Not as CONFUSED with the site at this point :-)

Karen Turek

I changed the subject title because I finally figured out how to post a CH and pictures.  YAH!!!

After you read her case history can you tell me if most of the issues I've had with Java over the years have been related to an un-diagnosed case of IR?  (Exercise intolerance, anhydrosis, sinus infections)  Do horses get IR as young as 4 or 5? That's when I started noticing the anhydrosis, the sinus infections started when she was 7.

Shoot! .... I found the instructions about Xrays after the fact.  Not that they would have probably got me any where.  The vet wasn't prepared to do anything but a needle in a case taped on the front of the hoof and when I asked him to mark the sole and coronet band with the clay that would show up on the films his answer was a little BB at the point of the frog.  I hope you can tell something from the poor quality films I have posted.  I also posted the films from a year ago for comparison.

The 2015 films were shot to see just how thin her sole was, not because she was lame.  I had her shoes pulled in Dec 2014 because her toes would grow so fast in shoes that her axis would be broken back in 2 to 3 weeks.  My hopes were that her feet would be able to be maintained more often and keep her toe under control. I found a Pete Ramey student that knew a lot about barefoot horses to pull the shoes and help me thru the conversion.  She recommended I put her in boots and help fit them.  

The mare had such funky feet the 24/7 answer eventually was Softrides and Easy boot gloves to ride in.  Last summer she was doing so well that if I was riding in the arena I rode with out boots and she was just fine.

The vet that took the xrays on Friday says she did not have laminitis this winter the rings are just from inflammation.  He is very concerned about her soles being so thin (as am I) and he thinks they have gotten thinner in the last 11 months.  He says she needs to go into shoes because what I have been doing (softrides 24/7 except when I ride with the gloves) has caused her soles to thin.  Is this true in your opinion?  Have the soles thinned even more then they were in April of last year and if yes why would that have occurred?

I am still very concerned about putting shoes on her again because I know her toes will immediately shoot out.  Her walls were getting pretty connected last year, then my regular vet recommended I put shoes on her thinking that her being barefoot might be what was causing a performance issue.  So I had shoes put on her and at 3 weeks sure enough she was broken back and looking horrendous so I pulled them and he had taken so much heel off that going back barefoot made her sore for a couple of weeks.

So what do I do?  She is traveling pretty darn good now.  

The vet also thinks she is too fat.  I included a picture in the photos album.  She has lost some weight since this winter when I thought she was looking cresty necked and I was thinking her condition looked good.  Considering the IR Calculator says she is IR is this body condition too heavy for an IR horse?

Thank you so much for all the help!

Karen and Java
Jan 2016 Colorado

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Karen,

Good job on figuring out how to get the case history and pictures up

Yes, a horse can be IR from a young age. IR is a type of metabolism, not a disease. It is a survival mechanism that works well when rations are scarce and exercise is constant but becomes a liability of sorts with our modern horse keeping practices. Mineral imbalances and IR will impact the immune system; salt deficiencies can impact exercise tolerance and sweating; sub-clinical laminitis can look like exercise intolerance. Magnesium deficiencies can certainly bring on anhydrosis. Testing your hay and then tightly mineral balancing to the assay is the best way to make sure that all the nutritional support is there for optimal health. Will need one of the people who excel at the mineral balancing to take a look at the Feed XL data to see whether her diet is well balanced or not.

Laminitis IS inflammation - it is inflammation of the laminar tissues that connect the hoof capsule to the coffin bone. The soles appear to be have about the same thickness as they had a year ago. The angle the latest films were taken from is not a true lateral so it distorts the view of the sole and makes taking accurate measurements impossible. In both sets of xrays the toes are too long in the horizontal plane. This will automatically thin the soles because the sole gets pulled forward along with the toes, thinning it as it goes. The heels are run under, again being pulled by the run-away toes. The dishing in the dorsal walls confirms that the toes are too long and that there has been at least a mechanical issue for quite some time. Coffin bones are ground parallel, with the hoof-pastern axis slightly broken back. The under run heels are contributing to this. There is some flaring evident in  the walls on the sole shots.

Keeping a horse in SoftRides (or any boots) will NOT thin the sole - if anything, it has likely helped to keep it from getting worse by protecting it from abrasion from the ground.

I can do some mark-ups for you to give you an idea of where the trim needs to go. Would you be able to get pix of the back feet as well? That way, we can address all of them at once. Looking at the photos, it appears as if there is a lot of excess foot yet on xray there is barely enough to encase the bony column so it may be that there is some sinking - can't really tell due to the poor angle of the xrays and them not being marked. The squished-out-behind heel bulbs also points toward a possibility of the bony column sitting lower within the hoof capsule that is ideal.

Here is a link to determining body condition score:

She appear to be between 5-6 based on that photo but hard to really say without putting hands on her and no other views. Neck doesn't appear to be cresty now (good!). Most horses benefit from being at 4.5-5 as a general rule, so definitely wouldn't want to see her any heavier.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team

Karen Turek

Thank u so much! I wish I would have known about this group 5 yrs ago!!!! I would have saved myself the fortune I've spent on this mare and a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and frustration! I will get hind foot photos up tonight. Her hind feet are beautiful compared to the mess she has going on up front.