Bath Day!

SONY DSC

Clean girls. Bonnie stood with the cold hose running for about an hour while I trimmed everyone else up. She could stand in or out of the water but she chose to stand in it!

We had a beautiful day today. Lots of sunshine, a little rain and temps soaring into the high 70’s low 80’s. The perfect day for bath day! I caught all 5 ponies and they practiced patience while being tied.

SONY DSC

These boys. They are so cute! Chantelle was tied to the left of Zorro, but inside the fence. I wasn’t sure if Zorro would be studdy so I just gave them a little space.

First I trimmed all of their feet (except Bonnie! I just trimmed her two days ago), then I gave them all a nice warm bath using the water from our washing machine hook up, then I wormed them all (except Bonnie because I’m not sure about using wormer on her until she is healthier).

I was totally blown away by how Bonnie, Zorro and Captain Planet handled the bath. Bonnie was so confident and quiet while I sprayed her. Last year I spent a lot of time helping her feel confident with the hose and it really paid off! I could hardly believe how calm she was! Then Zorro. He was awesome. He just keeps proving himself over and over. I just LOVE that horse! Captain Planet will do anything for a cookie so he was happy to stand quietly as long as I gave him a cookie now and then. After his bath I roached his mane and oh my gosh!!! He is adorable!!!

Chantelle, the new pony from my grandma, did awesome. I don’t think she has ever had a bath but she handled it very well. I truly love these Cal babies! (Chantelle is Zorro’s half sister, same sire.)

SONY DSC

Aren’t they so cute together! Zorro was a perfect gentleman so I think his testosterone is running low! Whoot whoot!

SONY DSC

Chantelle is adorable. I was taking photos by myself today but when I clip her up I’ll get some good ones! She is about 33″ tall and so refined. She has legs for days!!

Of course Sky was a good girl about her bath. She loves the warm spray and shows me all her itchy spots so I can thoroughly spray them. All the ponies were so shiny after their baths! It was hard to tell when they were dry. I wish the camera would capture that healthy shine they have!

Just a fun day of grooming and pony maintenance!

Fat or Fluffy?

SONY DSC

This is the time of year that people are asking, “Is my mini too fat?”

Over the years I have done my fair share of rescuing. And though I have rescued some ponies that foundered from too much grass, many of the minis I rescued were actually too thin. I understand that people are worried about founder and they should be! However one should educate ones self about how a mini founders. Because they can actually founder when they are too thin as well. Being fat doesn’t always mean they will founder and keeping them too thin doesn’t insure they will never founder.

I wanted to share this comparison because I find it very interesting!

The photo on the left was taken today. I spent some time doing a trace clip on Sky because she has been getting way too hot when we are driving. It turned out she had A LOT of hair hanging on under there! The photo on the right was take this last Sunday. It took it to show how fat she is, showing how she is fat on her tummy and her neck. However when you look at the photo on the left you can see her neck is not fat at all! And her tummy isn’t as fat as it appears in the other photo. Don’t get me wrong. She is still overweight (I had some blood drawn on her on Monday so we can see if something is going on metabolically) but I was sure happy to see how she cleaned up today!

This is an interesting comparison as well! The photo on the left was take when I first brought her home, before Crypto Aero. The next photo is Sky last summer after eating Crypto Aero for a few months. She sure did look awesome!! Then the right middle is Sky last winter before we had snow. Quite fluffy but so peachy! The far right photo was taken today. I’m happy to see that she is much darker in her winter coat than last spring and actually hasn’t gained as much weight as I first thought! With all the driving we will be doing I think she will look even better this summer than last!

I think it’s actually kind of amazing that all these photos are the same horse! It just goes to show that it’s actually quite difficult to judge a horse by it’s photo. Not all photos are equal or even ‘good’ which makes judging a horses weight very difficult. Just some food for thought!

Fun Stuff!

