Hello, well doesn’t time fly…Four months ago we took off Pole Star’s shoes to re-hab his feet and go barefoot, the eventual goal being that we might be able to go hunting (drag) barefoot in the 2012/2013 season. Debbie from justhorsesense.co.uk was over for her 6 week visit and was impressed with his progress.
She tells me that it would take a year for an ex-racehorse to make the improvements Pole Star has in four months! I asked Debbie enthusiastically ‘what has made the difference, the boots, the work, what Debbie?’ ‘Nutrition and doing what you’re told’, she says! We may well be able to hunt without shoes on this season!
Well we all know that what’s on the inside is reflected in the outside. I was hoping for a more elaborate exciting answer but as I too well know from my day to day work for Trinity Consultants, what you feed your horse, how, when and where are all important when it comes to having strong, flexible, inflammation free feet.
So what have we done with Pole Star? We have made sure that his daily diet consists mostly of fibre incorporating good grazing which brings in complex carbohydrates, hay, fibre pellets, protein & fats in the form of soya meal and all importantly TENDERFOOT to provide all the essential nutrients inc. Zinc chelates, L-Cysteine, natural 26 mineral rich dolomite and other vitamins & minerals necessary for wonderful all over health. Because I can and I know of the vast array of natural nutrients I also feed EQUINOURISH to present organic seaweeds which contain rare earth elements, gently building & repairing the constitution & balancing the thyroid & acting as a natural anti-rheumatic agent.
Added to which he has needed HYDROBASE lately because Magnesium and Potassium hasn’t necessarily been available in the grazing, sometimes it is unavailable, so his behaviour was being effected, he became uncharacteristically spooky. We’re back on our normal chilled out level now. Something which is very important but is overlooked with all horses and ponies is change. Change and stress bring about a rise in Cortisol levels, lymphangitis, digital pulses and inflammation in the feet. With this in mind and to manage digital pulses which is an indication of inflammation in the feet which will cause footiness, feeding P45 each day will keep on top of this. Even moving fields on to a new patch of grass will increase pulses or cause footiness. In a shod horse this may not be seen as footiness but may be seen as napping or lethargy. It’s always worth having a bottle of P45 on the tack-room shelf for such incidences.
So with the hunting season fast coming the plan is to endeavour to hunt in boots! We would like to avoid putting shoes back on him and his soft structures and hoof are strong enough to cope without. So we’re investigating which boots to hunt in, as we don’t want to be ‘welly wanging’ out on the hunting field… Latest thoughts are for the Easyboot Glove. We’ll keep your posted!
The photo attached shoes Poley working on the Pessoa line in the sandschool to help engage his hind quarters and build muscle tone following 10 years of racing.