Princess in the Spring

princess 2In past posts, I’ve written about our horse Princess who is a Morgan/Saddlebred and is Laminitic.  She is laminitic because she is Insulin Resistant.  Every vet we have ever talked to has told us to keep her off grass.  We have struggled with that though because,

First – we believe that horses should be free and grazing all the time.

And second  –  the farm where we board only has grass pastures.  So, it’s very hard to find a place without grass in the Spring, Summer and Fall.  Winter’s easy because we live in northern Illinois and the grass is dead.

Last year, we muzzled her during the day and brought her into a small, dirt paddock at night.  It really didn’t work out so well.  She was sore for most of the year.

This year, we decided to muzzle her 24 hours a day and keep her out on the grass pasture with the herd.  So, far, she is doing amazing.  She isn’t sore.  She runs around and is her old, feisty self.

princess muzzleWe also have her on Chinese Herbs for laminitic horses, Dr. Dan’s Just Add Oats nutritional supplement, A Magnesium Cookie and lately I’ve been adding two Tbsp of Braggs apple cider vinegar which is supposed to help the body metabolize sugar slower.

Our farrior also talked us into trying rubber shoes.  We are usually against shoes, but these

princess shoe bottom

are rubber, so they flex more than steel ones to allow her hoofs to still have air flow.  They are screwed in from the top also.  When I saw him do this, I cringed, but Princess had her eyes half closed and was napping the whole time, so it didn’t hurt her at all.

princess hoof screws

The lamina is the substance inside the hoof wall that connects the protective outer layering of the hoof – the hoof wall – to the internal structures of the hoof.  When a horse has laminitis the lamina gets inflamed and the hoof wall is compromised, so the shoe is helping keep her hoof wall connected to the laminae as she heals.

We really don’t know what is helping her – all of it?  But I think that movement is key in the success we’ve had this year.  And getting limited grass because of the muzzle.  We do let her freely graze for an hour or two also, when we come each day.  But movement.  It is so important for a horse’s health, both mentally and physically.

princess 3

About learningtolovehorses

Stumbling into the horse world about six years ago - what I've learned and continue to learn from horses could fill a blog. I live an hour and a half north of Chicago and my oldest daughter and I pasture- board five horses on a nearby farm.
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