was taken around the first of August 2006
was taken 12/25/2006.
Note the snow
Study 13: Hoof cracks and founder
June 29th 2006:
My true blue 12 y.o. gelding Cletus who I have had since he was a 4 month old,
showed up to me dead lame and in major pain with heat when I went to let him out
to his pasture. He also pulled his right foot shoe. He had been upset for a couple
of days since my mare had left the farm. He was pacing and stomping is feet in
the ground as he went back and forth at the fence looking for her. I promptly
started him on 2 grams of Bute followed by one gram for 2 weeks.
June 30th 2006
The farrier shod him with clips.
July 7, 2006
He lost his right front shoe again and the farrier came back up to re-shoe. This
time the damage was more extensive. He had to rebuild the foot and glue a shoe
on. The integrity of the foot was shot. Brittle and shaley. I think the farrier
tried to rebuild the foot for me more than the horse.
The glue on shoe came off. This time the farrier said, no more. He suspected the
horse had foundered. He could not afford the time to keep returning and adding
a glue on shoe and to keep rebuilding the foot. He suggested two things
1) New farrier that would spend the time or
2) to pasture Cletus for at least a year with no shoes and add a supplement to
his diet. Also he suggested X-raying his feet to confirm if he in fact had foundered.
I chose option 2. Since Cletus was, and is, such an incredible gelding I could
sacrifice 12 months of riding for his well being.
So my farrier
suggested a supplement that is most popular here in the States. He said this was
the one supplement backed by research and he suggested it to all his clients in
my situation. My vet agreed. I knew very little about the subject other than to
make sure what I did involved Biotin. Pretty sad but I must be honest. I took
the next two weeks researching his suggestion plus other supplements including
Formula4 Feet. I gave myself a couple of weeks to find what I thought
would be best for Cletus. The farrier knows his business but I know my gelding.
I was not going to put Cletus in more pain or feed him something that was unhealthy.
I was told by many well intentioned people to add gelatin to his feed. For anyone
who does not know gelatin is a made in part from hooves, bones, and tendons. I
fail to see how a herbivore can breakdown meat to actually benefit them. Not to
mention how they can digest and get rid of it properly. Nope, my gelding was getting
something he could breakdown and utilize to his benefit. I went online and did
my research. Formula4 Feet popped up in my Google search. I went to
the website and was floored at the wealth of information and the product itself.
I compared my findings of Formula4 Feet to the supplement suggested
by my farrier and other top choices.
Aug 8th 2006
My vet X-rayed Cletus and confirmed he rotated but did not founded. He agreed
with the farrier on the supplement of choice. He or my farrier had not heard of
Formula4 Feet and were not very supportive of the supplement.
I chose to
go against their suggestion. Imagine I was going against the suggestion of 2 top
professionals in my area. They are both good which is why I use them and after
all they are the pro's and I am merely a small town horse owner. What did I know.
The feeling was a sinking in the pit of my stomach feeling but my gut said Formula4
Feet was the correct choice.
why I chose Formula4 Feet:
1) It is approved by the Vegetarian Society. This means my horse can digest the
supplement to the fullest and his feet will actually benefit the most they can
2) The ingredients
out weighed other products.
3) Robert Eustace is world renowned (including by my farrier who has read his
articles.) for his expertise and the Laminitis Clinic.
is very educational.
5) Non GM supplement and drug free.
Aug 10th 2006
I started feeding Formula4 Feet. Cletus still showing pain/heat and
back on Bute. In fact I had him on it for 15 days in the month August.
The farrier came up for trimming and to shoe my mare Rosey who came back to the
farm. (Mentally Cletus is much happier.) The farrier noticed Cletus's foot is
more supple and healthier looking. His coat was more shiny that ever. He won't
support Formula4 Feet but said whatever I did is working. (The only
other thing I changed was I dropped the grain in half as per my vet's suggestion).
Bute 9 days.
October, November and December. No Bute. Normal farrier visits.
The winter coats of my horses are in full. Cletus's coat is still shiny (his first
ever.) Usually it heavy but dull. Rosey's coat is dull too. I start her on Formula4
Farrier visit. We discussed previously that we would shoe Rosey with caulks for
our winter, icy, mountain conditions and try Cletus on glue on shoes with caulks.
He showed up and was in the barn for about 1/2 hour before I could join him. He
had Cletus in the cross ties and on his right foot shoeing him. I was floored
and speechless. He said Cletus grew such a healthy strong foot that taking a nail
was no problem. I was in total shock. My next question was can I ride him. My
farrier said go ahead. So for Christmas Eve I got the best Christmas present I
could ever want. Cletus and I went for a quiet ride down my road. The farrier
also notice Rosey's feet grew quickly, since the last shoeing. He averages 5 weeks
between shoeing and trims.
So in the past
5 months I have learned 3 things:
1) My true blue gelding is still true blue. We had an amazing and awesome ride.
2) Any horse that takes residency at my barn will be fed Formula4 Feet.
3) Go with your gut instinct. Logically it felt wrong to go against 2 professionals
but I knew my decision was right.
Thank you to
Robert Eustace, you gave me my horse back.