Since Bonnie was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance I have been doing so much reading and studying. I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned.

Bonnie can not have fresh green grass. At all. If green grass grows in the dry lot then I have to lock her into a smaller dry lot where I can control those stray bits of green that stubbornly want to grow. (Why the green grass won’t grow in the yard where I actually WANT it to grow is beyond me!) One of the reasons I went ahead and built my Track System in my dry lot is because of the amount of green grass that insisted on growing in there last year. I’m hoping that because they have been trampling and tearing up the ground on the track, the grass won’t be able to grow there. I can already see green shoots trying to come up in the middle of my track. I will be adding a lower hot wire to my inner fence system to keep Mr. Zorro from reaching under the hot wire. He doesn’t mind that the hot fence snaps and pops along the top of his mane as long as he can eat that bit of green! I am also going to roach his mane this year which will also help.

Bonnie can be out in the pasture at the end of the summer when the grass is tall and dry, IF she has her muzzle on. I’ve had my pastures tested and the only time it is safe is in the late summer, in the late afternoon around 3. From maybe 3-5 pm. This is the opposite of everywhere else I have lived! She can be out there because I know the sugar/starches are low then AND she doesn’t yet know how to use her muzzle. She “pretend” grazes. I call it this because she looks very busy, moving her head and mouth, as though she is eating, but she isn’t getting any grass. I will go out and push some grass through the little hole for her once in awhile… this is what I did for her in the  photo above.

Bonnie has an averse reaction when the weather changes. If we are unseasonably warm, she seems sore. If we suddenly drop from 50 degrees to negative numbers she is nearly unable to walk. As I understand it metabolic horses often have very poor circulation in their legs and hooves. This is why when they are laminitic or foundering, they will not have heat in their feet or a bounding pulse and why icing their feet doesn’t help with the pain they feel. In fact it can make it even worse. The only time I iced Bonnie’s feet last year was when it was really hot and she was sweating and uncomfortable. Then I offered her a large tub of ice water and she stood in that tub until the ice melted, but she wasn’t lame then either. I think they cool water just felt good because she was hot! Now that the weather is changing so quickly and dramatically Bonnie is wearing wool socks. They are kids wool socks so they are nice and snug. She doesn’t mess with them so maybe she knows they help! I also apply essential oils to her feet to encourage circulation. Today I put Deep Relief and Valor on her feet. She is wearing her easyboot minis. If I have to put on a double layer of socks then she wears her Soft Ride boots.

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Bonnie is very sensitive when I have to make changes to her diet. So far I can change the supplements a bit and that doesn’t seem to make her worse, but when I’ve tried a different type of hard feed or had to make a change in hay she became laminitic. So I have to do these things slowly so she can adjust.

One HUGE thing on her side is she doesn’t mind being locked in the smaller dry lot area, even though she is in there alone. Her small dry lot is inside the track system so the other horses are right there, but she doesn’t stress about this. She also doesn’t mind wearing her muzzle when things dry up some and she can be out in the pasture for short times during the day. Mostly for exercise as she hasn’t mastered the art of eating grass through the small hole in the muzzle. She doesn’t like to eat soaked or wet hay so that’s a problem and means I have to know exactly what is in my hay and what the starches and sugars are before I can offer it to her.

When I had my other IR pony, Chloe, she had similar issues, but reacted differently to the stresses of the life an IR pony must lead… living in a dry lot, wearing a muzzle, eating soaked hay, etc. She would stress so much that she refused to eat when in the dry lot. She would go for days and just stand in the corner of the small dry lot I made for her. She made me so worried. She wouldn’t even eat her hard feed when she was depressed like this. And every time she would rebel this way she would become acutely laminitic. The vet I was working with at the time said this is the hardest type of IR pony to manage as you have to balance their mental and physical health which is impossible when they are sure they should live like a horse and be allowed out in the pasture. She ended up foundering on all 4 feet with rotation and sinkage. It was awful. Her first founder episode happened in the dry lot due to stress. So I had to let her out. She had one thing in her favor and that is that she would eat the HEIRO. I do believe it was the HEIRO that kept her alive for those last 3 months. Once she went down and couldn’t get up I had to make the decision to let her go.

