A horse at the place where I board my horse got grass founder about 3 years ago. The owner of the horse says she is not ridable and will never be, she is 16 years old but she is running around, eating grass again and kicking and just being a horse, it doesn't seem like anything is wrong anymore, and nothing is hurting her.
I was wondering if there was a treatment we could do to her (we have permission) to help her heal more, or make her stonger, so she can be rideable again.
P.S. She foundered on all 4 hooves.
I'm not a vet or farrier.
But, when I got my mare, she had foundered.
I ride her A LOT.
It's possible, just depends on how severe the founder was.
I worked with my farrier, and when the other issues disappeared, my farrier fit her for hoof boots and we've never had a problem.
She has VERY sensitive hooves, but the boots do wonders.
My mare has never come up lame either.
I just wanted to chime in with a positive story. There's hope!
Keeping her weight down and diet in check is crucial.
It depends on what level of coffin bone rotation she suffered among other things. The first step before doing anything treatment-wise is to get a good farrier (experienced with foundered horses) working together with a vet. You'll need X-rays first thing to find out what, if any, rotation she's got going on and what the internal structure of her hooves looks like.
My horse just got her first natural hoof trimming. The gal that does it believes that you can bring some lame horses back with the right trimming, but she did say that some will always need boots. If you can find a natural hoof trimmer it would be worth talking to them about the horse.
If the coffin bone is rotated badly, riding her could cause it to come through the sole. Death sentence for most foundered horses.
Founder (defined as rotation of the coffin bone due to lamina attachment of bone to wall failure) and/or laminitus (defined as inflammation of the lamina that may or may not lead to a founder event) is indeed treatable and not usually a death sentence with proper management except in the worst cases.
Its all just a guess having not seen the horse at hand but Id say if she is running around sound in her field soundly now, she probably is easily recoverable to some kind of riding condition. Maybe only light riding, but so long as her foot is trimmed properly to allow the hoof wall to grow in properly aligned with the bone again and her feet are protected as needed and whatever caused the initial laminitus episode that lead to her foundering is not repeated, she would likely be fine. What does her farrier say?
I don't think laminitis is a reversible thing. You can slow it down, and stop it from getting worse, but I think it is permanent thing.
I have known a pony that had had bad laminitis, with badly rotated coffin bones, plunge around a field like a lunatic. But have no doubt, he could never be ridden again and his movement was forever affected by the damage his hooves had endured. Each spring and summer he was kept on a starvation patch, despite that as soon as the grass started to grow, he'd start to potter on his ouchie feet.
Yes, a pony or horse can recover from mild laminitis and go on to have a good riding career. But you have to know from x-rays what went on.
LOL laminitus is absolutely reversible... Its simply inflammation of the lamina. Inflammation goes away and heals. Founder can be reversed to the point where even a vet cant tell a horse has ever foundered. It all depends on the horse, what caused it (founder and laminitus are almost always a management issue) and how skilled the farrier or trimmer was that treated it after the fact.
Get your information from someone who knows. ;) What does the farrier say that trims this horse?
PS, riding a foundered horse ISNT going to cause the coffin bone to perforate the sole. Horses that are in danger of that condition happening (sinkers) are SEVERELY lame, still in the process of foundering and laminitic and its very obvious. They can have thin soles and have demineralization of the edge of the coffin bone and other various issues however even after the event is over with and will not be sound enough to ride without some form of protection and even then possibly not. It depends. It depends mostly on what kind of care they receive from their owner vet and farrier. But the word is, many many horses recover very well and can be ridden, even if only lightly. It depends.
Chronically foundered horses (for example an IR horse like the pony mentioned above) are at greater risk of permenant lameness than a one time event founder (such as a grain binge founder).
^^^^ Absolutely true.
Go to Pete Ramey hoof care laminitis founder horse navicular disease thrush equine foot development farrier and read and read and read. A lot has been figured out about feet since the old 'permanently ruined or lame' death sentences give to foundered horses in the past.
Catch up with the latest developments. This website is a good place to start. Sadly, a LOT of farriers have not caught up with these advancements and a lot of farrier schools have not either. They are still buying into 'shoe everything' because you make more money. Some also still teach students to pare away and thin every horse's sole before applying shoes. It is really sad.
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