Amber is lame

Michen

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She is not just unlevel. She is clearly if mildly lame on that foot. She also looks unhappy when circled. She puts her ears back and pulls one of her best bitch face expressions!
understand. I’m sorry that sucks for you both :( hope the MRI gives some answers and whilst I HATE the idea of box rest I do think there’s a time and a place for controlled walking rehab if it’s feasible.
 

Ambers Echo

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I've sent the BEVA conference abtract Ester dug out on the DDFT thread from Rockley Farm about barefoot rehab to my vet. I'll see what he says. I feel like I have to try something. At this point I really have nothing to lose but any sort of rehab without guidance is scary as I don't want to make things worse.

I feel numb. I go from thinking 'oh she'll be fine in the end' to realising that actually she may not be. That this is REAL. I was clearly in denial before. But watching her trot up on the lunge and seeing her the same totally broke my heart. It is on soft surfaces she struggles on the right rein.
 

Reacher

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ycbm

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You're a long way from no options yet, AE. I really don't understand why your vet has even put that idea in your head at this point. Most horses with Amber's symptoms having an MRI will comeback with a soft tissue injury diagnosis. And even if conventional treatments for that fail, which they are sadly quite likely to, you will still be left with the option of a barefoot rehab.
 

Roxylola

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I really feel for you. Having a lame horse is bad enough at the best of times, but when you cant even find out what's wrong at the moment seems like an absolute nightmare
 

Bernster

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Sorry to read the latest. She seems like an awesome horse and you clearly love her to bits. When will you get the mri results? I know it’s easy to say but try not to think of too many what’s ifs, they won’t help - get the results and if you get a clearer picture of what’s going on, then go from there.
 

teddypops

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Don’t give up yet! My now 29year old went lame when she was 20. The vet never diagnosed the exact injury. Xrays & scans showed nothing. Nerve blocks pointed to something in the hoof. My next step was an MRI but I didn’t have one done as I decided it was a waste of money as I was just going to rest her anyway. 12 months of field rest later and she was completely sound. At 29 she is as fit and feisty as ever and in full work😁
 

lme

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I've sent the BEVA conference abtract Ester dug out on the DDFT thread from Rockley Farm about barefoot rehab to my vet. I'll see what he says. I feel like I have to try something. At this point I really have nothing to lose but any sort of rehab without guidance is scary as I don't want to make things worse.

I feel numb. I go from thinking 'oh she'll be fine in the end' to realising that actually she may not be. That this is REAL. I was clearly in denial before. But watching her trot up on the lunge and seeing her the same totally broke my heart. It is on soft surfaces she struggles on the right rein.
Ny vet was sceptical about Rockley to really keen once ge spoke to Nic. it might be worth asking your vet to call her once he has MRI results.

For me it’s a question of timing and uncertainty on my part about whether I want to bring my mare back into work.

She is now in foal and we would need to wait until any foal is weaned before we could send her to Rockley anyway. The rehab requires them to do enough mileage when they come home to continue with the improvements started during the initial 12 weeks.
 

SEL

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My Appy mare possibly has the same injury but I can't afford the MRI to know for certain - changes to the navicular on the x ray made the vet suspect DDFT damage. Her view was though that whatever has been damaged in the foot then the cure is usually time. They have offered to try a steroid injection into it.

Never had shoes on and I think the initial injury happened on a deep arena surface some time ago.

The links to the various barefoot solutions above are worth a read. I've been trying to work out if I could replicate a Rockley type rehab plan at home, but I suspect those tracks of theirs are an integral part of it and I'm on livery so a bit stuffed from that perspective.

Hope you get good news from the MRI or at least answers so you can plan how to rehab xx
 

SEL

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You're a long way from no options yet, AE. I really don't understand why your vet has even put that idea in your head at this point. Most horses with Amber's symptoms having an MRI will comeback with a soft tissue injury diagnosis. And even if conventional treatments for that fail, which they are sadly quite likely to, you will still be left with the option of a barefoot rehab.
Can you do a barefoot rehab without Rockley's tracks? That's the bit that I'm trying to work out given mine has never had shoes on.
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks for all the links. I am going to try a DIY barefoot rehab if I can. Just trying to work out the logistics.

So I am ok with feed, I think. Low sugar and starch, Feet First recommended balancer.
Trimming - I am following Prof Bowker's reccommendations re short toe, leave sole alone, medio-lateral balance. Assuming I can find a farrier/trimmer who will do that.
I can do 24/7 turnout on a variety of conformable surfaces sand, pea gravel, wood chip as well as some pasture. But can't do a track system where she is. Though can have hay out in different places to encourage her to move. She is out with others and playful anyway. How important is restricting grass?

