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.

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!

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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!

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!

I made a long-ish video that shows all the miniature horse boots I currently have and  I show Bonnie walking in the Easy Boot Mini and the Soft-Ride Boots for a nice comparison. I’ll keep you updated on how I think the Soft-Ride boots are helping over the next couple of days!

For the last three days Bonnie has laid either in her shed or just in front of it in the nice deep sawdust bed I made her outside of the shed. After being on her feet all day on Sunday, at the Nutrition Clinic, she was just plain worn out. And sore. On Tuesday I had my favorite equine body worker come out and do some adjusting to make her feel a bit better in her body. If only we could adjust some spots and do some energy work on her feet and have such an immediate change! She felt so much better after the body work in her back, shoulders and hips. It was obvious. Not only because she looked more relaxed, her attitude changed on Tuesday as well. After the body work she was brighter and more awake than she had been on Monday.

Bonnie in her styrofoam boots. - www.theessentialhorse.com

This morning when I went out to feed at 6 am Bonnie was standing outside of the shed, on the opposite side of the pen from the shed, eating hay with Sky! So she walked a little distance. It made me so happy to see that, and to hear her nicker and nicker a greeting. Of course every day that she was laying down she would nicker and nicker and I would set her hay and her Crypto Aero right in front of her so she didn’t have to stand. I also gave her a bucket of water for when she wasn’t in the shed. I didn’t want her to have to work very hard for a few days, as she rested and healed.

Today since she was up, I gave her a quick little rasp on her heels and brought her toes back a bit. In order to do that I had to work fast because standing on three feet is hard for her. Last week I found a video on YouTube of a farrier applying styrofoam boots to the front feet of a very sore laminitic horse. It seemed to bring a level of comfort that I had been looking for, so I bought some styrofoam last week and just set it aside… in case I needed it!

Today I went ahead and applied them to her feet. The difference was immediate. Once I applied the 1″ styrofoam to the foot I was working on and set it down she immediately shifted all her weight to that foot, which previously was so sore she couldn’t stand with all her weight on it at all! So I was able to clean and rasp the other foot and apply the styrofoam boot to that foot as well.

styrofoam and duct tape boots - www.theessentialhorse.com
Styrofoam and duct tape boots!

Then we took a short walk to get the blood moving.

Horses that have become laminitic because of IR are a bit different than a horse that is laminitic from grass and does NOT have IR. IR horses have constricted blood vessels in the hoof instead of too much blood pumping, inflammation and heat as in a regular laminitic episode. So having her walk around is a good thing in this case as it will help get the blood moving. In a regular laminitic case you don’t want to move the horse much during the acute stage as you can cause further tearing of the hoof wall from the laminae. In Bonnie’s case there is no heat in her foot, no digital pulse, very little to no bruising of the sole and no stretching of the white line. I thought that was so interesting!

I should get my California Trace tomorrow and can’t wait to get her on that. I have also ordered the Milk Thistle seeds so will keep you updated. I know we still have a long road ahead, but every little victory counts! So having her want to be a little mobile today felt so good! Maybe I’ll sleep tonight…

Most of the time when you are dealing with laminitis you need to focus on pain management– AFTER you’ve changed your horse’s diet and adjusted their living situation to accommodate for the laminitis.

So we will focus on oils that will help manage the pain. First you can apply the Raindrop Technique, once a week. Definitely do the entire Raindrop, including legs and hooves. This will also help balance the horse’s body. Most likely they have been compensating for their feet and will be sore all over.

Then you can move onto oils that will help the hooves. You can apply these to the soles of the hoof and even around the coronet band on a daily basis. Choose one or two or layer on 3-4!

Most people will not go above and beyond for their laminitic or foundered horse, and that’s one of the reasons that laminitis is the 2nd leading cause of death.

– Stephanie Krahl

Laminitis is very frustrating for the owner. Once your horse has tipped over into laminitic stage it can be very difficult to manage. The best thing is to keep them off the green grass completely, both in the spring and the fall. Look around for low quality forage so you can offer your horse access to forage 24/7. **Low quality does not mean moldy or dusty.

Taking some time to study good wholefood, natural supplements really pays off in the long run. Many of us have been there and understand the pain and frustration of laminitis and founder. Reach out to a community for support! There are some on facebook or you can join me here.

Feel free to leave a comment below or email me with any questions you have about dealing with this.