What am I doing wrong? (Barefoot - sorry!)

Ella19

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Yes sorry it's another barefoot post. I've searched back but can't quite find what i'm looking for, so I hope one of you helpful people can sort me out!

My pony is a 14hh connie, she is out on short sandy pasture 24/7 (yes I know not ideal but with grass livery in surrey at £270 a month this is what we have). She is fed hay soaked for 12hrs + twice a day, a handful of chopped oat straw with d& h daily vits and mins (just run out). She has been barefoot for 2 years and coped extremely well up until the recent rain.

Recently she has gone footy, almost to the point of lame when going downhill. I stopped riding her, put her on a "laminitic" diet of the soaked hay, high fibre but low calorie. There are no digital pulses and her feet are cool. She has lost weight and looks better for it, but is still foot sore. I've tried Keratex and again she is better and have just ordered some protexin pro digit to help with magnesium. Interestingly she's been munching her way through the nettles that border her field.

Is there anything else I should be doing? Should I be riding her out on the soft sandy surfaces instead of being stuck in the field? Is there a good supplement I should be using? Obviously if she stops improving or goes downhill then I shall be calling the vet but for now farrier isn't worried and puts it down to the wet weather and I had the mctimmony chiro today as I originally thought it was shoulder but she says feet. Please help get my rock cruncher back.
 

Erin

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Its probably down to the grass, we've had 'spring grass' all summer.

Could you muzzle for part of the day?
 

RPM

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Hi,

I have three barefoot native/native crosses who all live out 24/7. We're on sparser grazing now (Sussex downs) and that has made a big difference.

There are a few things you could think about.

1. Is there anything wrong with her trim? Does she have any flair which might be making her uncomfortable? Some farriers are undoubtedly better than others!
2. Is she overweight? Does she actually need the hay? I used to feed soaked hay when looking back, my horses were all overweight still! I know how important it is for them to have enough fibre, but if they are overweight they are eating too much! It is important to weight tape/condition score and be objective about how much they need.
3. I have fed Fast Fibre for about four years now and really rate it. It is low sugar and starch and contains vits and mins. I feed this in variable quantities twice a day mixed with some Hoofkind. It gives them a consistent low sugar source of good quality fibre. I would cut hay before I cut this. They look great on it.
4. Two of my horses are ridden and are about 3 on a 0-5 condition score now. Once they got slimmer, they seemed to stay slimmer more easily and cope with some ups and downs with the grass. My retired boy (intermittent lameness problems from caudal heel pain, so his feet are very sensitive) is slightly fatter, as the boss he tends to eat most! However, he is looking good and his feet are coping well.

I've tried all sorts of things over the years and have had previous summers where one or other of my ridden horses have been slightly footsore and needed boots. I really think the key is getting their weight and diet right, and you might need to experiment a bit more to find suits your horse.

Hope this helps.
 

Ella19

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Thank you both. I am going to try the muzzle again with sheepskin. She is a determined soul and it caused a flesh wound last time within a few hours!

RPM I would love to feed Fast Fibre as only hear good things about it, but she refuses point blank to eat "sloppy feed" which is why I ended up with pure feed and oat straw trying to find a hard feed with no mollasses or alfalfa. Pain in the backside my pony!

Interestingly RPM she does have a flare now on the RF which is the one she is lame on and farrier is due to trim this week so hopefully he can sort her out.

Thank you so much both of you, you've helped put my mind at rest that i'm not as bad an owner as I think!
 

LD&S

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It could be a combination of a lot of things, generally if you go back far enough there is a far bit of arab in the connie, arabs really do like it dry, it could be the flair causing a problem it could be a few little bits of sand caught in the white line, it could be that some work would help harden and toughen the hoof, you seem to have looked closely at diet so I have no suggestions there apart from would your horse eat plain oat straw maybe in a net as some extra roughage but I think you have already looked at most if not all these things, just a thought, not sure what's included mineral wise in what you feed but zinc and copper are also supposed to be very good for feet, mine have these as well as magnesium and have 2 arabs, one has been prone to thrush in the past but we've not had any despite the grotty weather.
Hope you get it sorted.
 

TigerTail

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If shes going for nettles she obviously wants the anti inflammatory effect of them. Suggest you get a slash hook and gloves and chop as many as you can find and give her a a good bundle everyday. You could also try

http://www.naturalhorsesupplies.co.uk/p/product/0910201140-Herbal+Lami+Support+900g++%A31499/

Make sure your farrier isnt over trimming her, or touching her frogs, does he mustang roll?

If its only one foot she might be brewing an abscess so worth keeping an eye on.
 

Ella19

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Thank you!

LDS - I have just ordered pro digit and pro hoof to help with the minerals as I realised I was seriously lacking in this!

TigerTail - I will be out there today with gloves to attack those nettles, it's my afternoon off and the sun should dry them out nicely! I did wonder about an abscess but it's been 2 weeks now, could that still be one? Her white line on that foot is much wider than the others and the hoof more concave?
 

kaiserchief

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Thank you both. I am going to try the muzzle again with sheepskin. She is a determined soul and it caused a flesh wound last time within a few hours!
Have you tried a Dinky Rugs muzzle - my pony is wearing one and is the only horse on the yard that doesn't have rub marks on his face (the rest of the yard are using Greenguards).
 

TwoStroke

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Are you sure there's no infection present? Thrush or white line disease? The constant wet, warm conditions have been the perfect environment for those nasty bugs.
 

Ella19

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TS - definately no thrush, she was prone to this in the past but none at present. Just looking into white line now, I will get my hibi out just incase.

KC - I will go and look into those. Thanks!
 

sonicgold

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Have you just taken her BF as I have been transitioning in this [lovely] wet and it has been a nightmare. I do at last seem to be winning, but it has not been easy.
 

Brightbay

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RPM I would love to feed Fast Fibre as only hear good things about it, but she refuses point blank to eat "sloppy feed" which is why I ended up with pure feed and oat straw trying to find a hard feed with no mollasses or alfalfa. Pain in the backside my pony!
FastFibre doesn't need to be sloppy - it is very versatile! I have one horse who prefers the slop, and one who likes it like "crumble". You can also go beyond the slop to practically a soup like texture, which is great for rehydrating after long, hot rides.

It is just a case of experimenting with the proportion of water to FF (the exact amount suggested on the bag gives a wet crumbly texture, a bit more gives slop - I am sad enough to use a weighing scale and measuring jug :D).
 
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