This isn’t my first go at this, but I do hope and pray it’s a much more successful go!

Bonnie has been struggling so much these last few weeks. I could tell the Thyro-L wasn’t really helping anymore so I went digging for more. More information. I have been studying a better way to trim her feet and I dug into that a bit more. I tried some new things to help her with her pain. Then friend of mine shared For Love of the Horse. She was hoping they carried an herbal formula that a friend of her was having success with and it turned out they didn’t, but I had already spent the day reading their website and corresponding with one of their wonderful office people, so I decided to ask them for help. Dr. Thomas was willing to work with me to help Bonnie. So I ordered her first round of EMS/IR Solution and have started her on that. To order the EMS/IR and the Hoof Ailment formula was too expensive all at one time so I have to spread things out a bit, but I am praying this works for Bonnie. I can’t bare to see her in such pain all the time, it takes such a toll on her. She loses the light in her eyes and she just stays in one place all the time. I also think she is losing her eye sight so some days are just too overwhelming for her… and me.

At this time I am slowly weaning Bonnie off of the Thyro-L. Dr. Thomas said to go from 1 teaspoon a day to 1/2 a teaspoon for three days and then 1/4 teaspoon for four days and she should be fine without. Thank goodness as juggling the Thyro-L and the EMS/IR solution is tricky. She can’t have the solution and Thyro-L at the same time so I have to spread out her breakfast and then her first dosage of the solution.

Right now I am giving Bonnie 4 scoops (1 scoop = 1/2 Tablespoon) two times a day until she starts to have some relief. Then I can lower it to 3 scoops twice a day. When I get the Hoof Ailment she is to get 4 scoops twice a day until her feet feel better and then I can lower her to 3 scoops twice a day. At first I am mixing the formula in a bit of warm water and giving it to her with a syringe which has already proven hilarious as she managed to get it all over herself, Zorro and Sky and Zorro tried to take off with the syringe! LOL! What a group I have!

Something that happens often with horses that have foundered is they develop abscesses which can make them as lame and sore as the founder or laminitis did. I do suspect this may also be going on with Bonnie. The Hoof Ailment solution is formulated to help with abscesses as well. I believe her immune system is also effected and of course her liver is stressed. I am interested in also starting her on their Liver Support. When I had her fecal done last year there was tape worm larvae found, but I couldn’t worm her because the chemicals in the wormer could send her into a laminitic attack. So I’m hoping to get her healthy enough that I can deal with her worm load and have her teeth worked on, all without any adverse reactions.

Metabolic issues in horses are not simple. There is no quick fix and just when you think you have things figured out they will show you that in fact you know nothing. It’s a bit like living on a roller coaster. It’s a time full of frustration and heart ache. I do feel like this is Bonnie’s last chance at beating this. How long can someone expect a horse to live in pain, battling every day just to get by? When does it become about me and not about her? When is enough, enough? These are questions that wake me in the middle of the night. These are the questions that are constantly on my mind. So say a prayer or keep her in your thoughts as we try this next option! There are many great testimonials on their website… maybe we can be one of them!

I thought I would do an update of my tiny track and share how it’s working this winter.

I still love it. The ponies are moving around all the time. Right now they are not using the entire track because one side of it is a big, deep snow drift. Once in a while they will try to come down that side and I cringe the whole time they are floundering through it. It wasn’t so bad when the drift was soft but now it’s hard as a rock!