Just a bit of fun stuff going on around here today. I drove Sky tonight and she was wonderful! She is in heat and did pretty well considering. Last year I would never have been able to drive her during this time as she was so cranky. I’m so glad she is feeling well enough to play with me this year. She had lots of energy, due to being in heat, so we had to do lots of circles, figures of eight and trotting past the driveway then turning around and trotting past the driveway again. While doing this she started offering the most amazing trot! She would lower her butt, round her back and lower her head and power UP! Her trot didn’t get faster, but her stride nearly doubled. It was the best extended trot I’ve ever witnessed her doing! I wish I had had someone videoing us from the side. I’ll bet it was something to see!

We did a bit of cantering too. It was just a fun fun evening! I look forward to really getting her in shape. She went to the vet on Monday to have blood drawn so I can figure out why she is so overweight. Some exercise combined with the info I’ll receive from the vet should help her get in very good shape!

Next the boys and I added a south side to the little track in one side of my dry lot. Now it makes a complete circle! Sky and Chantelle move all day long. It’s so nice to see them using it as it was intended. I added some rocks and a small log on the north side so I could hide food there. This promotes foraging and gets them hunting along the track, moving! I am loving setting this up and can’t wait to build bigger and better ones in the coming years! Turn up the volume as I walk you through it.

The Beginning of Our Track!

The Beginning of Our Track! - www.theessentialhorse.com

Oh I am so excited!!! I finally could afford the solar powered charger, hot wire and insulators to put together part of my track! This side is for the girls, Sky and Chantelle. When Zorro is done being a stud then I can put all the ponies out on it together and the boys will help move the girls around. I am going to hide hay around the track to encourage movement as well! I’m so excited about all the things we can do on this little track system.

Bonnie will have to stay in the dry lot until the grass is completely dead along the track. That will happen when I can put more ponies on it, when the weather gets hot and as I dig some of it up with a shovel! I am going to be super proactive about getting rid of all of it.

For now I’ll let the girls out at night. It’s supposed to warm up next week then I’ll have to adjust their time out there until most of the grass is dead. But at least they are out there trotting around!

As I add things to it, plant herb planters and make adjustments I will update my blog to share what I’m learning. I can’t wait to build a bigger one out on our 5 acres in a few years!!

Zorro’s Surgery!

Zorro's Surgery - www.theessentialhorse.com

It was time for Zorro to have a little brain surgery… he got gelded today! I am so excited about having this boy as an awesome driving gelding. He would have made a wonderful stallion so will make a fantastic gelding!!

He hasn’t been in a horse trailer since he came here last year. He wasn’t halter broke then, getting him to the trailer was interesting back then, but he just followed his mom into the trailer. I waited until yesterday to start working with him and the trailer… procrastinator anybody!? We have been playing around with the Spanish walk because teaching him things like this is so easy. He loves to interact with me and loves cookies, so anything that gets him some one-on-one time as well as a cookie is something he is going to remember and do over and over and over. Last year we spent about an hour playing around my bridge. It took that long to just get him to put his foot on it. However once he did put is foot on it and I praised him, gave him a few cookies and took his halter off, he will now put his foot on everything and anything. He is always looking for a way to get a cookie because I am not a vending machine, my ponies have to DO something or offer something for a cookie. It makes for really fun training sessions! They come up with all kinds of fun things!

Back to the trailer. I haven’t done much pressure/release with him and the only stick and string stuff I’ve done is friendly game. So he doesn’t really understand much more than leading around. He has some opposition reflex (something to work on this summer!!) so he will try to sit back when tied. I never tie him without being right there and I don’t tie him hard and fast.

We walked up to the trailer and he immediately put his front feet in! He got some cookies and lots of praise then backed out. After doing this 3 times he decided the game was over and he wasn’t going to approach the trailer again. The thing about Zorro is once he understands something (whether it’s exactly what you want him to understand or whether he makes an assumption) he KNOWS it and will do it over and over! So when he understood that he was done with trailer loading he absolutely refused to even approach the trailer. I had to come up with an alternate plan because pulling wasn’t going to work since he doesn’t completely understand pressure/release. So I put a long rope on his halter and ran it through the front tie ring in the trailer and then put a long rope around his butt to encourage him from behind. THIS he understood. I helped him all the way into the trailer three times and he had it! Now he knew exactly what I wanted and continued to get in and out of the trailer over and over. He will stay in the trailer even when I walk away and Captain is out of sight. He unloads very calmly and will turn around and get right back in!

