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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I am so sorry for not updating. Getting used to full time horse meant less updates ahah. For the most part we are having a blast...

However...

Katie is lame. A quick summary- shes had minimal riding until I could get saddler out last week. Saddler said if I can no riding for 9 weeks until her next visit to try and heal her wither atrophy (where the saddle presses in behind shoulder). The atrophy is something she had prior and got worse as last yard used one of their saddles off another horse and did extensive jumping. Doesnt help shes a big horse that doesnt use her body well so when she stops its sharp and the saddle shunts into her shoulder. Instead of sculpting a saddle into the groove (something my first saddler did??) we are gonna focus hard on exercises to heal and rebuild it and get a custom saddle that allows for growth or if deemed non-reversible at least better comfort. I have an excellent trainer working with us teaching me exercises and long lining in-hand same time and a physio booked. My hay analysis came back and am making up for what the land lacks. All the good stuff is happening that I wanted for so long...

Its autumn here in uk. She is out 24/7. The ground is soft and muddy. Perfect time to take off front shoes as she cant be ridden right? I hate roadwork anyway so will spend as much time off it as in can uses horseboxes and boots if needed. A 17hh 650kg 10 year old ex-hunter irish draught.

I took her hinds off when I got her 2yrs so that's ok. I took her fronts off after consulting two farriers and a vet when they were last here. All said itll take time to transition and this is the best time of year and since I'm working with my saddler and not riding atm... She has solid feet and no obvious reason why we cant attempt it. I have even measured her for boots for when we go on the roads if she needs some help transitioning for the short bursts we will do to get from a to b.

Friday-shoes off. Fine immediately and for the day/evening. I mean, it was as if hadn't taken them off!!! She stands on a hard rubber platform I bought to put on the mud to keep an area dry for her feet.

Saturday - went for gentle hand walk. Bit of gravel to get to the grass. Careful but once on grass happy and trying to trot around. Decided wont walk gravel for the week.

Today- very lame. Does weight bear and WILL let me pick all 4 feet. Left fore is the one she is tender on. Not hot or any visible issue to my eye. Oh no, now I feel stupid for our short walk but realise there are still stones in the field that can bruise.

Obviously I am now expecting a potential abscess. Farrier got back to me immediately to say he doesnt expect that level of discomfort from her.

Questions for you veterans..

1. No stall but there is a separation area lining the edge of the field I can put her in alone with ad lib hay etc. Should I stick her in there for a few days so she doesnt need to travel so far for grazing/water etc?

2. Anything else I might need to think about having never had to manage an abscess before?

I will consult a vet as well.

Thanks very much everyone! X
 

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I'm so glad you posted, even though it's not an entirely happy post. I had been wondering how things were going.

It might not be an abscess, it might just be a stone bruise. Moonshine had one of those once. She presented quite lame, but after a few days of stall rest she was fine. I feel like, if it happened immediately after you went for a walk that it's more likely a stone bruise. I would imagine, although I could be wrong, that an actual abscess would take a little longer to form.

Yes, I would keep her in the smaller area.

I am also curious about what the saddle person said. I'm just a novice, but my Teddy, who gets hollows behind his shoulders, he gets worse when he's out of work, and better when he's IN work. I am puzzled how she's supposed to fill in around her withers if she's not in work. Of course, you should listen to the saddle fitter and not me, but it sounds contrary to what I have personally experienced.

ETA: When this happened to Moonshine, I was a really new horse person and I was so worried, even though now I'd be like, "Whatever, let's just give it a few days." I remember I couldn't sleep, and I was like, "Oh no, what if she has to be put down?" Because maybe she had broken a leg or something. Looking back, it's funny. At the time, it was so bad. She really was pretty lame for those few days.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply AC! Nice to know am not alone. As for the atrophy she was being ridden 4-5x a week for 1-2 hours a pop some weeks in a saddle fitted for another horse. She has a high wither and even though it doesnt look like it her spine is prominent (bareback is uncomfortable). So shes already prone.