I feed at the opposite side of the track from the water so they have to walk a bit to get a drink. They all look very healthy and I have to fill the trough every 4-5 days which is about how often I filled it this summer so they are drinking enough. I have loose salt and magnesium in the shed so they have access to that at all times. Because it’s so cold and windy the chickens spend most of their days in the horse shed and then go back into their coop at night. Then the ponies use the shed at night… they are usually covered with sawdust in the mornings so I know they are laying down in there. They also lounge around in front of the shed when the sun is shining.

I put wind breaks around the track so they would have something to back up to when the wind really gets to blowing. If it’s 4 degrees out and the wind comes up to about 30 mph then it quickly drops to minus 10, 15 or even 20 degrees. They have two run in shed options but always choose to stand out in it. This morning the wind was blowing so much snow around that I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me and I found them backed up to the hay stack in the far shelter. They typically don’t like that one when the wind is blowing because the roof is made up of tarps and they flap around a bit. But today they made an exception!!

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This is how they looked after I brought them over to the grain area so they could have their supplements. Even standing under the shelter backed up to the hay they were quite frosty!

It’s amazing to me how the morning can be so windy, freezing and snowy and then the afternoon is bright blue skies and beautiful! (The wind is blowing a bit so it is FREEZING out there!)

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This was in the afternoon! From the above photos to this!

All three of the ponies will get a bee in their bonnets and take off racing around and around the track. I love it when they do this! Bonnie and Zorro play with each other, chasing and bucking and rearing up to play bite. Sky watches them a bit annoyed but will run around the track on her quite a bit. I love watching them exercise in this way!

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Here is a little video of my track! There isn’t any music, just the sound of my feet in the snow and the wind, for those of you that read this while at work 😉

 

I guess I felt I needed one more thing to do in this busy season… I started making felt flowers! I love dressing my ponies up with garlands in the different seasons and this year I found the prettiest, simplest, felt leaf garland for fall.

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I really loved the felt as it has a simple look and is very horse friendly. I started looking up felt flower garlands and ordered one to use for photos. Then I decided I wanted flowers in lots of fun colors and looked around to order more. But I couldn’t afford all the garlands I wanted! Even simple can add up if you want too many of them. So I decided I would just make them myself!

I am loving it! It’s extremely time consuming and tedious and yet I absolutely fell in love with the process (burnt fingers and all) and the resulting flowers. I have spent many hours experimenting with different types of flowers – including ones I made up myself – and so far the daisies are my favorites. Daisies are my favorite flowers anyway!! I also love the sunflowers. These two types of flowers take the most time to make, of course.

flowercollageChristmas for my family is very simple this year. Everyone gets a flower garland! But they can know that I put lots of my time and love into each and every flower on their garland. Now that I am done making all my Christmas gifts I can focus on making some flowers to offer for sale! And I have many  many hours of practice under my belt.

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Here is a simple Daisy Chain Garland with a couple of different colored daisies.

This particular garland is about 3 foot long with 9 flowers and 13 leaves. I love this length of garland because they can also be used as a flower crown.

Sky hardly ever opens her eyes for pictures anymore. She just stands there with her eyes closed. Maybe if she can’t see me I’ll go away!

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Bonnie is my super model!

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I am studying up on my flowers a bit and am going to continue to experiment and try some new ones. I like some to look realistic and some to look a bit more fantastical.

As you know I like to decorate Sky’s bridle with flowers as well. I thought she should be wearing a flower I made so, I changed things up a bit. This is a little sunflower. I love these colors on her!

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I am nearly ready to start taking orders! Watch this space for more on that 🙂

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I know I talk about listening on this blog often. I think it’s so important when you own animals of any kind to learn to listen to them, to understand them and to honor what they say.

I mentioned before that I have had several horses in and out over the spring and summer. Last year I still had Billy when I brought Sky and Zorro home. I had Captain Planet when I brought Sky and Zorro home as well. Sky had quite a lot going on when I brought her home. Much of it physical. But she also had a lot of adjusting to do. She came from my mom’s. They live in a subdivision but the houses are much closer to together than here. They have trees. LOTS of trees. We don’t have any. (Well I’m exaggerating. We have a few baby trees in the front yard.) We don’t have any pine trees or apple trees or bushes to provide cover. You can see for miles. On a clear day you can see many many many miles. This was unsettling for Sky and she spent many hours just gazing off into the distance and being on edge that first summer.