This morning we had to load up before 6 am to get my boys to their first Driver’s Ed class and Zorro to the vet by 8! So it was a bit dark. Both boys came running up to me when I went in their pen, they stuck their noses in the halter and walked right into the trailer! I was amazed at their willingness. If you have ever tried to load a horse early in the morning on a time line, you will understand how excited I was that they cooperated so well!

They traveled well, eating from their hay net the whole time. They were quiet and calm when we got the vet, an hour drive away. When the vet opened I went in and and did the paperwork, then went out and unloaded the boys. They both walked calmly into the horse bay, crossing from gravel to concrete and going in a big garage door. Something neither pony has done before! They were quiet in the bay, just standing and looking around. When the vet closed the garage door Zorro barely flicked an ear. He turned his head and looked and just stood relaxed. I was so proud of him.

The vet and vet tech both were very impressed with Zorro. They commented on how good both boys weight is for their build. They were impressed with how nice their feet looked. The vet tech said she hasn’t seen such a nice mini in a long time! Zorro is such a striking boy and it doesn’t stop with his looks. He is calm, sweet and responsive as well as handsome. I am super impressed with our Cal babies!! (The new pony I have here (photos coming soon!) is a Cal daughter out of my grandmother’s little 32″ mare.)

Zorro stood perfectly while getting his sleepy time shots and went down easily. The surgery went quickly and was very neat and tidy! The vet moved up to check for wolf teeth and BOY did Zorro have them! Two big, well rooted teeth. The vet commented that he hasn’t pulled such a large set of wolf teeth from a little horse before! As Zorro woke up he proved how strong he is! The vet tech had a bit of a time keeping him down. He is a big strong boy that’s for sure.

Left: Under sedation and starting surgery. Right: Waking up.

After surgery we led the boys back to the trailer and Zorro jumped straight in! No hesitation. Captain leaped in right behind him. When we got home they talked to the girls and then slowly got out! It was a very successful day. I am crossing my fingers that he heals up without a hitch! I am worn out with Bonnie’s issues. It would be nice to have a simple recovery.

Uggg… Bonnie Update

bonnie51417

Oh you guys. Bonnie was doing so GREAT! She was able to join us for short walks on the road and was so energetic, leaping and bucking and trotting around.

Then…

She got a hold of another pony’s hay net. I always tie them up but must not have tied it well or forgot to tie it at all and it ended up getting rolled up the dry lot to Bonnie where she was able to snag it under the fence and eat the entire thing. As acute as she is again, I’m guessing it was nearly a full net when she got it. I am so heart broken right now. She is as bad as she was 7 weeks ago. I have her back in the SoftRide boots, but she doesn’t want to move much at this time. I guess we are back to the waiting game again! I am treating her with Homeopathics to help with the pain and will start her on another detox plan soon. Zorro is getting gelded tomorrow, so I’ll have to save up a bit more money to get Bonnie the things she needs for the next detox.

Here she is trying to come to me. It’s absolutely heart breaking watching her try to walk…

So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I will continue to work hard to help her be better as long as she needs me to. It’s a tough road though.

My Feed Program

skyandnetpinterest

I am constantly asked what and how I feed my ponies. I do write about it often, but I haven’t shared all the ponies feed program for awhile so thought I would today!

Everyone has hay 24/7. Bonnie has the hay that I had tested so I can manage her sugars. I only had about 10 bales of the other hay, a grass/alfalfa mix so I didn’t pay to have it tested. I feed that hay to Captain Planet, Zorro and Sky.

