FLAT FEET - GREEN GRASS & NO SUPPLEMENTS
This horse went off to a trainer to be started or broken in as some people refer to it as.
He was sent with all his feed and supplements packaged into an easy to feed "one scoop” mix.
Prior to leaving he was in great health and his hooves had excellent concavity.
His daily feeds before leaving contained 60g of salt, 25g Duwell Minerals and Vitamins, 80mls Duwell Magnesium Liquid, oat chaff and a small amount of beet pulp and adlib hay. The trainer fed the horse as he was asked to until the feed ran out. The owner had previously mentioned to the trainer that when his feed stock got low the owner would supply more. The feed and hay lasted 5 weeks. After that the trainer felt "the horse didn’t need the feed or hay as he had heaps of grass”. The horse was at the trainers for 9 weeks. The owner went to pick up the horse up after 9 weeks and could not believe what she was seeing. A skinny horse with flat sore feet!
The sudden lack of supplements and hay had caused big problems in his feet. The coffin bone had partially lost connection with the wall resulting in the dropped soles and loss of concavity. He now needed hoof boots to be comfortable when ridden and handled.
Fortunately on returning home with rest and the reintroduction of the DUWELL supplements that kept him healthy before, after some months, he returned to good health and the concavity of his feet returned to normal.
Other case studies have shown that dropped soles are reversible with correct feeding and supplementation.
ON THE WAY TO LAMINITIS
The hooves in this photo belong to a 3 year old mare that was sent away for training. She was receiving good levels of salt, magnesium, minerals and hay prior to leaving but did not receive the supplements or the much needed adlib hay once at the trainer’s property. The owner did not want to trouble the trainer with feeding supplements.
She was put into the "fatty paddock” of short eaten down grass which due to the weather conditions at the time - warm and dry then rain - it had green shoots coming up all over. She was yarded with hay during the day and then went into the paddock at night.
As her hooves show, this is not an effective way to ensure a healthy horse. The horse also reportedly "had an attitude”. This is hardly surprising given that she would have had very sore feet!
This is a very common method used in New Zealand to control the amount of grass horses are eating but unfortunately it so often is an ineffective and a very unhealthy YOYO diet.
After being in the yard during the day the horse will gorge itself overnight on grass, consuming large amounts of unsuitable pasture. This sudden influx of minerally imbalanced, low fibre pasture shocks the horse’s digestion resulting in subclinical laminitis and if this is repeated over time, full blown laminitis and behavioural problems will be the result.
A horse owner may escape this scenario for some time but this is a knife edge situation….
A much better plan is to supply your horse with good quality minerals, vitamins and essential fibre every day. Restricting grass to ensure hay is consumed throughout the day, every day will ensure your horse will not suffer with laminitis or other grass related behavioural problems.
SORE FEET - BROODMARE
This photo is of a brood mare that was fed a popular premix mare nut and was on general pasture. She had been trimmed once already before this photo. She arrived 6 weeks prior to foaling. Although in great body condition she had very sore feet and extensive mud fever. Hoof quality in all four feet was very poor. Once switched over to Duwell Magnesium Liquid and Duwell Vitamins and Minerals she became sound even before foaling.
Her mud fever resolved within 6 weeks without the use of creams. Within 3 trims the cracks had completely resolved.
AGGRESSIVE & HERD-BOUND BEHAVIOUR
Brownie 7yr TB gelding. Off track for approx. 2yrs prior.
Symptoms on arrival
- Kicking in float.
- Tense and uptight.
- Pushy, over bearing and dangerous to handle.
- Not thinking straight.
- Ran fence line and had a complete melt down in paddock and had to put in yard.
- Very tight through top line and muscles in front of shoulder very buried under should blades.
- Tail swishy and easily annoyed.
- Sweating profusely.
- Dangerous to ride and would threaten to rear.
- Cantering very badly when lunged. Back legs together and Brownie kick up within 2-3 strides of canter, then coming back to a trot.
- Blood tests showed potassium level at 4.3 three weeks after arrival so reading would have been around 4.5+ on arrival.
- Diet – premix feed, short pasture, some salt.
- 25g Duwell vitamins and mineral powder.
- 60-80mls Duwell magnesium liquid.
- 50gm salt.
- Hard feed of extruded rice. Flaxseed oil, oaten chaff, beet pulp.
- Adlib hay.