Am I meant to start hacking her out in walk? The vet is fine with me starting hacking her in walk. Not as part of barefoot which he is not a supporter of, but generally.

I am hopeful but not optimistic. I just can't get away from my belief that if there really was a cheap, effective treatment for common and career endfing injuries, it would be more widely recognised. And I have worked on enough research trials to know that promising avenues often yield disappointing results when looked at more closely.

BUT it makes intuitive sense to me, enough credible folk support it, some outcomes obviously are good and it will stop me feeing so helpless. I may hold off on the MRI just because as far as I can see I would be dong the same regardless of whether it's the DDFT, collateral ligament or anything else in there! Their protocols for hoof pain seem the same and they treat horses withou an MRI so why spend £1200 on it?

Any thoughts or advice. Any NW people know a farrier/ trimmer supportive of this approach who would help? Wish us both luck.
 

HashRouge

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I am hopeful but not optimistic. I just can't get away from my belief that if there really was a cheap, effective treatment for common and career endfing injuries, it would be more widely recognised. And I have worked on enough research trials to know that promising avenues often yield disappointing results when looked at more closely.
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I think the problem is that barefoot rehab can take a long time to yield good results, and it is also bl00dy hard work! So it might be cheap and effective, but it's by no means an easy option and it is only effective if the work is put in and the horse is able to be kept in the right conditions/ fed the right diet. You are looking at 6 months minimum, and you are never really "done" in the sense that you will still need to manage diet/ workload. My sister's horse went to Rockley and I know a number of other owners through attending a Rockley Rehab event and have them on Facebook, so I know how hard people have to work to continue Nic's good work even when their horse has had a great start at Rockley. It's not an easy option at all, especially when you are keeping a horse at livery and don't have your own set up. And as with any treatment, it doesn't always work.
 

ycbm

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I'm so pleased to hear this AE :)

Any help I can give, you are welcome to. You know I am only 10 minutes away.

You should not ride her unless she is landing heel first, or at least flat, in front. The toe first landing is harmful. If necessary, video her in slomo with the camera close to the floor to check. Then walk her in hand until her landing is better.

Restricting grass, especially going into winter, is completely unnecessary unless she has a metabolic problem.

Got to go out to a lesson right now but I'll come back later and see what others have advised.
 
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ycbm

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I think the problem is that barefoot rehab can take a long time to yield good results, and it is also bl00dy hard work! So it might be cheap and effective, but it's by no means an easy option and it is only effective if the work is put in and the horse is able to be kept in the right conditions/ fed the right diet. You are looking at 6 months minimum, and you are never really "done" in the sense that you will still need to manage diet/ workload. My sister's horse went to Rockley and I know a number of other owners through attending a Rockley Rehab event and have them on Facebook, so I know how hard people have to work to continue Nic's good work even when their horse has had a great start at Rockley. It's not an easy option at all, especially when you are keeping a horse at livery and don't have your own set up. And as with any treatment, it doesn't always work.
I've done 3 rehabs and none of them took anywhere near 6 months to be wtc ridden sound. They were dressage competition sound in 3 months for 2 and 4 months for a really bad one with terrible flat feet.

Yes some take longer but Amber really doesn't sound like a severe case, she's already field soundto look at.
.
 

Ambers Echo

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I think the problem is that barefoot rehab can take a long time to yield good results, and it is also bl00dy hard work! So it might be cheap and effective, but it's by no means an easy option and it is only effective if the work is put in and the horse is able to be kept in the right conditions/ fed the right diet. You are looking at 6 months minimum, and you are never really "done" in the sense that you will still need to manage diet/ workload. My sister's horse went to Rockley and I know a number of other owners through attending a Rockley Rehab event and have them on Facebook, so I know how hard people have to work to continue Nic's good work even when their horse has had a great start at Rockley. It's not an easy option at all, especially when you are keeping a horse at livery and don't have your own set up. And as with any treatment, it doesn't always work.
This is not what their website says! It says the horse should be clearly improved within 4 weeks and ready to go home to 'normal' livery set ups within 12 as they recognise that maintaining what they do is unrealistic. Your post reflects exactly what happens in those disappointing research treatment trials. You start looking into it/implemting the protocol and then all the caveats come out and things are nowhere near as promising as they initially seem. I am going into it with full commitment and an open mind. But it is a trial. Just as the trad approach was a trial. I will do the 12 weeks and see what happens.