I fill Sky’s net twice a day. She gets one flake in the morning and one flake in the evening. Somehow she makes that one flake last all day and all night! She goes out on grass for about an hour and half in the mornings. I slowly worked her up to that over several weeks, starting with 15 minutes graze time. When I started letting the ponies out on the grass I also started feeding them all about 1 teaspoon of magnesium on top of their Crypto Aero. Sky has also been getting half a scoop of the Crypto Aero Plus. She gets 1/4 cup of Crypto Aero, half a scoop (about 1 teaspoon) of the Crypto Aero Plus, and 1 teaspoon of magnesium powder. I top this with a half a scoop of California Trace to help balance the iron.

skyshaynet

Sky’s little one or two flake hay net.

skysdrylot

This is her dry lot. She wanders around foraging all day long.

Bonnie has her hay net and it’s filled with the hay I had tested. I fill her net once a day, sometimes once every two days depending on how fast she finishes it. She’s a slow eater. When I turn all the other ponies out to graze I give her one flake of loose hay to munch on. She is so great. She doesn’t worry at all when everyone is out grazing. This makes managing her so much easier! I give her 1/4 cup of Crypto Aero, 1 teaspoon of magnesium powder, and one scoop of California Trace to help with the iron in the hay. She finished her Milk Thistle and hasn’t tested for more. I am going to get her the Sunny’s Cushing’s Support Kit from Earth Song Ranch, but have to save up for it. Once I start her on that kit I won’t give her magnesium powder anymore!

bonnieshaynet

The boys love to hang out in the shed. They have half and Bonnie has the other half. At this time Sky doesn’t have access to the shed. It makes me so sad, but she has managed just fine. I’ll be putting something up for her this summer unless Bonnie can be out on the dry lot track with everyone. Then they will all be able to use the shed without the divider.

theboysinshed

The boys have two nets. I tied them to t-posts because they love to throw them around and constantly lose them out in the field or Bonnie gets a hold of them, which is a big no no right now with her laminitis.

feedstation

The boys feed station.

Zorro loves to stand on the nets….

zorroandnet

Captain obligingly ate from the net for this photo. LOL! I think it’s funny because he is clearly saying, “Do you want me to do this?” Captain gets 1/4 cup of Crypto Aero with one scoop of Remission powder (I had some left over from Bonnie so thought he could use it. He has a big neck and is built for founder, though he never has! I hope to keep it that way…) and 1 teaspoon of magnesium powder. Zorro gets 1/2 a cup of Crypto Aero, a half of scoop of California Trace and 1 teaspoon of magnesium!

captainandnet

I have a field that is about 7 acres on the property that we rent…

mypasture

And north of this property we own 10 acres that I haven’t used for grazing for some time. We are selling 5 of those acres and then will build our little farm on the other 5. I’m looking forward to putting in two paddock paradises, one with a dirt and gravel path and one with some grass on it. I am going to have a nice big dry lot with my horse shed in the middle so they will be able to use it as a wind block no matter which way the wind is blowing! And I’ll have a nice big feed/tack shed for my carts and my feed. We will plant some trees and shrubs and I’ll put in some herb feeders for the minis on the track as well. I’m so excited to design it all! I have so many ideas. I know it will take a few years to get everything just right, but am so happy to have the opportunity to do it.

Everyone is fat and sassy right now. They all need some exercise badly! I’ve been hand walking Bonnie twice a day for 30-45 minutes and driving Sky 3 or so times a week. As the weather gets better I will drive her daily which will really help her lose some weight! I think making the track in the dry lot will help as well as gelding Zorro so they can all be in together. Zorro is very active and bothers everyone which makes them move their feet!

 

4/29/17

Two days ago I trimmed up Bonnie’s laminar wedge and took some heel off. Of course after doing something so drastic I started to wonder if I had done the right thing. And of course, I can go out and google what I’ve done and read so many people’s opinions about how I just ruined my horse. Destroyed all chance of her healing. Then I read other opinions about how taking out the laminar wedge is the ONLY way she can heal. Sigh.

I am so stressed I am barely sleeping. I’m exhausted. I just want to lay down and nap. Watching Bonnie be so sore and stressed is taking a toll on me.