Winter came and went and Bonnie had several laminitic episodes that caused Sky great stress. Sky gained quite a bit of weight as Bonnie went through her agonizing lameness. Bonnie got skinnier and skinnier and Sky got fatter and fatter.

I had a few of my grandmother’s horses come in in the early spring. This caused quite a bit of stress as the filly picked on Sky all the time. The summer went on with Bonnie continuing to be laminitic and then full on foundering. Sky continued to gain weight and Bonnie continued to lose weight.

Then I brought home another mare that had been my grandmother’s. Sky and this mare had lived together for years at my mom’s so I thought she would be happy to have her back in her herd. Boy was I wrong! The mare, Essie, bossed Sky all over the track and wouldn’t let her in the run in shed. I put together another run in shed and thought maybe Sky and another horse or two could use that but it ended up that Sky was pushed out of the herd and had to use it all by herself. This was so hard to watch! I hoped they would work it out over the winter.

Then I had a gal contact me interested in buying Captain and I told her about Essie as well. It’s so much easier for a horse to settle if they have a companion. She wanted one for a pet, Captain, and one her kids could ride, Essie! It’s amazing how these things work out as I had decided to keep both Captain and Essie. Around this time I also had the opportunity to bring home another pony that I trained to drive years ago and have always really loved. So I was trying to figure out how to feed and care for 6 ponies over the winter.

It wasn’t until Essie and Captain left that I realized just how stressed I was feeling! Not only that, Sky’s demeanor changed immediately –  like, overnight! Before they left Sky had been being difficult to catch, she didn’t want to drive, she was cranky all the time, ears pinned, stomping around in a huff. She was spooky and exciting to drive, but I knew she wasn’t happy. The day after they left she came trotting to me, nickering, eyes bright and gave me kisses. She followed me around and when I came in with a halter she met me at the gate.

I am paying attention to how all three of them handled the loss of Captain and Essie; Zorro was a bit stressed to be without his brother, but both Sky and Bonnie are much happier, calmer and more content without them. This helped me decide not to bring home the new pony for driving. I don’t want to disrupt the peace and quiet. Everything feels so sweet right now. I think we’ll just love where we are!

Today was the day to bathe and trim and clip some ponies around here! I love having nice, neat, clean ponies. Then I can stand back and admire them. There is just so much to admire!

And of course here are some before and after photos!

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First up is Sky! The before photo is from this spring. I thought she was fat then… and yet she looks fatter now! I do love how her topline is rounding out with all the driving we are doing. I can not believe she can be so round with all the exercise she is getting. I feed all the ponies 2 flakes of hay in each of the 4 hay nets plus 2 flakes of loose hay spread out on the track. That’s it in a 24 hour period! And they always have hay left over in the nets. Sometimes they have loose hay left over as well. So they don’t eat everything in site. Sky gets 2 Tablespoons of Crypto Aero, 1/4 cup of timothy hay pellets topped with 1 teaspoon of Thyro-L and California Trace. I just recently bought some Mojo to address her soreness. I have been thinking that maybe she is getting arthritis. So I’ll slowly add that in. I won’t feed her California Trace at the same time I’m feeding the Mojo because I don’t want to double up on things. We drive 4-5 times a week between 3 and 4 miles a drive. Sometimes we take Zorro and sometimes we go alone! We have only been able to fit in the one hike so far. Life got so crazy and both my truck and my Tahoe broke down so I didn’t have a tow vehicle to get the to the mountains. But the Tahoe is fixed so maybe next week we’ll go hiking! I did have her blood drawn when I had Bonnie’s done and everything came back totally normal. I don’t understand why she won’t lose weight.

