Reply To: Soft Soles

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Hello to LostInside…
I agree with Chris, the barefoot trimmer who responded. Unfortunately horses who have gut problems and metabolic problems are a tough nut to crack tho. Certainly diet is important. I personally have found that my horses have less of a problem with starches than sugars, since starch is not terribly bothersome to the gut, whereas sugars are very acidy and certainly are irritating (I know from personal experience as I have intestinal ulcers). Also, I do find that adequate protein is a must, and use alfalfa pellets or hay in the diet and a high protein ration balancer that is low NSC (non structural carb) to provide this (1-2#s per day), and unfortunately right now, limited pasture but good low carb hay. That all said, my horses have improved dramatically foot wise, with lots of growth year round. It took a year. I do my own trimming (took a barefoot course) so I trim them often. One horse can ride without boots and one with. So many great boots out there! I use the Easy Boot Epics but take your pick. I also have a pair of Epics with the back strap removed which I can use for turnout if I need to, and using foot powder with peppermint keeps the hoof dryer and with less odor if the boots need to be left on for several days (clean every day!). My secret weapon for improvement in extremely and chronically lamanitic horses is the amino acid L-Citrulline (3-6 grms daily) and omega fatty acids, provided by small amounts of rice bran and flax, (or product) small amount of sunflower seeds (ground), and sunflower lecithin. (great article if you google “citrulline lamanitis” – you will see that in the test horses, citrulline levels were low and ability to convert fatty acids was lost, most likely due to gut problem!) Depending on what you are feeding, you could also look into vitamin E (I like natural full spectrum) but be sure to look at the entire diet. Coats and skin are beautiful and feet are strong with great soles, although the horse with horrible prior damage has not recovered his concavity and still gets hives from certain grasses so gut not 100%. Even with flatish front feet tho he is pretty sound and good to go in his boots. For extra squish in his boots he likes the Cavello Gel Pads. Personally I would never go back to shoes and my guys have been barefoot since 2004. Not gonna say it is easy. My horses still have metabolic issues (improved tho) and guts are not perfect, but much, much better. They are out 24-7 with access to shelter and free choice high fiber low cal hay and limited grass… not ideal but manageable and they are happy, playful and full of energy. My personal take on metabolic disease is that is begins in the gut with inflammation there, then when not addressed the inflammation becomes chronic and pretty soon the horse is sore all over and walking like a creaky old man or woman. (Been at this 40 years!) If you can fix the gut a lot of other things get better. I still have not completely cracked the code tho and prefer to not use pharmaceuticals. BTW, L-Citrulline enhances blood flow without the down side of feeding the amino acid Arginine. It also soothes the gut. How I discovered it was through my functional med. doc. who prescribed it for heart disease prevention and blood flow for me. A side effect is that is helped my gut. You can find it on line in bulk. It is in some hoof products as well. Next, I am gonna try the homeopathy that another poster mentioned…. can’t hurt!