Then today I decided I was going to bring her in the front yard and take her SoftRide boots off for a while. I wanted to just wander around with her for a while and see how it went. The grass out there is relatively soft and the ground is soft and wet after all the snow we got yesterday. This is what happened!

She was so MAD at me because she couldn’t eat and everyone else was eating!! But she was trotting and trotting. I tried to slow her down which only made her more mad. Then I corrected her when she went down to eat she leaped and bucked! It’s so funny how this behavior normally would not be tolerated but when she is feeling so good I can over look a little sassiness. We walked around this part of the yard and the bigger part of the front area for over half an hour. She walked out and trotted the entire time. She was so HAPPY to be out of the boots and her pen. We will be doing this every day several times a day. I hope it helps her poor feet. The boots are great because they are protecting her on the hard ground of her pen, but they are also so soft they are not helping her soles much. So giving her time out of them is getting to be very important, to me anyway.

Then I spent some time brushing her. She showed me all her itchy spots and really got into it. I got so much hair off… she finally looked like I spent a lot of time brushing her! Up until today I would brush and brush and it didn’t look like I had done any good at all. Minis have SO MUCH HAIR. Bonnie and Zorro are the two shedding the best. Captain and Sky are really holding onto their fuzzy winter hair. In another month they should all be pretty slick!

SONY DSCSONY DSC

I think Bonnie is looking pretty good. She has put a little bit more weight on since the episode in March. She needs some muscling, but once she is sound again we will be doing a lot of walking and hiking. I will pony her behind the cart when I drive Sky so she can get out and trot. And I’m going to put together a little track in the dry lot so all the ponies can move around a lot more! I’ll put hay out at different intervals and hide fresh and dried herbs around to encourage some foraging. I’m looking forward to seeing how they all look at the end of the summer.

It was so rewarding watching her be so active this morning. It healed my heart a little bit!

Laminar Wedge?

I spent some time watching videos by “The Happy Hoof” by Linda Harris on YouTube today. I watched several videos of differing laminitic and foundered horses and  two videos of her trimming foundered ponies. One pony had long slipper feet like Bonnie did and the other had been trimmed by Linda a few times prior to the making of the video about trimming and rasping back to the laminar wedge.

The laminar wedge is horn that fills in the space created when the coffin bone rotates or displaces in the hoof capsule during laminitis.  -Laminitis and the Laminar Wedge: Take It Or Leave It | EasyCare

You can read more about the laminar wedge and see some great photos HERE.

The video I’m going to share here from “The Happy Hoof” is about what happens in the foot when laminitis occurs. I found it very interesting and also very enlightening! The simple way she explained it made a few things very clear. I knew that when laminitis occurs there is tearing of the hoof wall from the interior of the hoof. That sounds painful. I knew that often the horse will grow long ‘slipper’ feet and the heels will become underslung but TALL. But the way she explains what is going on was a light bulb moment for me!

Bonnie hasn’t really been 100% sound since she came here. She has always been very ouchie on the rocks when we go for walks and would appear stiff when walking in the dry lot. I thought she was just out of shape and sore footed because I made some significant changes to her angles over the summer, but now I’m thinking she was lame from laminar wedge! As far as her toes had grown and stretched and as much as her heels have grown tall and moved forward tells me that there was some significant white line stretching. I have been very careful about keeping her trimmed and addressing any flares as they appear, but I hadn’t really given laminar wedge much thought at all. I always rocker her toes which probably is what made her comfortable enough that she could go for walks, but I didn’t do much to get rid of it all together. This is apparent in how her hooves have been growing. There isn’t as tight of a connection as I would like to see, even with all the attention I’ve been giving!

Enter this video:

So. I came home and went to work on Bonnie’s laminar wedge. This was probably one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done on a horse and I’ve worked on some gnarly hooves!! But digging into the toe area, hoping that it was dead material was just stomach turning. **I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU TRY THIS IF YOU DON’T HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TRIMMING HOOVES**

In another of the videos I watched today she said that often times the white line won’t look stretched because the sole has grown along with the hoof wall and they are pulling the heels forward, sort of keeping things looking ‘normal’. But if you get down the to the real foot you will see stretched white line and THAT is where you need to work. As you dig down into that toe looking for that stretched white line you may see some blood droplets. She said that is because that laminae is tubular and the blood will travel from the live part of the hoof down into that stretched laminae. But if you keep going the blood will disappear. EEEEK!!!!! This is the part that made me nearly throw up. Luckily I was already sitting.