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Next up is Bonnie! If you look closely at the summer photo you can just see her ribs. She is completely losing her topline. No hiking, no muscles! She is getting a bit of a belly and I wish I could give her more protein but I have to be so careful because she doesn’t utilize protein very well. She is bright eyed and loves being out on the track all the time with the rest of the ponies. She walks, trots and canters around all the time, snacking on the little things she comes across. So far so good! I keep my fingers crossed all the time. She is getting the same hay as above and I just lowered her back down to 2 Tablespoons of Crypto Aero, 1/4 cup of timothy pellets, 1 teaspoon of Thyro-L, and 1/2 a scoop of California Trace mineral. The only exercise she gets is life on the track. I don’t want to cause any mechanical founder by taking her out on the road.

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Now onto Zorro! Boy does he looks good!!! I wish every single one of you could come here and see him in person. He really is a stunning boy. It’s very hard to get him to be expressive in these photo shoots as nothing startles him or causes him any surprise at all! He stands there sighing and so bored no matter what I throw at him, plastic bags, umbrellas, buckets of grain, the cat, Angus…

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He just thinks it’s all so NORMAL and BORING. I got the expression in the above collage by showing him a peppermint with the wrapper half ripped so he could smell it. Then he got to spend some time licking it….

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He loved it!!

Zorro is such a wonderful boy. I keep saying that but it can’t be said enough. When I go outside I can call his name from anywhere and he will come running to me. If I go out to catch Sky for a drive and don’t take him he tries to body block me from getting to her. He stands at the gate with his head resting on the rails just watching us get ready. If I do pick him he is so so happy! He loves going out no matter what it is we are doing. Sky does kicks his butt when driving because she loves to trot and trot. He does his best to keep up but is very relieved when we get to walk a little bit. He is still a baby. He’ll grow into himself! He gets the hay listed above and 2 Tablespoons of Crypto Aero, 1/4 cup of timothy hay pellets and 1/2 scoop of California Trace.

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Last but not least is Captain Planet! The track life has made such a difference in him! WOW!! Also roaching his mane was a really good idea. He is heavy but he is built to carry it. He has signs of being IR or at least metabolically challenged so I treat him as such. He gets the same hay as above and 2 Tablespoons of Crypto Aero, 1/4 cup of timothy pellets and 1 scoop of Remission. He is a pet and a companion and does that job perfectly! He and Bonnie will pick on each other a bit. It’s actually funny to watch them. He knows all the buttons to push to make her chase him! But Bonnie doesn’t put much effort into being mean so it’s over almost as soon as it starts.

I just to love my track and so do the ponies!

 

Since Bonnie has been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance I have been obsessed with sugars. Sugars in the hay, sugars in the feed, sugars in the grass, sugars, sugars, sugars. I am so tired of trying to guess where the sugar triggers may be! But I did know that the pasture has a good chance of being high in sugar so I decided I better test it.

I took my first sample on June 24th at 7:30 in the morning after a fairly warm night.

While grass tends to be lower in sugar/starch during the summer, the situation changes as the night time temperatures drop below 40 degrees F, making it especially challenging (and dangerous!) to allow pasture grazing.  -Dr. Julie Getty ‘Testing Your Pasture – For Peace of Mind’

According to the research I’ve been doing my grass ‘should’ be lowest in sugar and starch early in the morning after a relatively warm-ish night. And yet my test came back high in sugar and starch. Sigh. I was so frustrated. It seemed that I wouldn’t be able to use my pasture at all for my ponies.

Trying to decipher the pasture analysis was very confusing. I followed Dr. Getty’s suggestions in her article, Testing Your Pasture – For Peace of Mind

She says you read the “Dry Matter” column for pasture. You need to know the NSC (Non-structural carbohydrates- this will not be on the report. It is calculated as WSC+Starch) and the ESC (Simple Sugars= ESC+Starch) levels. She says we want grass that has NSC below 12% and the ESC+Starch less than 10%.