But when she came to me even with a saddle flocked for her I still had to use a thick half pad for her with pockets. NOW her saddle is too tight in that area without a pad at all. In fact if I use it I've been told I cant even use a thin sheet. But it was worse when I got her back but the fact it improved from when I bought her makes us very hopeful. She is still in work - just not ridden. I mean 5x a week in-hand exercises but not just stuff like lunging. Teaching her to step under herself, lateral movements, transitions, self-carrige and relaxation. That's why I have someone basically teaching and giving me homework 😛... well she will be off until her feet a are sorted! but I love the ground work coz I am learning WHY its important to teach and how it affects us under saddle.. plus what am I trying to achieve under saddle is easier when I know how it looks from the ground too. I am definitely a paranoid owner:p
 

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People never want to believe this nor do they want to hear it but:

1. You’re in your Fall season which is equally or more dangerous than spring for laminitis. On/off lameness can be due to sub-clinical laminitis.

She is out 24/7, which makes her a really prime candidate.

2. She could also be dealing with early arthritis somewhere and your damp air is bringing it to the surface.

But, the sub-clinical laminitis is my guess. It will likely disappear and you will breath a sigh of relief but don’t, because you may see her lame again this fall or my e get thru the winter until spring grass comes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just realised I forgot yday.. I'm jet lagged without good reason it seems Saturday she was fine. It was YESTERSAY, SUNDAY, we wnt for a walk x
 

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Ouch and dang....:frown_color:

So, can you see any purple or red "bruise" marks on her hoof sole?
Has the weather being autumn been abnormally cool so she might kick up her heels and play leap frog pronging around the field playing with the others for a short bit?
She very well might of stepped on a rock in the field, not necessarily because you walked the road...and it might of been days ago she did it.
To me to have her come up sore from her front shoes...
I think this may have been brewing for a bit and it just so happens it came to a noticeable ouch all at the same time.

If you not have a drawing salve, get some.
I use Ichthammol, a black drawing salve that stains anything it touches but is a wonderful antiseptic and draw it does.
Slather her sole if that is where you think she is sore...pad and wrap it with vet wrap than use duct tape so she can move around on it.
For padding, old styrofoam cup bottoms or soft drink cup from a fountain work well for a squishy bottom, put a thick gauze pad first, covered with the salve then wrap and wrap again.
I would also put a ring of salve at her coronet band cause if it is a hoof abscess it is going to blow and come out the path of least resistance...and you want it to be drawn as much as possible any "poison" pus gone.
A bit of vet wrap carefully applied so no tourniquet and you now have to place of draw...

I do consider though that she is playful and could of slipped a bit in the mud, torqued a muscle and is just sore.
For me, anytime my horses are going to blow a hoof abscess they are so sore they are 3 legged lame and nearly non-weight bearing on that hoof, so this may get much worse before better.

You spoke to your farrier....
Have they come to look at her?
Have they applied a hoof tester looking for where the spot is and if so can they determine how soon expect it to blow open or can they pinprick it to reduce the intense pain and start the drain occurring?
If the farrier can find nothing...time to call the vet if me.

Do you have any bute?
Have you spoken to the vet and asked if you should administer and how much with her size..
Bute is not a "pain-reliever", it is a anti-inflammatory agent and she has inflammation which then is seen as pain cause inflammation hurts.
I would do nothing administering drugs till you speak to your vet first if the farrier not find anything.

Katies feet were pretty short when she came home from being ridden so much cross-country and not protected if I remember.
Yes, it can take a small something now to aggravate a sore she had then...

I hear walkins caution as it is a concern, especially with the draft influence Katie is...
But... she is not on a lush field either.
She is sharing a field with a herd of horses who all crop the grass short so don't think the gorge as I think of grass laminitis occurring is so risky...
If she was eating hours a day, everyday lush food...then I would be very concerned.