Sole before and after

I trimmed up around her heels because they are so long. I need to get them down to in order for her to have a balanced foot. So I took out quite a bit of bar and then pulled some material out from along her frogs. It’s so hard to see in the photo but there is a nice bit of room there now.

unlabeledsolecollage

Trimming out material in her toe area and running across some blood now and then made my heart stop each time. But I pressed on with Linda’s voice in my head. I was surprised to watch the blood disappear with my next swipe, just as she said it would happen! When it started to stay pink I stopped. Bonnie is still wearing boots so I feel she has some good protection from the elements and bacteria. But I clean her feet every day and apply essential oils so that will help as well!

laminarwedge

This photo shows just how wide that laminar wedge is. It’s harder to see it in the other photo. I was surprised! I was very careful around the tip of the coffin bone and didn’t take very much sole from there, only what shed off on it’s own. I didn’t dig any deeper there.

beforeandaftertrimcollage

These were interesting. I can see that by bringing her heel down a bit and taking some toe off (from underneath) her coronet band started to come down! Amazing! Of course it’s minute but every little change matters. I really like how her toe is pulled back after.

hoofbeforeandafterunlabeledcollage

afterfrontofhoof

Left: Left front foot with trimmed laminar wedge Right: Right front foot with trimmed laminar wedge

I am so sad at the condition of her hoof walls. She has been wearing boots non stop since the beginning of March. Being in the boots has a drying effect on the hoof wall but makes the soles of her feet so soft. I am looking forward to the day when she can get around without them! I would love to hear your take on the big yucky GRRR line up there close to her coronet band. I’m guessing that is when she foundered in December? Could the vaccine episode show up that low already?

So you are probably wondering what happened after I tortured her? I know my hubby was wondering what the outcome was… and he really isn’t interested in any of this, nor does he really care! LOL

I led Bonnie off with her SoftRide boots on and she walked right out! She strode across the gravel no problem, making me regret not videoing her walking out to the trimming mat, over the gravel, before I trimmed her. She didn’t not stride right out. She gimped. Then she proceeded to walk all around nearly dragging me. Her shoulders looked freer and she seemed so happy. Most of the time, unless I had the camera out, she had her ears pricked forward and was eagerly looking for a chance to snatch some grass (which she did NOT get!). She bossed Sky and basically seemed so relaxed. When I put her back in her pen she motored all over the place. Twice as active as before!

Here eyes are bright and happy!

IMG_0050

I think it was a success today! I will continue to work at the laminar wedge from both the bottom of her foot and the top. Next time I trim I will take some off the top. And I will keep you updated of course!

Listening

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. - www.theessentialhorse.com

Just for fun… Google Laminitis. Just do it. It’s amazing how many different sources come up with information about Laminitis. It’s overwhelming.

In one article I read how bedding a stall with deep bedding will help my pony and then read another article that says she should stand on hard ground and deep bedding will make her worse. Some say ice the feet, some say that won’t help. Some say put a wedge under the heels to help alleviate the pressure on the coffin bone. Because in some cases the coffin bone has rotated and the wedge helps realign it, also relieving some pressure on the lamina. Other articles say DON’T put a wedge as that will put too much pressure on the extremely sensitive toes! Some swear by pain meds, Bute and Banamine, others say try to stay away from these as the side effects are too severe to the gut. Sigh. So what do you do?

I have come to the conclusion –> the most important thing to do is to listen to my HORSE.

Everyone I’ve talked to about Bonnie’s episode is a expert at treating and healing the laminitic horse and everyone has a different take on what is best for my horse. I’ve tried many of the ideas that people shared and had lots of different outcomes, some not good at all! I do understand that people are very passionate about horses and what is best for them. People are VERY passionate about what they feed their horses and will try to sway you into their court. I will admit that I am as guilty as the next guy of doing this! However you all have the right to click off this blog anytime you think I’m too crazy.