My analysis shows the ESC is 11.5% and the NSC is 14.3%. Far too high for Bonnie, my IR pony, and too high for my other healthy ponies as well.

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So I thought I would do another analysis in the afternoon. I waited for a very hot day that had a very cool night the night before. That turned out to be July 4th. It was nearly 100 degrees out that afternoon. I took the sample at 3:30 in the afternoon. The results surprised me!!

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The NSC is 9.1% and should be below 12%. And the ESC is 6.5% and should be below 10%!! What the WHAT!? I feel like I’m in bizarro world. EVERYTHING I’ve read says this should not be. Everything. I don’t understand what is going on here, at my place, but everything seems to be backwards. So now my ponies can go out on pasture for a little while in the afternoon/early evening! I don’t let them out every day and I don’t leave them out for more than an hour and Bonnie wears her muzzle, but they do enjoy their time out!

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So if anyone can explain what is going on around here I am open to an explanation! I am on a mission to learn and understand everything I can so I can help Bonnie and keep everyone else healthy and happy!

**A little update on Bonnie –> She can now go all afternoon without her boots on. She is starting to really grow some sole! Whoot whoot! She has also graduated to spending nights out on the track without her muzzle. She is so happy being out with everyone. I have a few adjustments to make with the track and my new hay shed and then she will stay out on the track 24/7. I’m so excited about how well she’s doing! I pray for her every day. I pray that she will continue to do well and will winter well. I’ve been running around trying to find low sugar/low starch hay, testing hay stacks here and hay stacks there! It’s definitely getting expensive, but I have to know what is going on with the hay and my pasture. I will know that I’ve done everything I could to help her be healthy. Now it’s up to her body to repair and rebuild.

 

Finally! The post about the Sure Foot® pads. I know, I’ve kept you all waiting on pins and needles! I wanted to have some time to use them… to see if there would be any changes worth blogging about and may I say WOW! Definitely changes worth blogging about!

Here is a little blurb about the Sure Foot® pads from their website:

A unique, innovative way for the horse to be his own teacher. Developed by Wendy Murdoch, this revolutionary way of improving your horse’s balance, confidence, movement and performance shows that the horse is always present and ready to learn if we can only find ways to access his intelligence. This approach allows the horse to experience his own habitual patterns of movement and provides the horse with an opportunity to explore and learn new ways of standing on his feet and utilizing the ground for greater ease, comfort and confidence.  -Sure Foot® | The Murdoch Method

I wanted to try these first because of Bonnie’s laminitis and second because Sky has been ouchie on the road even with boots on. Sky has been acting off for about 2 months and I couldn’t pin point any reason for her to be! I’ve been keeping all the horses off the grass — except for the night of the 4th of July. Sky got spooked by the fireworks and busted through the electric fence, breaking several insulators, putting Sky, Captain and Zorro in the middle of track where all the grass is, all. night. long. Sigh. Sometimes I feel like they are trying to kill themselves. Anyway, I ruled out laminitis because she is eating low sugar/low starch hay and is not on grass. I figured the Sure Foot® pads wouldn’t hurt and maybe they would help! (I decided on the Soft pads after Wendy suggested them because of Bonnie’s laminitis. Both girls have been wearing boots with pads in them so the idea of a springy surface didn’t bother them at all…)

One of the things that intrigued me about them was the idea that the pads help horses have a new connection with the earth. They can find a new way to stand and move.