Get the farrier back to check for a bruise, hoof testers applied for a potential abscess and if nothing is seen or reaction to..."Hello Doc..."
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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My first thought was the same as what @walkinthewalk posted, but I didn't post initially because I'm currently hyper paranoid about fall laminitis because of my IR/Cushings mare and really not everyone has that situation to deal with. I don't want to worry anyone just because I find myself thinking "fall laminitis" as a cause of everyone's hoof problems right now :hide:
As the smart folks on the site safergrass.org remind us, the majority of horses can handle unlimited cool season grazing just fine. But the ones that can't, it's really dangerous for them. I know you've had very thorough vetting done, so wondering if you have a baseline for her insulin/metabolic levels and have any sense of where she might fall along the "danger continuum?"

The in-hand lessons sound like great fun though. I had a small taste of that a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, but unfortunately given my lack of a trailer I'm sort of homebound and don't get out for lessons right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is no grass really - it is churned mud mostly. 17 horses 13 acres 6 months in. New field next month 23 acres and that WILL be scary. In current field in a whole day she probably gets 5ltr bucket worth? And that's being overly optimistic. Farmer puts out hay in the field and she gets 3 hours of me standing there spread out in the day letting her eat hay (works out 3/4 of a bale a day and farmer really packs it in). It is low quality but had analysis so gets compensated and for energy too which I am still figuring out for days we work etc. Has low sugar low starch feed/chaff grain free etc. Even her minty treats are the same. But BUT any grass she does get is dangerous and I've learned about stress related lami too.

Fingers crossed it's not! Horselovinguy they arent a frolicking lot but we have has fireworks. I went up at night and they seemed unbothered. Washed feet no signs. Farrier lives 3 hours away he comes to do us in batches but I can get A farrier easily to come check so will ring tomorrow and the vet.

I have baseline bloods and xrays on purchase. She seems better this afternoon. Morning I felt like I'd killed her. But she wasnt even limping/lame like she was this morning. Went onto rubber platform willingly. I am hoping I'm being paranoid. Will set up separate pen properly in the light tomorrow early. I put a healing salve just in case an abscess does wanna pop as per your suggestions.

My hands are freezing sorry for any typos!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@walkinthewalk just got home. Will be getting vet out first thing. Assuming this is catching it early (if it is laminitis) I want to know what to expect or ask the vets to check. As in, HOW is early laminitis diagnosed? I have experience with it in other horses or with chronic but usually it's after damage has been done y'know what I mean :< I've not experienced early onset or been in a position where I could pick up on it early. Usually its quite severe by the time it's been picked up in my experience at other yards... I never thought I'd be here hoping its just an abscess or something O.O
 

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Could you post some pictures of her feet? Does she have flaring or separation? Can you see visible horizontal striations in her hooves? What do you feed her, and how much? What has the weather been like lately? Has this happened seasonally (spring and/or fall) before, or is this the first time?

I have a fat Pony, and I think about laminitis all the time, so I get where people are coming from; but if she's on poor pasture and getting most of her nutrition through hay, not grass, and this just happened after you took her shoes off and walked her on gravel, my suspicion is it's probably just that she stepped on something and is now sore because of that.
 

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@Kalraii, I hate to play Devils Advocate but horses don’t need tall grass to develop laminitis.

1. It’s that short brown STRESSED and dying grass that’s the big issue in the fall. The grass is. thrall year dying but the roots are still trying to keep it alive by force feeding fructans to what’s left on the surface.

This time of year, I would much rather have my IR horse in the big pasture full of long grass than in his 5 or so acres, where he has eaten it down and the grass is trying to survive.

2. My lameness vet once had a metabolic prone mare founder in his dry lot — all she got was hay. I can’t remember if it was spring or fall but it seems those seasonal changes can bring on laminitis no matter the environment. Also, if the hay tests high in WSC, it doesn’t matter if there isn’t a blade of grass within fifty miles, the prone horse can still founder.

