Cavallo Hoof Boots Q&A: Can Horses Thrive after Laminitis?

Q: My horse has suffered from Laminitis. I am encouraged by the thought of good hoof care and using hoof boots, but have you heard of great outcomes after serious bouts of Laminitis?

Signed, Worried and Needing Inspiration

Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her advice….

A: We, at Cavallo, regularly receive hundreds of stories from horse owners around the world. Some are inspiring and uplifting, others are funny or just silly and still others will bring us to tears. We particularly love the story of the 15.2hh, 17-year-old Frodo.

Frodo is quite well known, as there are very few Traditional Gypsy Cobs competing at Prix St. George level. His human companion, Sue Grice, is a British Horse Society Accredited Professional Coach and holder of the UK Coaching Certificate level 3 in dressage. Last year, Sue had three horses concurrently competing barefoot in British Dressage. Their outstanding successes feature regularly in UK Equine events and publications.

In the beginning, everyone thought Frodo was cute and wondered what a hairy cob was doing in the warm up arena. They quickly grew serious when he broke into a trot. Frodo was lightly agile on his feet. An undeniable avid competitor, Frodo attained honored accolades against any supposed odds!

And then Frodo’s challenges exploded in an unforeseen direction. He developed laminitis. Frodo became very sick and potentially lame forever.

On the Mend

Sue was shattered, but not deterred. Finally, after six months of stall rest, and another year of continued symptoms, she discovered Cavallo Hoof boots. Miraculously, Frodo’s healing fast-tracked and put him right back in the show ring. Discovering the extraordinary comfort, flexibility and ease available to him in his Cavallo Boots, Frodo’s pain was forgotten. He remembered what it was like to move. And this boy really wanted to move. In fact, all horses do. It is their nature.

In a natural environment, horses move 10–15 miles a day foraging for food, running with the herd, finding water and naturally stimulating and trimming their hoofs. Good function of the hoof means that the hoof expands and flexes when bearing weight, to allow the structure of the horse to descend and the hoof capsule to absorb that shock. Healthy hoof function requires that blood circulates freely, providing nutrients to all the live tissues of the hoof. This is accomplished through unrestrained movement, flexion and the pumping action of a natural bare hoof. We call this “Hoof Mechanism” and it is essential to healing and maintaining healthy hoofs.  “No Hoof, No Horse”.

Don’t Let the Wake Drive the Boat

Frodo re-discovered ease and comfort in his Cavallos. It was the invitation he needed to start moving again. Blood circulation, oxygenation and over-all vitality returned to his body. He kicked up his heels yet again and bestowed gratitude, joy and relief to our dear Sue. Her commitment to her horse transcended limiting beliefs and a fatalistic viewpoint. Sue’s attitude and support of her horse helped erase the pain Frodo experienced, and even the memory of it. He recovered his persona as Dressage contender! This isn’t magic. We can all facilitate healing. It’s a matter of our commitment, faith and purpose. When we commit to a vision of the final outcome and refuse to waiver from it, we are taking charge. A dear friend says, “Don’t let the wake drive the boat”, meaning that when a bad thing happens, we move on to put it behind us without letting it pave our future.

It is also a matter of what thoughts we allow ourselves to entertain. The more patterns of thought and behavior are practiced – the more ingrained they become. Neural pathways are like rivers that have increasing amounts of water running in them. When the thoughts are frequent and repetitive, they carve pathways of greater depth and strength. Then these thoughts become ingrained and hard to change. They gain more volume, current and flow. The idea is to let those thoughts that don’t serve your desired outcome dissipate. Choose and then practice new thoughts and believe in desired outcome.

Sue Grice held a strong vision for Frodo. She envisaged his success, his vitality and how he would behave when his health returned.  She was committed and did not waver. Great athletes do this. They hold images of winning and entertain these imageries daily. Performers visualize crowds cheering while they perform. Golfers envision placing the ball exactly where they want it. They believe and foresee, and it becomes real. Many horses have been healed of laminitis, founder, white line disease and navicular when owners stop letting the past dictate the future.

Generally accepted diagnosis, prognosis and prescription may even have suggested Frodo’s pending fatality. Sue was willing to look past conventionality, to view the whole, rather than the parts, and to understand the entire horse as a complete system. Prevention is always the first key and can only be practiced with knowledge. Resources are available and, as a horse owner, it is your responsibility to discover them.

Sue sent in these videos documenting Frodo’s progress. You’ll be very entertained watching these and you will surely have a giggle:

Photo Caption:
All Sue’s horses work bare foot and wear Cavallo hoof boots. They hack out once or twice a week for around 2-3 hours over varied terrain from forest tracks to moorland and beaches. Frodo also wears his Cavallos when turned out in the field when the ground is hard and frosty, and of course, for any injury or laminitic recurrence. Cavallo Hoof Boots helped save Frodo from a dire fate.

About the Source:
Carole Herder is the author of the #1 International Bestseller, There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven. She has been involved in horse health since 1993. Her company, Cavallo Horse & Rider Inc., develops, manufactures and distributes horse products in 26 countries. Herder designed and developed Cavallo Hoof Boots and Total Comfort System Saddle Pads. She presents trainings around the world to teach the benefits of keeping horses in a natural state. Herder is an honored recipient of the Royal Bank of Canada Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, supporting female entrepreneurs in every industry.

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