Re: Morgan Mare Diagnosed with EMS and PPID

Jean Hurrle

Lori, thanks be for our good farriers! I'm new at this, but my IR mare has improved so much since learning management strategies from this group/site. I'm sure your farrier pointed this out, but isn't protection of the sole part of the benefit of the boots? Plus it would seem to me that correcting the heel would take the pressure off the hoof wall; one of the symptoms of sore-footed horse is that they "flip" their hoof toe up as they extend their stride outward at the walk to try to keep pressure off. This was very noticeable with my mare ...  My farrier likes that the boot (without the restriction of a metal shoe) allows flexion/stimulation of circulation as they move about.
Back in January 2021, when she had the first "laminitis" episode, as soon as I got boots on my mare she was obviously moving a bit more comfortably right away, though she was still sore and not wanting to move much or stepping sideways & still "flipping" her forefeet. This was immediate, even before new hoof growth. She had foundered the winter before, was tested IR, and for that year the Thyrol-L the vet prescribed, plus free choice untested grass hay and a grazing muzzle for turnout were not enough to control her insulin and she foundered again in January 2022. I found this group and have changed strategies. Now I've got hay that tests under 10% ESC + starch, I'm measuring her hay -  the new hoof is growing in without the rings/expansion, and my farrier is very happy with her progress.
It does take nearly a year for the hoof to fully generate new growth, so I'm learning patience, and that IR is not "curable" so my mare Shorty will always need me to pay attention to her condition. ... she's off her boots now and moving very well, but I plan put them back on with some felt liners and/or hoof socks, fleece shipping boots and blanketing this winter, hoping to avoid founder again this winter. Turnout with her pals will be with a fully enclosed muzzle so she cannot eat any grass.
I am so grateful for this group and the years of experience to be found here!
My farrier says the strategy is small changes more frequently.
He suggests to simply say "we're working on it" or "I'm considering that" or something of the sort if your strategy is criticized rather than disagreeing, which most people don't like! I ran into that when a dear friend and Walking Horse trainer took my new Walking Horse mare in for a couple months training. She had very specific ideas how to trim/shoe a gaited horse - different from what my farrier does (he and his wife have gaited trail horses & put many miles on them, barefoot, including overnights in the mountains, lol). I sure did not want to antagonize my friend who is very good hearted person but has quite strong opinions!
 The farrier is here every 4 weeks for Shorty, ideally more often would be even better, or for me to learn to correctly make the small adjustments. So much to learn! As my vet is supportive, and noticed right away the quality of the farrier's work, I don't know what I'd do to keep a positive relationship when needing to go against what my vet advises.
Hope I haven't gone on with too long a story, hope it might help you navigate gracefully all the sometimes contradictory info we get, so we can find out & do what is best for our horses.
Jean Hurrle
Illinois; 2022

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