3. Yes regarding AC’s comments. Lines on the hooves look different if they are founder lines vs, diet change or another type of illness.

The lines will hook downward if they are from laminitis.

Whiteline will often be stretched.

Most horses will be sensitive to hoof testers but not all of them. Joker passed with flying colors and a week later (In 2012) he foundered/rotated so bad I thought I’d lose him.

There is also digital pulse but boy it is really hard to find, if the horse is sub-clinical. By the time I can feel it, it’s too late.

If you know a vet or chiro who is also a quality student of acupuncture, they are better at finding early abnormal digital pulse. They can also “ting” the coronet bands. Joker has been done twice and it saved him a lot of discomfort. He still had the founder lines but I like. tinging him for laminitis in similar vein to a hoof abscess popping.

This is a great article on the Cavallo boot company’s web site, regarding ting points.

https://www.cavallo-inc.com/equine-ting-points/?v=7516fd43adaa

This would be a great way to determine if there is a laminitic issue, IMHO, if you have access to some of does equine acupuncture.

Sub-clinical laminitis may or may not include mild rotation; only x-rays would show that.

It’s a sticky wicket, trying to determine lameness issues. Yours could even be some early arthritis in the hoof, up the legs, or maybe even something in the shoulder.

I have not been much help, except to give you more to worry about. If the issue does. It resolve itself on the long term, do you have access to a university or district equine hospital that specializes in lameness issues?
 

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If she would be sharing a paddock with other horses I would think she will not just stand around in the small side paddock. She will be stressed and walking the fence constantly if the other horses are not with her. Its just a thought.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Kalraii, I hate to play Devils Advocate but horses don’t need tall grass to develop laminitis.

1. It’s that short brown STRESSED and dying grass that’s the big issue in the fall. The grass is. thrall year dying but the roots are still trying to keep it alive by force feeding fructans to what’s left on the surface.

This time of year, I would much rather have my IR horse in the big pasture full of long grass than in his 5 or so acres, where he has eaten it down and the grass is trying to survive.

2. My lameness vet once had a metabolic prone mare founder in his dry lot — all she got was hay. I can’t remember if it was spring or fall but it seems those seasonal changes can bring on laminitis no matter the environment. Also, if the hay tests high in WSC, it doesn’t matter if there isn’t a blade of grass within fifty miles, the prone horse can still founder.

3. Yes regarding AC’s comments. Lines on the hooves look different if they are founder lines vs, diet change or another type of illness.

The lines will hook downward if they are from laminitis.

Whiteline will often be stretched.

Most horses will be sensitive to hoof testers but not all of them. Joker passed with flying colors and a week later (In 2012) he foundered/rotated so bad I thought I’d lose him.

There is also digital pulse but boy it is really hard to find, if the horse is sub-clinical. By the time I can feel it, it’s too late.

If you know a vet or chiro who is also a quality student of acupuncture, they are better at finding early abnormal digital pulse. They can also “ting” the coronet bands. Joker has been done twice and it saved him a lot of discomfort. He still had the founder lines but I like. tinging him for laminitis in similar vein to a hoof abscess popping.

This is a great article on the Cavallo boot company’s web site, regarding ting points.

https://www.cavallo-inc.com/equine-ting-points/?v=7516fd43adaa

This would be a great way to determine if there is a laminitic issue, IMHO, if you have access to some of does equine acupuncture.

Sub-clinical laminitis may or may not include mild rotation; only x-rays would show that.

It’s a sticky wicket, trying to determine lameness issues. Yours could even be some early arthritis in the hoof, up the legs, or maybe even something in the shoulder.

