Friday, 28 May 2010

Sometimes its complicated...

Two nice mares, of completely different types - Bailey in the top photo, fit, lean and generally tricky to keep weight on. Lady in the lower photo, a typical "good doer" who lives on fresh air and is tricky to keep weight OFF!
Both of them have nice feet - Lady's are still a work in progress as she hasn't been out of shoes long, but they are working very well for her at the moment.

I've heard comments from a couple of vets recently which have reminded me how many false assumptions there are out there about hooves. Both vets were talking about laminitic horses and one stated that a particular horse "wasn't the type" to get laminitis, because it was too big and too lean - a bit like Bailey perhaps.

Now of course there is huge difference between a bout of laminitis and the "footiness" that we often see at this time of year in a horse which is sensitive to grass. Nevertheless, they are two different ends of the same scale, and even mild sole sensitivity is a warning that the hoof is under attack.

Of course (again!) horses and ponies which are overweight are at greater risk, and we should be making every effort not to let them pile on the pounds but we musn't let the visible appearance of a horse blind us to the fact that some horses are extremely sensitive to grass, whether they are fat or thin.

So, of the two horses in the photos, it is, as you've guessed, Bailey who is sensitive to grass and cannot be allowed access to it at this time of year without it making her footy. Yet if you were to show Bailey to those vets, what would they advise to prevent her footiness? No prizes for guessing, and perhaps they wouldn't even recognise that there was damage being done to her hooves already from the grass.

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