I really do appreiciate the advice though. Thanks for posting. Ir would not surprise me if the maintenance is much harder work than it looks on paper. But if those 12 weeks leave her sound that will be worth doing. But if she isn't I need to think again.
 
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tristar

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I've done 3 rehabs and none of them took anywhere near 6 months to be wtc ridden sound. They were dressage competition sound in 3 months for 2 and 4 months for a really bad one with terrible flat feet.

Yes some take longer but Amber really doesn't sound like a severe case, she's already field soundto look at.



we`ve had dramatic improvements, taking on balance 2 months, sometimes in two or three trims, 2 weeks apart, it just involves a change of routine, for us no big deal, but the rewards have been enormous
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Reacher

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I entirely understand your skepticism but if I were in your shoes I would feel I could not lose anything by trying.

Regarding the trim, this paper written with Bowker "Effects of barefoot trimming on hoof morphology" by Clayton et al - Horses are not lame - but paper describes how they did the trimming to rehab long toed underslung hooves and says to not lower the heels etc too quickly as would put strain on internal structures. They do it over about 4 months iirc . Then the hooves improve over course of 12 months after the toe is brought back to the “starting point”, so not a fast process. (The horses are exercised daily on sand).

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2011.00806.x

I found a bowker conference paper too which discusses navicular

https://www.researchgate.net/public...al_Morphologies_of_Good_and_Bad_Footed_Horses
Sorry if this is more info than you want but you can always ignore!

Best of luck with the mri
 

TPO

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Photos of her hooves would be needed really to give advice as to hoof health and they often give an indication if the diet is suitable.

While hooves can be improved in a short space of time 6mths isn't far off the mark when dealing with a supposed/undiagnosed soft tissue issue. While the hoof remodels itself, at times quickly, it still takes time to build hoof strength. There's no point bringing toes back to load weak heels.

Out of all the books and papers I've read this is the one that resonated the most in regards to trimming and building a healthy hoof structure
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Natural-...keywords=barefoot+horse&qid=1599639906&sr=8-5
 

HashRouge

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I've done 3 rehabs and none of them took anywhere near 6 months to be wtc ridden sound. They were dressage competition sound in 3 months for 2 and 4 months for a really bad one with terrible flat feet.

Yes some take longer but Amber really doesn't sound like a severe case, she's already field soundto look at.
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Sorry I should have been more specific - I'm not saying that it takes 6 months for you to notice a difference. I was thinking more in terms of hoof growth and how long for the new growth to come through fully (or near enough), at which point you might consider the rehab "finished" (if that makes sense).

This is not what their website says! It says the horse should be clearly improved within 4 weeks and ready to go home to 'normal' livery set ups within 12 as they recognise that maintaining what they do is unrealistic. Your post reflects exactly what happens in those disappointing research treatment trials. You start looking into it/implemting the protocol and then all the caveats come out and things are nowhere near as promising as they initially seem. I am going into it with full commitment and an open mind. But it is a trial. Just as the trad approach was a trial. I will do the 12 weeks and see what happens.

I really do appreiciate the advice though. Thanks for posting. Ir would not surprise me if the maintenance is much harder work than it looks on paper. But if those 12 weeks leave her sound that will be worth doing. But if she isn't I need to think again.
Sorry, I think I have confused people. As i said above, I don't mean that it takes 6 months for you to notice an improvement. I was thinking more in terms of the horse growing in a new hoof capsule and you being able to consider the process "completed". Everything on the website is true, though obviously it differs for some horses - our chap was vastly improved within 4-6 weeks at Rockley and he was ready to come home after just over 3.5 months. But he was quite a complicated one and had very odd feet. But the work went on once we got him home, we couldn't just sit back and relax. I was mainly trying to illustrate to you why it might not be a more "popular" option or have had more studies done, not to say that it is ineffective. Our chap hasn't been lame in front for years (his diagnosis was navicular), though he had to be retired for other reasons.
 

SEL

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I'd still MRI in your shoes. The not knowing what it was would eat me up.
If the insurance would pay I'd have one on mine, but they won't and I'm paying quite large bills for the one with the breathing problem.

I'll be interested to know how Amber gets on. My slight scepticism (whilst fully in the 'you have nothing to lose' camp) is having a 10yo lifetime barefoot mare in the field with navicular bone damage. Whether its a vet, a professional trimmer, a farrier or FB warriors everyone keeps telling me her feet look good. Still not sound though!

I wonder if the tracks at Rockley are such an integral part of them growing the 'right' hoof for them that it is impossible to replicate on a normal livery yard.

Might have to get some photos later and start a new thread. In the meantime I'm going to distract myself from spreadsheets & big vet bills by reading some of the links above.
 
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