I have not been much help, except to give you more to worry about. If the issue does. It resolve itself on the long term, do you have access to a university or district equine hospital that specializes in lameness issues?
Yes I'm very lucky and have about 5 hospitals including the UK's best within about an hours drive so that's not something I need to worry about at least phewwww. I can't imagine how it must be to live somewhere really rural. This alone is doing my head in! Thanks for your insight I've actually written a bunch of stuff to bring up tomorrow. In way, if it is this and NOT a bruise etc I'm glad I took her shoes off and discovered it sooner. My goal was always to take her shoes off eventually and use boots. I knew it wasn't going to be easy for either of us. Before she came to the UK she was a 24/7 horse in Ireland.

Last question... something I just thought of... the day after her shoes were taken off the girl that loves her from old yard went to visit. She usually gives about 20 carrots (yes) in one go. It's something I noticed before. I chop a carrot and treat each tiny bit but she shovels them in before they finish chewing. As mentioned for the last 2 months I've worked hard at keeping a stable low sugar diet. It might be coincidence but I was wondering if something like a whole bag of carrots in one sitting could trigger something like this or exacerbate it this time of year? I'm not looking to point fingers just wondering... coz she's a big horse the assumption is that she can handle most dietary hiccups -.- (ps no I'm not happy with anyone giving an entire bag of carrots in one sitting -.-)


If she would be sharing a paddock with other horses I would think she will not just stand around in the small side paddock. She will be stressed and walking the fence constantly if the other horses are not with her. Its just a thought.....
Good point! The small paddock is within the main paddock - so the herd can come up and they can groom over the fence etc. To be extra safe I postponed penning her until this morning because there is another livery that brings her horse "in" during daylight as hes rehabbing a tendon. She's kindly going to share her electric fencing and put a divider between them so she'll have company right next door to help settle in. I'll stay late and monitor from a distance when she puts hers out.

I mean worst case I could bring her home to stall in my garage (literally) but she's my only horse so no company and it's a 20min walk on roads... so yeah.... probably not. Looking like pen in the day, out at night unless vet says stay in 100% (if able).

-

I'll get photos and post them tomorrow @ACinATX & her xrays from purchase. Ah weather lots of rain, chilly/temperate for the most part. Perfect English autumn :p Our grass is nuts so it really is as Walkin says. Feed wise up until 2 months ago she was on high sugar/molasses hard feed/chaff as was included in full livery. Then moved. Horselovinguy helped kickstart me into finally purchasing better products. Just a low sugar/starch chaff to mix supplements in with oil for extra cals. She gets half pint muesli mix for taste and supplements from a company another livery uses (whose 20 yo is in AMAZING CONDITION) after getting hay/grass analysis. I'm a bit of a horse nutrition noob and liked the fact they want to minimise x amount of supplements than shovel them down my throat for $$ which is what the other livery said too. And seriously she gets ad lib hay whenever I'm there. MINIMUM 3 hours a day on hay (summary - its not great hay, not rich or sugary etc at all) but she probably gets 5-6 hours coz I practically live there :p She fills her belly then I turn her out so grazing she does do isn't for calories at least. edit: and I mean I go 2-3x a day (sometimes 4!) so her hay sessions are spread out!


Thank you all for the responses. It just breaks me heart to see her in any discomfort :< But I know I had to try have shoes off eventually and it's the best time as its ever gonna get... I still can't help but feel guilty. And maybe relieved it happened sooner if it is discovering something else underlying. Will deal with this and try the scoot boots!
 

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It just breaks me heart to see her in any discomfort :< But I know I had to try have shoes off eventually and it's the best time as its ever gonna get... I still can't help but feel guilty. And maybe relieved it happened sooner if it is discovering something else underlying. Will deal with this and try the scoot boots!
NO!!! Do NOT feel guilty! She is 100% LUCKY to have someone like you! You have done NOTHING wrong. You will do whatever it takes to get her feeling better.

