Lowering her too much, too fast, can possibly result in those strained flexor tendons my horse suffered with the barefoot trimmer.

It's really important the farrier isn't so arrogant that eventually he/she stops listening to you and the vet. They know a lot but, just like all the rest of us, they don't know it all; even if they think they do:?

sheenaschlytter 08-20-2012 06:36 PM

I have a mare that I bought and had foundered but had no lameness when I bought her she is up for a trim now. thanks for the advice I will for sure take this all into consideration when she gets trimmed

ozarkmama 08-21-2012 12:12 PM

My daughter has a 17 year old quarter horse that is prone to founder. One of the best things we did for him was when she moved to where she doesn't have a lot of grass. He lost weight and looks really good now.

cowgirl4753 08-21-2012 12:23 PM!/esco.buff

I'm not sure if the link posted properly, but his name us esco buff. He has a facebook account and he specializes in problem feet. I would look him up and talk with him he is very informative and usually answers questions promptly. He has quite a few pic albums with before and afters of various horses too. I learned a lot just by going through the albums and reading!
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cowgirl4753 08-21-2012 12:27 PM!/esco.buff

I'm not sure if the link posted properly, but his name us esco buff. He has a facebook account and he specializes in problem feet. I would look him up and talk with him he is very informative and usually answers questions promptly. He has quite a few pic albums with before and afters of various horses too. I learned a lot just by going through the albums and reading!
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