- No pasture. Brownie was removed from grass so his potassium levels could be reduced more quickly.
- Improvement in behaviour was observed within a few days.
- Tail swishing took 3-4 weeks to disappear.
- Complete relaxation of muscles took 6-7 weeks to happen.
- He was returned to pasture grazing once his mineral levels were in balance.
We have observed in Brownie and all other horses in case studies, when potassium levels are under 3.9 the horse will be calm and relaxed generally.
At this point Brownie received 3 massage treatments that further aided in his rehabilitation. This was useful at this point but not before, as high potassium levels cause an inability to relax and muscle inflammation, therefore touching or massaging them is painful. Massage and bodywork is only recommend to the level the horse can tolerate. Mineral balance must be fixed first.
THE EFFECTS OF GRASS STAGGERS, GRASS TETANY ON MOVEMENT & HEALTH
Symptoms on arrival
- Possible grass tetany – laying down and not wanting to get up. Possible blood potassium over 5 on scale.
- Very uptight to ride.
- Sweating excessively.
- Terrible to float – bucking, kicking. Has severely damaged sides of float.
- Easily tires, excessive puffing and appears thick winded.
- Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
- Potassium in blood test 4.3 after 2 weeks off grass.
- Poor coat.
Symptoms in round pen work
- Back legs together in canter.
- Disuniting in canter.
- Leaning in on circle like a motorbike.
- Tripping and stumbling.
- Very on forehand when trotting and cantering.
- Removed from pasture due to severity of symptoms and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Calorie intake needed to be reduced. When the mare was on grass she would not eat hay or feed. To ensure she recovered as quickly as possible we needed her to eat hay and supplements in a small amount of feed.
- Salt 60g.
- Duwell Minerals and Vitamins Powder, Duwell Magnesium Liquid.
- Oat chaff, ezibeet, ½ cup oats and ½ bale of hay per day.
- Symptoms reduced greatly within 2 weeks.
- No training done during rehab. Balance in free lunging in round pen was regained solely due to neurological effects induced by high potassium in grass no longer being a problem.
- Floating perfectly.
- Round pen work improved within 4 weeks.
- EMS has reduced and over-all health has improved.
- Blood potassium estimated to be under 4.
- Breathing no longer laboured.
- Fit without work.
- Sweat pattern normal.
- Moving freely, tracking up, balanced and upright on circles.
- Cantering correctly every transition.
- Greatly improved coat sine and condition
- Excellent to ride.
- Owner stated Moonie is moving better than ever before in her life.
Now relaxed and balanced in trot and canter and has gone on to clock up 250km of trail riding, loving every minute!
HEAD FLICKING & LAMINITIS
"Pinto Boy" 14yr 16.2hh 1/2 TB Gelding. Arrived October.
This horse would be the fattest horse I have ever seen!
Symptoms before treatment
- Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)
- Extremely overweight. 8 inch crest and thick fat over top half of body.
- Laminitic – dropped soles, white line separation, flare walls that never grew straight down.
- Very sore feet. Needs hoof boots in paddock to be comfortable.
- Never canters in paddock.
- Very herd-bound.
- Terrible to float.
- Thick winded.
- Stiff and takes a lot to warm up when ridden.
- Difficult to handle. Naughty to ride.
- Note dropped sole. Very close to full blown laminitis.
- Removed from pasture due to severity of symptoms of EMS and head-flicking. Calorie intake needed to be reduced.
- Salt 60g.
- Duwell Minerals and Vitamins powder, Duwell Magnesium Liquid.
- Oat chaff, ezibeet, ½ cup oats and ½ bale of hay per day.
- 4 months later – a gradual process of losing weight...
- Perfect behavior. A real gentleman.
- He now can be ridden on the road with no boots. Has developed toe calluses.
- Equine Metabolic Syndrome gone.
- Canters in the paddock.
- Free-moving and happy when ridden. Doesn’t need to warm up anymore.
- Clean winded and appears fit with very little work.
- No longer head flicks.
- Now ridden by a 12 year old girl.
HOOVES 6 MONTHS LATER
- Approximately 10mm of concavity now present. This is the same foot as first photo.
- White line completely tight – no separation. Wall now grows down.
Pinto Boy is a great example of how the right diet can correct major health issues in horses. Correct hoof trimming also enables a horse’s feet correct over time.
Pinto Boy is now sounder than he has been for eight years.