We humans learn things on a need to know basis. Of all the health issues I have faced with my horses, Founder has been the most complicated to understand. Having gone through 2 vets and 3 ferriers it has also made it a very expensive experience as well. My story actually began last summer, although I didn’t know it. Cheyenne began limping at a performance and I thought she had pulled something after jumping a barrel. After some rest the problem seemed to go away. However, I did notice that she was gaining weight and was eating like “there was no tomorrow”. When I asked the vet about it I was told that it is common for mini’s to be obese. It was suggested that she be taken off the grass. During the winter she did loose weight and I vowed to keep it off her. All seemed to be going well and then one day I noticed that she seemed to be walking a little soft on her front foot. I began soaking it thinking it might be an abscess. During a visit from my ferrier I was told she had Founder and that she needed to be removed from the grass, no grain and keep her confined to her paddock. I felt as if my horse had just been given a death sentence. I normally am pretty good about handling these things but, I was feeling so guilty that I really couldn’t think straight. Founder, also called Laminitis is a metabolic and vascular diease that involves the inner sensitive structure of the feet. The most common cause of acute founder is the rapid consumption of excess quantities of carbohydrates similar to diabetes in humans. Symptoms include high fever, chills, sweating, diarrhea, fast pulse and rapid breathing. They also have a stance, where the horse is in so much pain it stands in a way to take pressure off the hoof. Cheyenne had none of these symptoms. By the fourth day of confinement my horse was out of control, bucking, kicking and biting. I thought, there is no way this horse is sick. On the eighth day I took her to the vet and requested an x-ray to see if she had any rotation of the coffin bone. After he examined Cheyenne, he told me the x-ray was a waste of money and the horse was sound. So, out in the pasture she went. A few weeks later the limping started again so I called my vet. She did a block, this is where they numb a certain area, beginning at the hoof, until they can locate the exact area where the pain is. This resulted in an x-ray of the hoof which showed Cheyenne did have a slight rotation of the coffin bone on her right front hoof. The treatment was corrective trimmings and weight management. During the trimming my ferrier took off most of the toe of the hoof and as much heel as possible. An x-ray was taken which showed the hoof was now at an angle that would take pressure off the hoof. I was told my horse should be better in a few days but, 3 weeks later she was still limping. By now I am feeling pretty hopeless and then I found a book on Amazon called “Founder, Prevention & Cure the Natural Way”. Now, my husband says anyone can write something in a book and that may be so but, this book explained the horses nature enviroment, diet and needs. Finally, I felt there was some hope for Cheyenne. Continued on the next post. Did you visit? Leave a comment!