One other thing for laminitis, is the classic laminitis stance, where they are rocked back and putting all of their weight on the heels of their feet. Does she look like that at all? I am still thinking it's not laminitis, but even if it is, it's a mild case, and you will fix whatever is causing it and she'll be fine afterwards. Don't lose sleep over it, like I did.
 

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For an insulin sensitive horse, yes, 20 carrots in one go could make a horse foot sore. Again, not trying to scare you or say it's anything more than a stone bruise, but for me, a horse foot sore for the first time at this time of year would have me ask my vet to run a metabolic panel. *Again, that's just paranoid me saying that* :wink:

Ditto what walkin said about short, stressed grass being the scary stuff in the fall. If you want to do some reading, www.safergrass.org has many articles about sugars in grass. Three I like (clicking the link will download a PDF):
-Lushness is not a factor in the WSC or starch concentration of grass
-WSC content of forages in autumn
-When is dead grass safe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
NO!!! Do NOT feel guilty! She is 100% LUCKY to have someone like you! You have done NOTHING wrong. You will do whatever it takes to get her feeling better.

One other thing for laminitis, is the classic laminitis stance, where they are rocked back and putting all of their weight on the heels of their feet. Does she look like that at all? I am still thinking it's not laminitis, but even if it is, it's a mild case, and you will fix whatever is causing it and she'll be fine afterwards. Don't lose sleep over it, like I did.
No not at all and I really know that stance from experience - that's usually the first sign I've spotted of another horse out so you know its pretty bad at that point! The horses weren't mine or I didn't directly interact with them which is why it got to that point. Fortunately with Katie I get to experience the joy of knowing, hopefully, EVERYTHING about what is normal :p

When standing in the mud intermittently she's trying to keep weight off her left fore, stretching it out in front/to the side or lifting it. So she is like diagonally leaning "northeast" bearing more on her right fore sideways if that makes sense? Not alternating or rocking back or anything. She is really hesitant to pick up her right fore but happily lets me pick up her left which is why bruise/abscess first came to my mind at least. As the surface is uneven when we she had to go "up" that's when she would limp. But the field is even and once put out was able to gingerly make her way. I guided her to the trough first for her to drink. I also think she really has/had a habit of throwing her fronts wherever without a care, banging them etc. It must be quite a shock to her to have to pay attention to her footfalls now... Even if the vet doesn't think it is lami I think I'm solidly convinced to get a blood panel done for a check/baseline in case its a problem when we move to new field next month!
 

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The bag-of-carrots-giver needs her knuckles wrapped good and hard with a wooden ruler.

20 carrots in one feeding is not good for any horse.

Ditto @egrogan if your horse is on the fence metabolically, and given the time of year you’re in, yes the bag of carrots could have been the final straw to push her over.

Let’s hope not and let’s hope lameness doesn’t equal laminitis.
 

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Sometimes after having shoes on for all summer. When shoes get taken off it makes horse a bit sore. Katie could have stone bruises, that will make them extremely lame.

Muddy ground makes for soft soles, that easley bruise if horse steps on a rock. I Know this all to well been down this road. They can get broken legged lame.

There were times I thought for sure my gelding had broke his leg. I had vet out to x-ray thinking I'd be having to put him down. Come to find out a really bad stone bruise. They can take a long time to heal.

I pulled shoes here a week ago, only to have farrier back out to put shoes/pads back on. Horse was fine for about a day then was really short strided. Shoe/pads on he's back to normal. Guessing I have to wait for a good 6 plus inches of snow before shoes can come off.

Sounds like your on top of it an getting a vet out. Hope katie is going to be ok and not have laminitis.
 

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From the original post "Today- very lame. Does weight bear and WILL let me pick all 4 feet. Left fore is the one she is tender on. Not hot or any visible issue to my eye."


Isn't a laminitic horse usually lame in both fronts or all four feet?
 

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Isn't a laminitic horse usually lame in both fronts or all four feet?
Generally both fronts but not always. Joker has had some laminitis hiccups that only involved one hoof:)
 
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