Q: My veterinarian says my horse must stay in a cushioned stall while he heals from this round of laminitis. I don’t want him to hurt anymore. I’d like to talk to my veterinary team about having my horse wear boots for extra help. What info from veterinarians or professionals do you have that I can share? And how have boots helped horses during healing times?
Cavallo (https://www.cavallo-inc.com) President Carole Herder shares her thoughts….
A: I’m so sorry to hear that your horse has been in pain. Putting a hoof boot on a healing hoof can definitely keep your horse more comfortable—especially when you add in our optional, cushioned pads. Putting on a full set of boots (instead of just one on an affected hoof), can help your horse stand straight and keep his body in alignment while he’s healing. Plus, the same Cavallo Boots that are appropriate for healing can take you onto the roughest trails once healing is complete.
We are hearing from more and more veterinarians and farriers who see the benefits of hoof boots during healing—whether time is needed to heal from an acute injury, or from a chronic condition such as laminitis. Here, I’ve included some notes from equine professionals who have helped horses heal from laminitis as well as other hoof-affecting injuries.
We hear the most from horse owners and veterinarians who have found the Cavallo boots helpful when horses have laminitic issues. The padding that can be added to the boots provides comfort when pain is acute–and allows many owners to return their horses to light then regular work when the horses are feeling better but still need extra support.
Judith Murtha’s horse, Rebel, had laminitis issues last year and his veterinary team in New York suggested the boots for his healing time.
“Rebel has recovered from Laminitis and has to be kept barefoot,” Murtha says. “Cavallo Boots will allow him to go on gentle trail rides, which he loves. He’s doing great and adjusting to the boots. I followed your video on how to break the boots in and it was a big help. Rebel is a Rocky Mountain Horse. He was a patient at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists and they recommended Cavallo Boots. I’m very careful to do whatever I can to keep those hoofs healthy. He’s really walking great!”
Boots can help in other types of healing, as well. Scott Wilburn is a Cavallo Associate Trimmer and Farrier in Alaska. He works closely with veterinarians in his area and specializes in specialty and corrective treatments for hoof rehab situations. He says that Cavallo Boots are excellent therapeutic tools. He and the veterinarians he works with agree: Cavallo Boots promote hoof health by protecting the healing hoof, enabling the necessary tissue growth to rehabilitate an ailment successfully.
“Often, shoeing just doesn’t make sense in these situations,” Wilburn explains. “For example, if a healing hoof is shod, the nails in the hoof wall give spaces for thrush to grow, setting back a horse’s success.”
Boots can also help horses while they are being treated for alignment and conformation issues. In the United Kingdom, equine podiatrist Aimee Curnow just healed a retired racehorse who was walking “toed-in” and was uncomfortable throughout her body.
Curnow reports that she placed Cavallo Boots on the mare while also scheduling her for a series of trims to help “nudge her hooves in the right direction.” Coupled with rehab exercises to help the mare move out straight and regular chiropractic treatment, the horse is moving much better. “She is much straighter and more comfortable all over than when I first met her,” Curnow says.
Boots allow time for the hooves to heal and also allow the horses to move naturally while they are healing. Compared with boots that are designed only to keep a medical application in place, boots that are made for moving can help horses bend and flex their bodies as much as is possible during healing.
Australian veterinarian Brian Hampson is an internationally renowned hoof care expert and works to gentle the wild brumby horses. He sees the importance of keeping horses moving in a natural way. Movement aids in preventative health and helps horses get blood flowing (as much as is safe) while they heal from ailments.
When Hampson runs pack trips with now-gentled brumbies, he keeps the horses barefoot –as they are accustomed to. He also carries along Cavallos.
“They’re quick and easy to put on and off and light to carry,” Hampson says. “I’d rather not shoe them, because if they pull a shoe in the middle of nowhere I’m in trouble. These horses can handle the terrain in their natural environment but suffer when asked to carry a rider or pack saddle. They are happy in the boots and cover the 200 km with ease.”
If your veterinarian hasn’t suggested boots for your horse’s pain management or healing, show her the Cavallos and ask if she’ll help you find what can work best. Once more farriers and veterinarians learn about these options, we trust we’ll have even more preventative medicine and medical-healing stories to report.
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Cavallo President Carole Herder is the author of the #1 International Bestseller, There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven, and the newly released Hoofprints on The Journey. 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 training sessions 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.
Visit https://www.cavallo-inc.comto learn about the full line of Cavallo Hoof Boots. Call (877) 818-0037 from the USA or Canada or call direct, (604) 740-0037.
Cavallo Horse & Rider