I’ve had people adamantly insist that the oats in the Crypto Aero are harming Bonnie and will not allow her to heal. So a couple of times I have stopped feeding it to her, just feeding the grass pellets and her Remission or the hay pellets and her California Trace with the magnesium and Milk Thistle and in one day she is back to laying down most of the day and when standing she will rest one front foot and then the other. Clearly in pain. Someone told me that this happens because the oats have interfered with the good bacteria in Bonnie’s gut because of the yeast in the oats. Hmmm. I don’t buy this at all because the other ingredients in the Crypto are anti inflammatory and build good bacteria! The day after I put her back on the Crypto she is up and walking around! That tells me that the anti inflammatory properties in the feed is what is helping Bonnie. She is benefiting from this feed. So I choose to listen to my horse.

Soap Box Time –> I find it so interesting that so many people see the ingredient “OATS” and immediately think it’s a bad feed – thinking ALL carbs are bad and oats are the worst. This is just a myth. Yes, some horses can not have oats because they have become so sensitive to sugar that they just can not handle them. However I firmly believe if their gut bacteria and inflammation get under control and heal, they can eat organic oats just fine. It’s not the oats people. Just like it’s not about the trailer or it’s not about the saddle. There is always an underlying problem and putting a band aid on it by feeding ‘traditional’ pelleted feed with wheat, barley and soy as the top ingredient will not help your horse. It’s not because of the wheat, barley or soy but because of the GMO, Roundup in the plant! It’s the chemicals.

A friend of mine loaned us a pair of SoftRide boots as they really helped her mini who was laminitic. I am not a huge fan of these boots as I don’t like how they cause Bonnie to stand on her toes all the time. And they are heavy! They have a big padded area for the frog, which I like as I think this has encouraged blood flow to her feet, but they also have a wedge in the heel of the boot that causes them to tip forward. And yet, it doesn’t matter how I feel about these boots as Bonnie loves them! They have helped her become more comfortable and able to motor around. She is walking better every day. So once again I have to listen to my horse!

On the left: Bonnie’s Easyboot Minis. You can see how they are level. This is her left front foot last summer. On the right: Bonnie in the SoftRide boot. You can see how they tip forward. In the video you will see it even more as she walks. This is also her left front foot.

I am wondering if I had a wonderful gel pad like the SoftRide pad in the Easyboots if she would be happy that way as well. I am saving up to get another set of very soft pads for the Easyboots so I’ll keep you posted.

As for the deep bedding. I don’t think Bonnie would have pulled through like she has without it. Because I was able to deeply bed her shed and the front of the shed she could hang out without boots on, airing out her hooves. She was most comfortable in the deep bedding for about a week! She wouldn’t even leave that area of her pen.

I have been using some Homeopatics to help Bonnie with the pain as well. I started her on Belladonna 200c once a day for 3 days. That was a big deal for her as she went from basically standing around to moving around her pen and actually slipping out of the gate if I left it open! Before that I could leave that gate open all day and she wouldn’t make the trip down the pen to escape. Then I gave her Bryonia 30c twice a day for three days. I tested her and she wanted 2 of these twice a day so that’s what I did! Today I started her on 2 Rhus Tox 30c for the next 3-4 days and then I’ll reassess. To come up with this I read “A Healthy Horse The Natural Way” by, Catherine Bird. That is an excellent book!! I highly recommend it.

I muscle test Bonnie every week to check her feed program. I adjust as needed. Right now she is getting 3 teaspoons of Milk Thistle once a day. She is off Remission and getting one scoop of California Trace in her Crypto Aero. I have also cut back on the timothy grass pellets she is getting. I give her a sprinkle of magnesium as well!

Once I quit listening to others, started being good about muscle testing Bonnie and listened only to her she has really started to come around!! So the lesson I learned here? Always listen to your HORSE. They know what they need and will tell us if we listen!