Dr. Seino, It has been a full year now since we discussed my horse Chance. I am thrilled to be able to report that he is doing great! He has had no further seizures and I have been riding him since April.
As you know from my last email, I had been working with my regular farrier and doing trims to try to promote proper hoof growth. I reduced Chance's weight about 60 pounds and took him off all grains and high protein feeds. He did not seem to be in actual pain, so I took him off bute in November and increased hoof supplements for hoof growth; BioMeth, MSM/glucosamine and a multi vitamin/mineral supplement. I also had the hay analyzed and realized that he might be getting too much iron, due to high iron in our water. I removed the mineral block both horses use and switched him to just a plain salt block, which he began eating in chunks.
Chance seemed to be progressing well until the end of February when the ridges in his hooves and the curved hoof growth became apparent again. I suddenly felt like we were no longer progressing with his feet. He still seemed sensitive in his feet but he had no further seizures. My farrier told me to be patient, don't exercise him, not even lunging and we were trimming every six weeks; I was losing confidence.
I was at the time, fortunate to meet a young farrier named Shawn Kueck, who clearly had a passion and a storehouse of knowledge about laminitis and hoof care. Shawn is a graduate of Mission Farrier School in Monroe, Washington. The results I have seen from his work are no less than amazing. Shawn practices Natural Balance & Barefoot hoof care. He strongly disagrees with the traditional farrier practices of trimming off the frog and leaving the horse with only a hoof wall upon which to stand.
After an initial meeting with Shawn I decided to hire him to care for Chance's feet. I also ended up hiring him to care for our 25 year old gelding, who seemed to be getting arthritis in his shoulder over the past few years. Shawn initially put rubber pads, medication to stimulate the frog growth and corrective shoes on Chance's front feet. We kept his rear feet bare and trimmed. Shawn encouraged me to ride him, that what he needed was exercise to increase circulation and stimulation to the foot. That was March 22nd and after a week of lunging, I rode Chance again on April 1st; I have been riding him since. We kept pads on Chance for the first two shoeings and now are using wedges. The hooves frogs are growing out nicely, but still not totally recovered. Today Shawn reshod the horses, their fourth shoeing. Chance's front left hoof showed only a small red bruised area remaining (about a 1/2" diameter. The right front still has some dead tissue to grow out but has no tenderness. Our older gelding has improved posture with Shawn's hoof care practices and his posture has improved immensely. He no longer favors what we thought was an arthritic shoulder.
I would appreciate you passing this information on to Dr. Hines. I hope you find this helpful with your future horse patients.
Thank you for all of your help last year. I appreciate all you did for us. Sincerely,