With SURE FOOT®, using a variety of stability and balance pads, horses discover how they are habitually standing. The pad gives under the horses’s weight bringing his attention to where he is placing his feet and providing new information to the balancing part of his nervous system. With this awareness the horse explores, shifts and alters his habitual patterns of standing and moving by himself, ultimately choosing a more secure and effective way to stand and move. The horse retrains himself to stand better without human interference.  -Sure Foot® – The Murdoch Method

I figured this would help Bonnie as well. While I know her soles are very thin and her coffin bone is rotated, I have been working diligently on the angles of her heel and toe to help alleviate pressure. However she was not changing how she moved very much. I wanted to try this thinking she may be conditioned to walk very carefully and be extremely lame. Whether that is true or not, since I started using the pads, Bonnie will now gallop around the track, bucking and rearing and racing. She is walking out completely normally when booted and has even started going without boots for several hours a day. She walks carefully when ‘barefoot’ but is not getting sore footed at all!

Bonnie falling asleep with both feet on one pad.

Another thing is Sky has been very spooky, barn sour and buddy sour and kind of a stinker when driving. This last month has been absolutely crazy for me and I haven’t been able to get her out much, except to brush her, file her feet a bit and put her on the Sure Foot® pads. She is a bit funny about her feet so she wouldn’t stand on the pads for more than a few seconds at first. And I quickly found that she only liked to stand on one pad at a time. (Bonnie will put both her front feet on one pad!)

Sky standing on one pad. This is how she liked it at first.

It took a lot of putting her foot on the pad, having her step off, me taking her for a walk about, then putting her other foot on the pad, having her step off, me taking her for a walk about, then putting her other foot on the pad, having her step off, me taking her for a walk about… Sigh. Finally on the second or third day of the pads, I put her foot on the pad and she sighed, dropped her head, licked and chewed and set to swaying. She spent quite a few minutes on the pad before stepping off and when she stepped off she gave a big sigh and YAWNED. Beautiful!

She has been using the Sure Foot® pads for about 2 weeks 3-4 times a week and when I was able to start driving her again on Friday, last week, she was a different horse mentally! I am totally amazed at how much calmer she is. She is more forward when driving. She offers the canter and can hold her beautiful extended trot for longer and longer periods. She is also starting to fall into her extended trot more readily.

In addition to reprogramming the balancing portion of the brain there is obviously an affect on the instinctive part of the brain. While it cannot be fully explained there is a calming effect, shifting the horse from the fight & flight reaction or sympathetic autonomic nervous system (ANS) response to the grazing or parasympathetic (ANS) response. Some horses experience an even deeper level of relaxation believed to be caused by a release of endorphins somehow triggered by standing on the pads.  –Sure Foot® – The Murdoch Method

I was intrigued by the above statement and wondered if the pads would help Sky let go of some of her anxiety. I would say they have!! We are able to go miles away from our house now. I’m driving her places I’ve only dreamed about because I couldn’t get her more than a mile away from home without her having a minor melt down. I didn’t want to push her too much and cause a problem when I didn’t really have one so I went slow and easy. Now I don’t have to do any online warm up. I harness her and hitch her right to the cart! We trot around the side yard once and she powers down the driveway in her extended trot, ears hard forward looking at where we are going instead of worrying about what the horses at home are doing! It’s amazing! She is pulling me up some pretty steep hills and just won’t stop. She puts her head down and leans into her breast collar. I have to jump out as she is going when the going gets too steep because she won’t stop. I am so impressed!! She is going to have muscles in places she’s never had muscles!

Sky's pretty face. - www.theessentialhorse.com

I love looking at the pads when I they are done. The hoof impressions are pretty cool!

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This is Sky’s hoof impression.
Bonnie’s hoof impressions.

Here is a video of the girls standing on the pads the first day. To get this video I had to kind of hold Sky on the pads. When I untied her and let her decide she started the one foot on, step off, walk, another foot on, step off, walk….

And this video is from yesterday! They both have it figured out. Now Sky will sometimes step off and then put her feet back on all by herself. And she will stand on both pads at the same time now!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the pads! I’ll do my best to answer them. I know when I was trying to decide, to buy or not to buy, I couldn’t find enough information! So I’ll do my best to help you make a decision.